Sunday, May 22, 2011

Free Summer 2011 Concerts: SummerStage, Central Park & Beyond

SummerStage has long been the grandaddy of free concert series in NYC, and this year is no exception. As with last year, SummerStage 2011 is expanding far beyond its Central Park base to offer free, live performances of music, dance, spoken word, and more throughout the five boroughs.

Below is a (very abbreviated) look at some of the shows I'm looking forward to. To see all the shows, head for the SummerStage music home page and select Main Stage (Central Park), Manhattan, or the other boroughs. Or see a chronological list of all the SummerStage and City Parks Foundation shows (and other free events) throughout the city.

SummerStage has fewer rock concerts this year, which has been a trend for several years. Maybe they've decided to spend more money on having concerts throughout the City than booking big-name rock acts for the Central Park Main Stage.

Unfortunately, the SummerStage website doesn't seem to allow an easy way to link to specific shows. The best way to find out more information about a show or artist is to head to the SummerStage website, scroll through the calendar on the left to the appropriate month, and click on the day for the show you're interested in.

Tues., June 7th, 6:30 p.m.: "Night at the Caravanserai: Tales of Wonder" featuring Yo-Yo Ma / The Silk Road Ensemble / The Silk Road Connect Students and Friends
Central Park/Mainstage

Tues., June 7, 7:00 p.m.: "Salute to Hip-Hop" featuring EPMD / Funkmaster Flex
Betsy Head Memorial Playground

Thurs., June 9, 7:00 p.m.: B.T. Express / Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez
Betsy Head Memorial Playground

Fri. and Sat., June 17 and 18, 8:00 p.m.: "Indomitable: James Brown" featuring Burnt Sugar / The Arkestra Chamber / Brandon Victor Dixon
Herbert Von King Park

Wed., June 22, 7:00 p.m.: Ozomatli
Red Hook Park

Thurs., June 23, 7:00 p.m.: We Are Scientists / Milagres
Red Hook Park

Sat., June 25, 4:00 p.m.: Lee Fields & The Expressions / Fitz & The Tantrums / Andreya Triana / Rich Medina
Central Park/Mainstage

Wed., June 29, 8:00 p.m. "Comedy Central Park" starring Jim Gaffigan with special guest John Pinette
Central Park/Mainstage

Mon, July 11, 8:00 p.m.: The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series (other dates scheduled in other parks)
Central Park/Mainstage

Sun., July 17, 7:00 p.m.: Pink Martini
Central Park/Mainstage

Sun., July 17, 7:00 p.m.: The Manhattans / Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez
Crotona Park

Wed., July 20, 7:00 p.m.: Harold Melvin's Blue Notes / Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez
Queensbridge Park

Wed., July 27, 7:00 p.m.: Wanda Jackson / Imelda May
Central Park/Mainstage

Sun., Aug. 7, 3:00 p.m.: Friendly Fires / The Naked and Famous / Cults
Central Park/Mainstage

Thurs., Aug. 25, 7:00 p.m.: Wavves
East River Park

Sat., Aug 27, 3:00 p.m.: The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival featuring Toots Thielmans / James Carter / Tia Fuller / Cecile McLorin Salvant
Marcus Garvey Park

In posts to come I'll look at some of the other free summer concert series coming up in New York and nearby areas.

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