There are many tasks that CityCenter Danbury sets out to accomplish throughout downtown, whether business recruitment, event promotion, streetscape improvements or increased walkability. One of the objectives that I think we are missing is live music in the downtown area. We’ve got our great concerts on the green during the summer, and of course, the annual Taste of Greater Danbury, but what I’m talking about here is a year-round highlight of local talented musicians.
What will it take to make Downtown Danbury the place for live music? A concept that I have been looking to implement in my role at CityCenter is to capitalize on our cultural diversity through the promotion of music. I’m talking all types of music here – jazz, country, rock n roll, alternative, punk, reggae, Latin, hip-hop, blues – you name it.
Why shouldn’t one of the most diverse cities in the state of Connecticut, and the tristate region for that matter, have the most diverse live music scene? I know there are places throughout the city where many talented musicians show off their skills in a multitude of venues. But let’s create a force to be reckoned with in Downtown Danbury. After all, it’s the urban centers of our cities and towns that are the perfect stage for this type of expression.
Allow me to paint an image here for you. You’re walking down Main Street on an early spring Saturday night. You decide to grab dinner at La Mitad del Mundo, as you are in the mood for some delicious and authentic Ecuadorian cuisine. As you are enjoying your meal, you get to experience the musical style of Pasillo, a genre very popular in Ecuador. As you leave the restaurant, you head down post office walk towards Two Steps to meet up with some friends. Before you cross Ives Street, there is someone playing on the “public piano” that sits right at the end of post office walk. As you pull up a stool at the bar, and order your favorite craft beer, you turn around to enjoy the classic rock music that fills the air. If you haven’t quite gotten your music fix yet, maybe your next move is to the speakeasy down the road. As you approach the side door to the “speakeasy,” you provide the gentlemen at the door the super-secret password to gain entry. As you walk down the dark marble steps, you swing open the door and there, you hear Louis Armstrong’s style of jazz and you’re instantly transported back to the 1920s. You order your favorite single malt whiskey, and relax in the overly comfortable leather chairs.
Making Downtown Danbury the “live music capital” of the state is certainly possible. The problem is that I can’t do it alone. So, I would challenge our community to come together to develop a method in which we can accomplish this goal. It will take a lot of time, effort and thought, but nothing our great city can’t handle.
P.J. Prunty is the executive director of CityCenter Danbury, the Downtown Danbury business improvement district. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact him at 203-792-1711 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.