Make Music Winter, Thursday, Dec. 21

Flatfoot Flatbush | Megan Downes, Nick Horner & the Flatfoot Flatbush Band

Dancers, fiddlers and pickers will parade down Flatbush Avenue playing old-time tunes while flat footing, a form of percussive dancing from Appalachia. Participants will learn the fundamental steps of this rhythmic dance form and have a chance to practice with the Flatfoot Flatbush String Band! Led by members of the City Stompers and the organizers of the annual Make Music New York Porch Stomp festival, the third annual Flatfoot Flatbush traverses Prospect Heights, Brooklyn along vibrant Flatbush Avenue, with dozens of stops along the way to play, dance and sing. The fun continues at an after-party at Morgan’s BBQ featuring music and dance sets by the Wild Goats and the Flatfoot Flatbush Band.

This program is produced by Nick Horner and Theo Boguszewski in association with the North Flatbush Business Improvement District and made possible with support from M&T Bank and ConEd .

Arrive by 4:00 pm at M&T Bank (354 Flatbush Avenue) to warm up and learn how to flatfoot. The parade sets off at 4:32 pm (sunset) and will make its way north along Flatbush Avenue. The after party at Morgan’s BBQ (267 Flatbush Avenue) begins at 7:00 pm

Guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo players and other stringed instrumentalists are encouraged to join the Flatfoot Flatbush String Band! by emailing Nick Horner by December 18 to obtain music scores and detailed instructions. Dancers and boosters are welcome to simply stroll on up!


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Megan Downes grew up dancing in New York City’s traditional Irish music community before moving south to work with one of the best bluegrass bands in the country as a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, directed by Eileen Carson and Mark Schatz, with Jon Glik, Danny Knicely, Matt Olwell and Kristin Andreassen. Megan is now the Artistic Director of City Stompers, calling squares and teaching old-time flatfooting. You may have danced with her over the years at the Augusta Heritage Center, Watermelon Park or Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. Come party with the City Stompers on the last Wednesday of every month at Jimmy’s No. 43 or take a weekly class!

Nick Horner is a vocalist/banjo player/producer/curator originally hailing from the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Dedicated to the enhancement of the New York City folk scene, he regularly programs community and sight specific events through his organization, Porch Stomp, using space such as Governors Island, Flatbush Avenue and his home base, the Haylaught in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.  He is also an active performer and composer who has played diverse venues ranging from The Bowery Ballroom, Highline Ballroom, and Webster Hall to Shapeshifter Lab and Jalopy Theater with various rock, folk and jazz ensembles.

Alex Kramer is a Fiddler/Banjo player/songwriter active on the New York old time and folk scene.  Born and raised in New York City, he became entrenched in folk music at the age of 16 and has since gone on to play in an eclectic group of bands, ranging from Appalachian old-time and bluegrass, to Tuvan folk, Klezmer, Jazz and Punk. He has lived and rambled all around this country, the Middle East, and Siberia and enjoys making things up as he goes. He currently plays fiddle and banjo in the 5 Mile String Band.

Singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjo player Mark Kilianski offers a fresh take on Bluegrass and Old-Time music with a reverence for their deep traditions. Mark grew up in New Jersey, simultaneously playing guitar in rock bands and studying jazz with some of the best musicians from New York City. Then, while attending Berklee College of Music, he discovered folk music and fiddle tunes, and dove head first into the music of Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Dave Macon, and countless others. Temporarily residing in NJ, Mark is hitting the road full time in 2016, picking and singing songs in the great American tradition as a solo artist, and with fiddle/guitar duo Hoot and Holler.

Lucas Chohany is one of the premier old-time and bluegrass guitarists/mandolinists in the Baltimore area. A Harrisburg PA native, he continues to hone his craft through vocal, classical and jazz studies and gigs extensively in the mid-Atlantic region. He frequently performs with old-time virtuosos Ken and Brad Kolodner, bluegrass Fiddler Patrick McAvenue, Irish fiddler extraordinaire Jim Eagan, and most recently internationally renown fiddler April Verch.  Lucas also leads the Baltimore Bluegrass Jam every Tuesday at Liam Flynn’s Taphouse in Station North.

Craig Akin is an in-demand upright and electric bassist in NYC. He has played and recorded with countless musicians of many different styles. From jazz to pop, and folk to rock, Craig is comfortable and creative, and can deliver the goods like any veteran on his instrument. He is currently the bassist for Brooklyn based Americana Rhythm & Blues band Roosevelt Dime, and can also be found playing and recording with various other people around the Northeast. Since 1997 He has performed well over 4,000 gigs as a professional and has now added home recording to his arsenal.


The North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) is a 501(c)3 organization. The BID was established in 1986 to increase economic development opportunities and enhance the quality of life for its merchants, residents and property owners along Flatbush Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Plaza Street. We provide a clean, safe and retail-diverse environment that is a great destination for entertainment, shopping, working and dining, and support this with community programming, special events and supplemental sanitation services and business support. We look forward to continuing these efforts, and in 2015, we’ll welcome improved triangle parks and increased pedestrian safety measures.


M&T Bank is proud to sponsor this year’s Flatfoot Flatbush. M&T Bank knows how important it is to support those organizations that make our communities better places to live and work. That’s why they offer both their time and resources and encourage others to do the same. They believe that when our community succeeds, we all succeed.


ConEd is proud to support hundreds of nonprofit organizations across New York City and Westchester. Our partnerships strengthen the neighborhoods we serve by offering cash grants, employee volunteers, and more.

Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative