It’s looking like another hot summer concert season here in New York City. From SummerStage at Central Park and throughout all five boroughs to Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell to MidSummer Night Swing to Lincoln Center Out of Doors to River to River and beyond, our colleagues are presenting a fantastic summer of free outdoor concerts. This is New York at its best and all of y’all out-of-towners are welcome to come visit and enjoy yourselves.
Starting with SummerStage at Central Park, Femi Kuti brings his unique take on afrobeat with Positive Force on June 23, along with boundary pushing rock of Sinkane. Mexican deva Lila Downs appears July 11th. Gaby Amarantos, the breakthrough techno brega artist from Amazonia in Brazil, and Planet Hemp, performs on July 20. And an amazing double bill! Don’t miss it! July 21–Oliver Mutukudzi from Zimbabwe and Fatoumata Diawara from Mali. And the man who sings with artists all over the world, Bobby McFerrin, appears on July 20th. We urge you to check out the entire SummerStage schedule. There are cool SummerStage shows in all five boroughs such as reggaeton founding father Tego Calderon July 10 at Crotona Park, not to mention hip-hop catalyst DJ Kool Herc playing all over the city. All Free!
From Afropop’s hood near prospect park Celebrate Brooklyn!, is celebrating its 35th season, kudos! The series offers plenty of worldly artists to enjoy, starting with Afro-Peruvian roots pioneer Susana Baca on June 15. Garifuna star Aurelio Martinez and South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo appear on June 28. And in an unusual double bill, Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone and Os Mutantes from Brazil join forces on June 29. Theophilus London and Les Nubians appear on July 6.
Also, be sure to check out the free lunchtime concert series at Jay Street Metro-Tech. Featuring cross-generational performers including Shuggie Otis, Zozo Afrobeat Orchestra, and the Stooges Brass Band.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors celebrates its 25th anniversary (more kudos!) and the Kronos Quartet at 40. To mention just a few:
July 24, Red Hot + FELA LIVE! Featuring Tony Allen
July 29, Scott Kettner
Aug. 1-2, A Tale of Two Nations
July 31, Festival in the Desert: Caravan for Peace
Midsummer Night Swing, celebrating its 25th Anniversary (final kudos!), gives New Yorkers the unique opportunity of taking dance lessons before seeing a band. Great selection dancebands offering jazz, swing, Latin, tango and more. Particularly interesting will be the performance by veteran charanga Tipica 73 on July 12.
We will definitely keep you posted on these shows (and others!) as they get closer. And for those of you from outside of the New York area, be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring our top picks from across north america.