Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Free Shows in NYC Tonight: the Bottom Line's New York, Tift Merritt, Ozomatli

Willie Nile is one of the many NYC artists playing the "New York on My Mind" show at Rockefeller Park tonight.

In one of those abundance-of-riches situations you often see in the summer in NYC, there are three great free concerts in the City Wednesday night. The one I'll be at is the The Bottom Line Presents: New York on My Mind at Rockefeller Park [UPDATE: the World Financial Center's Winter Garden] in Lower Manhattan. This show features many of the local New York artists (often in the singer-songwriter vein) who often played at The Bottom Line, the much-loved Greenwich Village club that gave many acts their start or a welcome place to come back to (and that closed down several years ago).

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band had a multi-night stand their early in their career, and the artists I've seen there range from The Waitresses (in the early '80s) to Suzanne Vega and Patty Griffin and former Cream bassist Jack Bruce.

Appearing at Wednesday's "New York on My Mind" show are Rosanne Cash, Marshall Crenshaw, Garland Jeffreys, Willie Nile, Martin Rivas, Suzzy and Lucy Wainwright Roche, Catherine Russell, longtime NYC DJ Vin Scelsa, Loudon Wainwright III, Dar Williams, and more guests. Producer and guitarist John Leventhal (who is also Cash's husband) serves as music director for the show, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Rockefeller Park, north end of Battery Park City, at the corner of River Terrace and Warren Street.

Tift Merritt performs "Broken" at SXSW in 2008.

Over at at Madison Square Park, Americana singer-songwriter-guitarist Tift Merritt and band will play the 2011 Mad. Sq. Music series. Merritt's albums and performances have attracted praise from many quarters, and she'll no doubt be playing a number of tunes from her latest album, "See You On the Moon." (See an NPR story on Tift Merritt here.) The show is scheduled to run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 23rd Street & 5th Avenue.

Out in Brooklyn, the Los Angeles-based Latino band Ozomatli, which mixes salsa, funk, hip-hop, and more, will play Red Hook Park as part of Summerstage. The band's diversity of influences and styles was no doubt part of the reason Ozomatli was chosen to serve as official U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors. Ozomatli is known for its energetic shows, and they'll be performing at 7 p.m. Red Hook Park, Otsego, Bay, Hicks, Lorraine, Court, Halleck Streets. (See Google Maps directions here.)

NOTE: Rain is predicted for Wednesday afternoon and evening, which may affect these shows. The Twitter accounts for each series should be a good source of up-to-date information: @R2RFestival, @MadSqParkNYC, and @Summerstage. [The River to River show has been moved indoors; the Madison Square and Summerstage shows are rain or shine.]

No comments :