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Kid rock: McCarren Pk Live returns

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McCarren Park Live!, the annual free spring concert series for children presented by the local civic group Park Moms, is back for another go−around next to McCarren’s Field House (Lorimer Street between Bedford and Driggs).

The first show, on May 27th at 11 a.m., will feature the local virtuoso Ken Butler, famous for his resourcefulness at making instruments. Among his creations are a violin crafted out of a hammer, and “guitars” constructed from a broom, a snow shovel, and a toothbrush.

This MacGyver of music has played at Park Moms concerts numerous times, and some of his instruments are in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The second show, on Saturday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m., will feature the Deedle Deedle Dees, the Brooklyn−based educational rock band. The group’s calling card is that all their songs are inspired by history and science. (Examples include “Underground Railroad,” “Nellie Bly,” and “Rancher Ants.”)

“We always try to pick something that’s educational,” said Robin Hagert, of Park Moms, one of the event organizers.

Maracatu NY, New York’s only ensemble dedicated to the Afro−Brazilian performance genre, will play the last show on June 2, and 10:30 a.m. Like Butler, the group has played the Park Moms concerts in the past.

“Ken Butler and Maracatu area always a big hit with the crowds,” Hagert said.

Funding for this year’s concerts came from the Greenpoint−based Boro Recycling, which gave the proceeds from their annual fundraiser to Park Moms. Assemblymember Joseph Lentol and Councilmember David Yassky also provided support.

Susan Albrecht of Park Moms said the concerts were consistent with the group’s goal of providing edifying cultural experiences for neighborhood children.

“Park Moms is all about bringing cultural activities so that parents have ways to engage their children in our community,” Albrecht said.

Founded in 1997, the group is best known for its advocacy to create the McCarren Sprinkler Park, which was completed in 2001. Previously, the sprinkler had been a wading pool attached to the McCarren Park Pool.

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