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Press Releases

The Virtual Brooklyn Black Tie Ball Featuring Hamilton Leithauser, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and DJ Hebert Holler

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy presents the Virtual Brooklyn Black Tie Ball

Featuring newly announced musical performance by singer-songwriter Hamilton Leithauser

With special guests Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, and after-party music by DJ Herbert Holler of the Freedom Party

Thursday, October 1 at 8:00pm ET

September 24, Brooklyn, NY — On Thursday, October 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy will present the Virtual Brooklyn Black Tie Ball, featuring a newly announced musical performance by singer-songwriter Hamilton Leithauser (The Loves of Your Life studio album; Black Hours studio album; formerly of the band The Walkmen).

The evening will also feature special guests — Golden Globe winning actress Keri Russell (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Americans), Emmy award winning actor Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Americans), and an after-party set by DJ Hebert Holler of the Freedom Party. Guests will be able to watch at home, while enjoying a festive “Gala at Home” meal, lovingly prepared and delivered straight to their home by Cobblestone Catering.

This year’s event will celebrate Brooklyn Bridge Park’s 10th Anniversary and the Environmental Education Center’s 5th Birthday. In lead up to the evening gala, the Conservancy will host a free family-friendly Day of Celebration. This fun-filled day is open to the public and will feature live, online educational programming and in-person fitness classes in the Park.

This event raises critical funds in support of the Conservancy’s free waterfront programming in the Park. Brooklyn Bridge Park has been a critical place of refuge and respite during the COVID-19 pandemic. With indoor activities off limits, the Conservancy has provided vital in-person and virtual cultural, recreational, and educational activities and events for the public – kayaking, waterfront workouts, book readings, music, environmental education, and more.

“We look forward to “seeing” you at the Ball this year,” said Nancy Webster, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Executive Director. “The Conservancy’s annual gala is our most important fundraiser, and the support of our friends, old and new, is particularly meaningful during this challenging year. Thank you to Keri, Matthew, and Hamilton for helping us to craft a fun and engaging virtual event.”

“Brooklyn Bridge Park is a beautiful and amazing spot in our city. I take my kids there all the time. This year the pandemic has made it all the more important to keep it up,” said Hamilton Leithauser. “I am proud to support Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and all of the great programming that takes place at the Park.”

“This year marks 10 years of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Part of what makes Brooklyn Bridge Park so popular, is the fabulous programming that has a home here,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park President. “We could have no better partner in bringing that programming to life, than the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. We’re thrilled that the Conservancy will still host their annual gala this year with some very special guests, and are grateful for all who support the great programming they provide.”

This event will also feature a silent auction featuring artwork by noted Broadway legend Joel Grey, as well as unique excursions and experiences.

Support for the Virtual Brooklyn Black Tie Ball is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citi, Con Edison, RAL Companies, and Tiger Baron Foundation.

Hamilton Leithauser is represented by Mick Management, a proud supporter of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and the Park community.


Zoom. Tickets available here.


Thursday, October 1 at 8:00pm ET


Katherine Gray, Communications Manager,


Ask Hamilton Leithauser to describe the records that inspired his first solo album, Black Hours, and he’ll end up, as many musicians will, reaching for a guitar. “I guess it’s just the sound,” he says, strumming a few chords from John Lennon’s Mind Games, and a few more from Highway 61 Revisited’s grab bag of major and minor, shuffle, blues and ballad. “It’s like someone singing directly at you. It’s personal and I find it in the details. It’s not complicated…but it’s just so hard to verbalize.” When he began work on Black Hours, Leithauser had begun to wonder whether he’d ever be able to achieve that directness of personal expression himself, at least in the context of rock n’ roll—yet the end results are proof positive. In its orchestrated rhythms, dynamic vocals, and generous production, Black Hours speaks from one booming voice.

After over a decade of writing and performing with his oldest friends as The Walkmen, Leithauser and his bandmates needed a change. “It seemed the only creative direction left, sadly, wasn’t together”. Surprisingly Leithauser found himself turning not to the rock n’ roll of his elders or peers, but to Frank Sinatra’s The September of My Years on repeat. “It’s his slower stuff that I like the most—the self pity and the drama; poor pitiful me—that’s the most fun.” And in the darkest part of February 2013, Leithauser took a warbly, meandering piano recording fellow-Walkmen member Paul Maroon had sent from New Orleans, and began composing the song that would become Black Hours’ opener, “5 AM”. “I wanted to write something that never repeats, that keeps changing,” he says. “The strings, the lyrics, and the melody all came at the exact same time, line-by- line. Each one drove the other forward, and I had no idea where it was going. I didn’t know if it was rock n roll or what…I only knew that it definitely wasn’t rock n roll as I’d come to play it.” It’s an album as passionate and personal and free as the canonical recordings that inspired it, and inaugurates a new chapter in an already remarkable career.

One of his past endeavors, a project with Rostam Batmanglij, was released back in 2016; I Had A Dream That You Were Mine is an album of songs Hamilton and Rostam wrote and recorded together between July 2014 and February 2016. Many of these songs seem to take place in a memory of New York’s past, or wading through the waist high waters in a half-submerged New York of the future. Yet what unites them is that they tell stories—I Had A Dream That You Were Mine is an album, a collection of songs yes, but also a collection of narratives.

He’s since released two albums, The Loves of Your Live (April 2020) and Live! at Cafe Carlyle (September 2020), the latter of which delivers a collection of live recordings from his residency at the historic club back in February of this year. ”Playing live is such a big part of my life, and I don’t know when I’ll actually be able to do it again, so in the meantime, I hope this record might transport the listener for 30 minutes to a small, candle-lit cafe table in an overcrowded room while my band is ripping it up.


Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has worked for over 30 years to bring Brooklyn Bridge Park to life. We started out as grassroots advocates, bringing together residents, government, and local supporters to transform an abandoned waterfront into the park you see today. Now an essential supporter, the Conservancy works in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park to ensure that the Park reaches its full potential as a dynamic and vibrant public space for all of Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond. With your help, the Conservancy produces diverse and innovative programming for Park visitors and cultivates volunteer and philanthropic support of this special place on the Brooklyn waterfront. Since 2000, more than 1.8 million visitors have enjoyed the Conservancy’s free, public programs in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park spanning 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. As steward of the park, BBP has transformed this previously deteriorated stretch of waterfront into a world-class park where the public can gather, play, relax and enjoy sweeping views of New York Harbor. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, rolling hills, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and the popular Jane’s Carousel. BBP serves thousands of people on any given seasonal day, who come to picnic, walk their dog, play soccer, jog, bike or roller skate. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a signature public investment for the 21st Century and will be an enduring legacy for the communities, elected officials and public servants who made it happen.

Twitter: @bbpnyc

Facebook: @brooklynbridgepark

Instagram: @brooklynbridgepark

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