I first created and recorded “Brooklyn’s Tear” in October, 2016 after hearing of the shooting death of a student at PS 178 in Brownsville, Brooklyn. It was yet another senseless tragedy and life taken in the streets of the inner city. At the time I recorded this, I was completing my ten-year commitment to working with many extraordinary young students to build a band program from the ground up, organizing the program, fundraising for essential instruments, etc. Having known and worked firsthand with incredibly-gifted kids who grappled daily to succeed in a school life — living on mean streets filled with gang violence and crime — with few resources or support from the city for musical instruments, books, etc., I was in awe of their progress as young musicians. The fact my band kids would still come in the door each day with positive attitudes spoke volumes about their strength and character. After much hard work, several students were able to join Jazz at Lincoln Center’s ‘Middle School Jazz Academy,’ and were even featured in Jennifer Lopez’s music video for her song, “Same Girl.”
One day, sooner than later, let us hope our society will finally realize that we are all connected as one people and that when one of us falls, we all fall. There can be no higher priority than investing in ALL of our children. Until then, I give you Brooklyn’s Tear.
Special thanks to the children, parents, and faculty of PS 178, Brownsville, Brooklyn. August 4, 2018
Richard Boulger: Trumpet, Composer
Dario Boente: Synth
Vince Carducci: Mixing and Mastering