Put on your dancing shoes, the Bronx summer concert series is back!

bronx summer concert series
Kid Glyde, of World Dance Sport Federation, taught some basic breakdancing moves to the crowd at Fordham Plaza during the kick-off of the Bronx Summer Concert Series on Saturday, July 6.
Photo ET Rodriguez

It’s not summer in the Bronx until salsa music and ‘90s hip-hop tracks fill the air and glistening bodies are caught dancing under the sweltering sun, and Fordham Plaza was full of them on Saturday, July 6, as locals celebrated the return of the annual Bronx Summer Concert series.

Originally started as an Orchard Beach event under former Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx Summer Concert series is being spread across the Boogie Down for the second year, giving access to individuals from St. Mary’s Park in the south end of the borough to Van Cortlandt in the north and everything in between.

“Our residents and families will the have the opportunity to enjoy free performances and entertainment while safely recreating at our local parks,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

Members of Gift of Grace — the teen dance group of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club — put on a powerful dance performance.Photo ET Rodriguez
The crowd on Saturday, July 6, was supportive and energetic as they cheered on the performances at the first Bronx summer concert of the season.Photo ET Rodriguez

Through Sept. 1, locals can partake in the fun as a different neighborhood park is activated every Sunday with local bands, singers and dance groups from 12 noon to 5 p.m., with the exception of Fordham Plaza.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, the concert series will return to Fordham Plaza from 4 to 10 p.m., in conjunction with the Bronx Night Market, which hosts dozens of food vendors offering a variety of cuisines from cheesy, Korean-style corn dogs to stick-to-your-ribs soul food from Mookie Wilson’s Legacy catering.

“We did a lot of cooking for free in [South Carolina] and after a while, we decided to start getting paid for it,” said Phillip Wilson, brother of William Hayward “Mookie” Wilson, a baseball coach and former major leaguer for the New York Mets. The Wilson family was out serving heaping plates of all the best Southern fixings.

Last year, Masc Hospitaity Group’s (MHG) Bronx Night Market bid farewell to the Fordham Heights neighborhood due to sanitary issues and safety concerns. But after getting much needed support from local elected officials, the market has returned to Fordham Plaza in a bigger and better way.

“With the recent growth of MHG events and projects – we’re doubling down on our mission to bring people together,” said the hospitality group’s founder, Marco Shalma. “This expansion shows our belief in the power of community and we’re excited to keep creating spaces where everyone feels they belong.”

Satoshi may be 13 years old, but he was feeling like a puppy on Saturday July 6 as he enjoyed the music and good vibes at the inaugural event of the Bronx Summer Concert series at Fordham Plaza.Photo ET Rodriguez

And everyone did belong. From toddlers to seniors and even cute little pups in book bags, the inaugural Bronx Summer concert on Saturday displayed the diversity of the borough and a strong sense of communal pride.

The joy was palpable and the smiles were contagious as a supporting crowd cheered on the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club dancers. The youth group, “Junior K,” tugged at the heartstrings with their choreography and the teens, known as “Gift of Grace,” were rocking hard with sheer confidence and powerful moves.

“It’s something I enjoy very much because its’ a great way for me to express myself,” said 16-year-old Haileyn Suarez, who has been dancing since she was a young child and lit the stage along with her fellow dancers.

Other acts included Johnny Mambo & Friends, Ricardo and the Fusion Band, Kids Breaking league and more.

Lineups and vendors for the upcoming concerts are currently unavailable, but dates and locations can be found at ilovethebronx.com.

“We look forward to seeing everyone as we travel across the borough,” said Gibson.

The Bronx Night Market co-sponsored the first event of the season for the Bronx Summer Concert series which will pop-up at different locations across the borough every Sunday through Sept. 1Photo ET Rodriguez

Reach ET Rodriguez at etrodriguez317@gmail.com. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes