Blackstone Parks Conservancy
Our annual free concert series at the Blackstone Boulevard Trolley Shelter is back. It is funded by Senate Judicial Grants and your memberships.  This summer we’ll present five concerts:
Thursday, June 17: Classical Band (Rain date: June 24)
Thursday, July 8: Miss Wensday Vintage Jazz (Rain date: July 15)
Thursday, July 22: Nickel Jukebox/Allan Raskin
(Rain date: July 29)
Thursday, August 12: Latin Jazz – Alebreke/Wendy Klein
(Rain date: August 19)
Thursday, August 26: Stone Cold Gypsies; tribute to women vocalists of the 70’s
(Rain date: September 2)
Summer Concert at the Trolley Shelter

Almost two years to the date since their successful appearance at Blackstone Field , Indian Classical Musicians Ajit Acharya, tabla, and Srinivas Reddy, sitar are returning to the same location to treat us to more beautiful music.

To register for the event please click here.

Rain date:  Sunday, July 25th at 6 PM.

The classical music of India is an improvisatory art music tradition with roots in ancient philosophies and yogic practices. Today there are two distinct classical systems: the southern Carnatic tradition and the northern Hindustani tradition. Srinivas and Ajit are practitioners of the Hindustani genre which they learned from their respective teachers in the traditional master-disciple mode of apprenticeship. The Hindustani music tradition is unique in its rich blend of Indian and Islamic aesthetics.

All classical music of India is based on two fundamental concepts of melody and rhythm, known respectively as raga and tala. Ragas are melodic landscapes that encode specific musical parameters related to note combinations and embellishments as well as non-musical guidelines regarding the intended mood and time/season of a given performance. Ragas evolved from the voice but can be expressed on any melodic instrument. The exposition of a raga is further accompanied by the complex polyrhythms of various talas as realized on the tabla drum.

This evening Srinivas and Ajit will perform a medley of early evening ragas set to a variety of talas.

Srinivas Reddy


Links for further reading:

The Story of Hindustani Classical Music

My Maestro As I Saw Him by Nikhil Banerjee


Srinivas Reddy is a scholar, translator and musician. He studied classical sitar in the traditional guru-shishya style with Sri Partha Chatterjee, a direct disciple of the late sitar maestro Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Srinivas also trained in classical South Asian languages and literatures at Brown University and UC Berkeley. He has released three independent CDs and published three books of Indic translations with Penguin Books. Currently Srinivas is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies and Contemplative Studies at Brown University. He lives in Rhode Island and spends his time performing, teaching and conducting research around the world.

New England-based tabla player Ajit Acharya began his training under the tutelage of Sri Sheshagiri Rao of Bangalore, India. He also studied extensively with Dr. Rajan Sachdeva, one of the most respected and prolific Indian music teachers in the midwest. His table apprenticeship continues under the guidance of Pandit Samar Saha of the Benares gharana (or style) of tabla. Ajit has accompanied instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers. He has also given workshops all over the country and performed extensively with fusion, jazz and experimental musicians.

We are happy to announce that we have a few dates and times nailed down for park-keeping. We are trying a few different times of day in the hope that everyone finds a time that works for them. As always, you are welcome for all or part of the 90 minutes.
May 6 (Thursday) 12:30 – 2:00. York Pond Meadow. We will remove invasive plants – garlic mustard and mugwort. This is relatively light intensity work since the soil is soft right now. Please rsvp and bring your own gloves, and tools if you have them: digging tool (weeder, trowel).
May 15 (Saturday). 10:30- 12:00. North Section trails. We will stake logs in the woods above Gulf Road, and remove invasive plants (knotweed and garlic mustard).
June 2 (Wednesday) 5:00 – 6:30.South Section invasive plant removal. Meet on Paterson near Rhode Island Avenue, next to the playground. We will clear dead wood and remove invasive plants including Norway maples, white mulberry, garlic mustard, and bittersweet.  Bring your own gloves and water, and tools if you have them: pruners, loppers, digging tool (weeder, trowel, small shovel).  

If you plan to attend, please register to comply with contact tracing requirements, and bring your own water and a mask.
Hope to see you soon!

Earth Day!

After a long and challenging winter, it’s a pleasure to see fresh beginnings throughout the parks – from the flowering trees on the Boulevard to the newly returned songbirds near York Pond. Now more than ever, we can see how important it is to steward our environment.

  • Volunteer to clean up the shore along River Drive and the Seekonk River this Saturday, April 24! The Blackstone Parks Conservancy and Save the Bay are partnering to hold this shoreline cleanup. To ensure COVID safety, you must pre-register on Save the Bay’s website to join us.
  • Help us turn Boulevard sticks into valuable mulch! From now through Saturday, April 24, if you see a large stick (more than 1 foot long or thicker than your thumb) on the Boulevard, place it near a “gathering tree” marked with a green ribbon. All the gathering trees are west of the path. There are only 5 of them – this is a new type of project so we are starting small. Small branches will be used to mulch around Boulevard trees, and larger ones will be collected for chipping.