Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Free Summer 2011 Concerts: River to River Festival

The River to River Festival in lower Manhattan has become a favorite for its diverse lineup of musicians and variety of venues. Although it's been around for only a decade (compared to a quarter-century for SummerStage), the series offers a good mix of up-and-coming artists, established names, and quirky performers in outdoor locations ranging from Battery Park and South Street Seaport to Castle Clinton and the World Financial Center among many others.

You'll find the complete 2011 River to River music lineup here, but below are some of the interesting highlights:

The Bottom Line Presents New York on My Mind
June 22, Rockefeller Park - 7 p.m.
A celebration of the much-loved departed Greenwich Village club, with performances by a stellar line-up of NYC-area artists including Rosanne Cash, Marshall Crenshaw, Garland Jeffreys, Willie Nile, and Dar Williams, among others.

The Ghost Of a Saber-Toothed Tiger
June 24, South Street Seaport - 7 p.m.
Musical and romantic partners Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl bring their new electric band to New York, following up on the success of their first album, "Acoustic Sessions."

Lower Dens/Dirty Beaches
July 1, South Street Seaport - 7 p.m.
Baltimore’s Lower Dens feature the vocals of singer-songwriter Jana Hunter, who has played with bands including Jracula, Castanets, and Matty & Mossy.

My Brightest Diamond with yMusic
July 7, Castle Clinton - 7 p.m.
Opera-trained Shara Worden, who has worked with musicians including David Byrne and The Decemberists, plays River to River with her band and with the musicians known as yMusic.

The Holmes Brothers
July 5, City Winery - 5:30 p.m.
These old-timers can still kick up a powerful set of blues and R&B music, and you can see them live in this indoor River to River show.

All in Good Time: A Celebration for Jonathan Schwartz; hosted by and starring John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey
July 13, Rockefeller Park - 7 p.m.
Pizzarelli and other singers and musicians pay tribute to Jonathan Schwartz, the longtime WNYC deejay and promoter of the American popular song.

Patti Smith and Her Band
July 14, Castle Clinton - 7 p.m.
The punk-poet legend, who has long performed New Year's Eve shows in NYC, takes the stage in prime time with her band, which puts on a powerful show.

The Radio Dept. with Asobi Seksu
July 15, South Street Seaport - 7 p.m.
Swedish band The Radio Dept. takes the stage on a bill with dream pop group Asobi Seksu, which came out with "Fluorescence" earlier this year.

Other River to River concerts include '80s indie pop group The Wake (July 8), Laurie Anderson and Bill Laswell (June 30), and the "Sound Bites" series (various dates), which features bands including My Teenage Stride, The Hairs, Pow Wow!, and Hospitality.

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