Preview: Free Summer Concerts In NYC

HT Recommends: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Where: Prospect Park Bandshell – Celebrate Brooklyn

When: Saturday, August 7, 7 PM

Official Info: The Bushwick label Daptone Records, long committed to bringing you the finest soul, funk, gospel and afrobeat sounds to be found on analog tape, trots out the family. With the unstoppable Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings headlining and the hard-hitting Budos Band and Charles Bradley also on the bill, an epochal moment of the great Brooklyn soul revival is clearly at hand.

Other Free Shows At The Prospect Park Bandshell: 6/9 – Norah Jones, 6/12 – Allen Toussaint, 6/17 – Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends, 6/19 – Bitches Brew Revisited with Graham Haynes, James Blood Ulmer, Marco Benevento, DJ Logic, Lonnie Plaxico and Cindy Blackman / Mike Stern Band, 6/25 – Kid Koala, 7/9 – Ozomatli, 7/11 – OkayAfrica with The Roots & Talib Kwali, 7/30 – The Swell Season / The Low Anthem, 7/31 – Sonic Youth / Grass Widow / Talk Normal, 8/5 – Metric / Joan As Police Woman / Holly Miranda, 8/6 – House Of Usher: Marco Benevento / White Magic

HT Recommends: Jimmy Cliff / Trevor Hall / Victor Deme

Where: Central Park Summerstage

When: Sunday, July 11, 3 PM

Official Info: Jimmy Cliff is possibly the best-known living Jamaican reggae musician and songwriter. He is generally credited for helping popularize reggae internationally with his soundtrack to the movie The Harder They Come, which starred Cliff. Jimmy Cliff is responsible for Sitting In Limbo, You Can Get It If You Really Want and Many Rivers to Cross along with well-known reggae covers of  Wild World and I Can See Clearly Now. Cliff is a member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and holds The Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts.

Trevor Hall has been writing and performing since he was fourteen and back in South Carolina. Trevor‘s unconventional mix of acoustic rock and reggae serves as a vibrant landscape for his thought provoking, inspiring lyrics, which he delivers with a surprisingly soulful voice. Of his self-titled 2009 album, Rolling Stone says, ―Trevor Hall fills his third album with spiritually inclined roots jams.

Victor Démé was born in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, a landlocked region in West Africa. For more than thirty years Démé has performed throughout the bars and clubs in Ouagadougou and nearby Abidjan, but it wasn‘t until he met the unlikely combo of a French journalist and local hip-hop club promoter that he was able to record his first album of all original material. In 2009, his self-titled debut of rootsy blues was finally released internationally.

Other Free Shows At Central Park Summerstage: 6/5 – Living Colour, 6/14 – Baaba Maal / Playing For Change, 6/19 – Me’shell Ndegéocello, 6/23 – McCoy Tyner Quartet / Stanley Clarke Band, 6/26 – Tinariwen / Omar Souleyman / Toubab Krewe, 6/27 – Gil Scott-Heron, 7/7 – Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible / El Guincho / Anita Tijoux, 7/17 – Raphael Saadiq, 7/21 – The Daily Show & Friends, 8/1 – St. Vincent / tUnE-yArDs/ Busia Bulat, 8/8 – The XX / Chairlift / Jack Penate, 8/15 – Public Enemy / Blitz The Ambassador / The 7th Octave, 8/22 – The Specials / Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears / $mall ¢hange

HT Recommends: Phosphorescent / Dawes

Where: River Rocks Festival Pier 54

When: Thursday, July 8, Doors 6 PM

Official Info: Fronted by singer/guitarist Matthew Houck, Phosphorescent is an infectious indie folk/alt country band that performs a modern version of what Gram Parsons once dubbed “Cosmic American Music” – music that could be from another era, but sounds perfect right here, right now, any time, any season.

With its debut release North Hills in 2009, Dawes produced an ode to their hometown, Los Angeles, and in so doing gained critical attention as “a perfect band” with an “authentically vintage” sound. The

Other Free Shows At Pier 54: 7/22 – The Antler / Dinosaur Feathers, 8/12 – Deerhunter / Real Estate

HT Recommends: Free Energy / Best Coast / Loose Limbs

Where: The Seaport Pier 17 Stage – Seaport Music Festival

When: Friday, July 23, 6 PM

Official Info: Free Energy, dubbed “one of the best live bands in America,” by SPIN, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone, delivers “guitar-heavy and totally unironic AM-rock sound” reminiscent of Tom Petty and Mick Jagger. Best Coast, among the most promising new indie acts of 2010, draws its sound from the ’50’s and ’60’s aesthetic of The Beach Boys and The Everly Brothers. Seaport Music Record’s own Loose Limbs starts the night off.

Other Free Shows At The Seaport: 6/26 – Apples In Stereo, 7/2 – Yellowfever / Woven Bones, 7/4 – Old 97s (Texas On Tour), 7/9 – Bear In Heaven / Zola Jesus, 7/16 – Thee Oh Sees / Golden Triangle / So Cow, 7/30 – Avi Buffalo / Chad Vangaalen, 8/6 – YACHT

HT Recommends: White Rabbits

Where: East River Park Bandshell

When: Thursday, August 12, 7:00 PM

Official Info: White Rabbits are a six member band featuring two drummers and a piano player that bang out what they refer to as “honky tonk calypso” music. Their cheerful blend of calypso, reggae and ska rhythms, plus secondhand music hall influences and big pop hooks serve to create an upbeat, highly danceable sound. Their first album, Fort Nightly was released to rave reviews. With the release of 2009‘s It’s Frightening, the band raises the bar and creates a sound that SPIN describes as, ―no frills rhythms peppered with jarring sonics.

HT Recommends: Madeline Peyroux

Where: Castle Clinton – River To River Festival

When: Thursday, July 8, 7 pm

Official Info: As noted by NPR, Madeleine Peyroux became famous, in part, for putting her idiosyncratic touch on time-tested standards. With a repertoire that extends from personal, original songs to a breadth of rare classics from a bygone era , Madeleine Peyroux’s standards are anything but standard.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets will be distributed two per person outside Castle Clinton on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 5:00pm on the day of the show.

Other Free Shows At Castle Clinton: 7/15 – Duncan Sheik, 7/22 – Antibalas

HT Recommends: 10th Annual Village Voice Siren Festival

Where: Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

When: Saturday, July 17, 12 PM

Official Info: The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, is excited to announce the initial line-up for the 10th Annual SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL at Coney Island, NYC on Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 12:00 noon – 9:00 p.m. Scheduled performers include MATT AND KIM, TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, SURFER BLOOD, HARLEM, THE NIGHT MARCHERS, CYMBALS EAT GUITARS, EARL GREYHOUND, SCREAMING FEMALES and WYE OAK, DJs plus more to be announced.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in historic Coney Island, SIREN has solidified its status as a leading New York City outdoor music festival, drawing over 100,000 music fans each year. With over 120 bands making their mark at SIREN over the last decade, this year will recognize SIREN’s roots with the first ever return of past performers. MATT AND KIM and TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS will be heading back to the SIREN stage to celebrate. This free, all ages, all day festival is not to be missed.

HT Recommends: Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos

Where: Stuyvesant Town Oval – Music On The Oval

When: Wednesday, June 30, 6 PM

Official Info: Electric guitarist Marc Ribot has performed alongside greats such as Tom Waits, Beck and John Zorn, and has developed a reputation as one of the finest and most versatile musicians in New York; with Cubanos Postizos and Cumbiamba eNeYe, he dives into his special interpretations of Afro-Latin grooves. Co-founder of the long-running NYC weekly Que Bajo?!, Uproot Andy is among the city’s foremost electro-cumbia DJs

Other Free Shows In Stuyvesant Town: 6/16 – Tony Allen / Sal P, 6/23 – Juana Molina / Treehouse DJs, 7/7 – Delorean / Brennan Green, 7/14 – Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens / Greg Caz, 7/21 – Easy Star All-Stars / Wrong Tom

HT Recommends: From The Big Easy To The Big Apple: Soul Rebels Brass Band, Wild Magnolias, Glen David Andrews

Where: Damrosch Park Bandshell – Lincoln Center Out Of Doors

When: Sunday, August 8, 7:30 PM

Other Free Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Shows: 7/28 – ETHEL Fair: The Songwriters with special guests Adam Schlesinger with Mike Viola, Dayna Kurtz, Juana Molina, and Tom Verlaine with Patrick Derivaz, 7/31 – 27th Annual Roots Of American Music – Ponderosa Stomp presents The Detroit Breakdown: The Gories, Motor City Soul Revue featuring Dennis Coffey, Melvin Davis,Spyder Turner, and The Velvelettes with The Party Stompers, Eddie Kirkland (Hearst Plaza/ Barclays Capital Grove – 2 PM) / The Detroit Breakdown: Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, ? & the Mysterians, Death (Damrosch Park Bandshell 6:30 PM), 8/1 – 27th Annual Roots Of American Music – Dig: Their Royal Hipness: Asylum Street Spankers, Los Straitjackets, The World Famous Pontani Sisters, Etran Finatawa (Hearst Plaza/ Barclays Capital Grove – 2 PM) / David Johansen, Melvin Van Peebles: Hamlet: The Street Chant by Shel Silverstein, Steve Cuiffo as Lenny Bruce, Rod Harrison as Lord Buckley, Surprise Artist TBA (Damrosch Park Bandshell 6:30 PM), 8/7 – Balkan Beat Box / Mucca Pazza

HT Recommends: Bob Schneider / Carolyn Wonderland / Secret Country

Where: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party – Madison Square Park

When: Saturday, June 12, 1 PM

Official Info: Bob Schneider has been a fixture on the fertile Austin music scene for nearly two decades, beginning with his stints in popular regional bands like Joe Rockhead and the Ugly Americans. As a solo artist, Bob skillfully colors his semi–confessional songwriting with shades of funk, folk, and Texas country–rock. Last March, Bob swept the 2010 Austin Music Awards when he won Austin Band of the Year, Austin Musician of the Year, Austin Album of the Year (for Lovely Creatures), and Best Male Vocal.

Texas songstress Carolyn Wonderland is a triple threat – eclectic songwriter, soulful vocalist, guitar goddess – who’s appeared on more than twenty albums, six of them her own releases. Like her spiritual predecessors Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, Carolyn’s music remains firmly rooted in the blues but with added flavors from Western swing to Sixties soul. “She’s something else!” – Bob Dylan

The self-proclaimed “greatest country band to ever come out of Newark, New Jersey,” Secret Country is a Brick City blend of 21st century “outlaw” style and classic roadhouse honky–tonk sound. If your musical preferences favor Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, David Allen Coe, and Willie Nelson, come early to the party and catch Secret Country!

Other Free Shows At Madison Square Park: 6/13 – Nick Curran & The Lowlifes / Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band / The Derailers

HT Recommends: Beth Orton

Where: Rockefeller Park – River To River Festival

When: Wednesday, June 30, 7 PM

Official Info: British singer/songwriter Beth Orton brilliantly combines the passionate beauty of acoustic folk with the electronic beats of trip-hop to create a fresh, distinct fusion of roots and rhythm.  Her stunning debut Trailer Park was followed by Central Reservation, Daybreaker, and Comfort of Strangers. Presented by Battery Park City Authority.

Other Free Shows At Rockefeller Park: 6/23 – Renaissance & Steve Hackett, 7/14 – Jimmy Webb w. Martin Rivas, 7/21 – Burning Spear

HT Recommends: Dan Deacon

Where: Red Hook Park, Brooklyn

When: Tuesday, June 15, 7 PM

Official Info: Baltimore artist Dan Deacon‘s art is centered on community and bringing people together. Fusing together the growing intensity of his live performances with his background in electro-acoustic composition, Deacons most recent album, Bromst, embodies the same energy and excitement as his earlier work but expands both in scope and palette. The instrumentation on Bromst is a mixture of acoustic instruments, mechanical instruments, samples and electronics, featuring player piano, marimba, glockenspiel, vibraphone, live drums, winds and brass. Deacon‘s intricately complex music is woven together into what has become his signature sound: rich, dense, noisy dance pop.

Other Free Shows At Red Hook Park: 6/1 – Jay Electronica, 6/8 – Frankie Negron

HT Recommends: Pharoahe Monch

Where: Queensbridge Park, Queens

When: Wednesday, July 21, 7 PM

Official Info: Pharoahe Monch is a Queens-based hip hop artist best known for his complex delivery and multisyllabic rhyme scheme. This helped win him a reputation as one of underground hip-hop’s pre-eminent lyricists, crafting intricate and intelligent rhymes and having the ability to match them to the beats rolling off the turntables. His 1999 single “Simon Says” became a massive hit among rap and club audiences, securing Monch‘s collaboration with some of hip-hop‘s biggest players.

Other Free Shows At Queensbridge Park: 7/15 – EPMD / Funkmaster Flex, 7/28 – Olu Dara

HT Recommends: Brand Nubian

Where: Crotona Park, Bronx

When: Wednesday, June 23, 7 PM

Official Info: Brand Nubian was formed in the New York suburb of New Rochelle in the late 80‘s with an original lineup of rap luminaries: Grand Puba, Sadat X and Lord Jamar. Nubian‘s debut album, One for All, is one of the most popular and acclaimed alternative hip hop albums of the 1990s. Brand Nubian is best known for their socially conscious and politically charged content. With such immensely popular singles as Slow Down and Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down, the band has established themselves as one of the most influential groups in hip hop history.

Other Free Shows At Crotona Park: 6/30 – DJ Kool Herc, 7/8 – TKA, Corina and Noel present a Tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Fever Records

HT Recommends: James Taylor & Carole King

Where: Today Show Summer Concert Series – Rockefeller Plaza

When: Friday, June 18, 7 AM

Official Info: Fans and visitors are encouraged to join us on the plaza for the live performances. Viewing is on a first-come, first-served basis outside TODAY’s window-on-the-world studio, located at 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Fans should arrive by 6 a.m. for best viewing.

Other Free Today Show Concerts At Rockefeller Plaza: 5/28 – OneRepublic,  6/4 – Justin Bieber, 6/8 – Christina Aguilera, 6/11 – Rascal Flatts, 6/25 – Maxwell, 7/2 – Maroon 5, 7/9 – Lady Gaga, 7/16 – Enrique Iglesias, 7/23 – John Mayer, 7/30 – Carrie Underwood, 8/6 – Train, 8/13 – Ke$ha, 8/20 – Keith Urban, 8/27 – Katy Perry

HT Recommends: The Go-Go’s

Where: Good Morning America Summer Concert Series – Rumsey Playfield

When: Friday, July 16, 7 AM

Official Info: For a little taste of rock history, “GMA” will also feature The GO-GO’S in their final television performance.

Viewers interested in joining “GMA” in Central Park are encouraged to arrive at Summerstage Rumsey Playfield via the 72nd Street entrance on Fifth Avenue at 6 a.m., when the park opens to the public.

All concerts are free and open to the public and will take place live during “Good Morning America,” Fridays from 7 to 9 a.m. ET. Additional dates and acts will be announced throughout the summer.

Other Free GMA Concerts At Rumsey Playfield: 5/21 – Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Camp Rock 2, 5/28 – Sugarland, 6/4 – Diddy– Dirty Money, 6/11 – Norah Jones & Sarah McLachlan, 6/18 – Miley Cyrus, 6/25 – Alicia Keys, 7/2 – Mary J. Blige, 7/9 – TBD, 7/23 – Sheryl Crow, 7/30 – Black Eyed Peas, 8/6 – TBD, 8/13 – Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Camp Rock 2, 8/20 – Rihanna, 8/27 – Lady Antebellum

HT Recommends: Air Waves

Where: Fulton Stall Market – Sound Bites Lunchtime Series

When: Tuesday, June 2, 12 PM

Official Info: Gentle jangle somewhere between Neil Young and Loaded-era Velvet Underground. Great songs, great stories.

More Free Shows At The Fulton Stall Market: 5/30 – North Highlands, 6/9 – The Austin McCutchen Quartet, 6/16 – Ribbons, 6/23 – Beets, 6/30 – Toys And Tiny Instruments Band

HT Recommends: David Bromberg Quartet

Where: Madison Square Park – Oval Lawn Series

When: Wednesday, July 14, 7 PM

Official Info: Making his name with the radio hit “The Hold-up”, co-written with Beatle George Harrison, David Bromberg boasts a long and varied career as a successful singer and songwriter, and as a session guitarist playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan, The Eagles, and Carly Simon. After a hiatus spent as a fine-violin craftsman, Bromberg’s awaited return to the stage follows the release of his most recent album, Try Me One More Time (Appleseed Recordings).

Other Free Shows At Madison Square Park: 6/16 – Ruthie Foster, 6/23 – Solas, 6/30 – Mose Allison, 7/7 – Alecia Nugent / The Farewell Drifters, 7/21 – SOMI / John Ellis & Double Wide, 7/28 – The Wailin’ Jennys, 8/4 – The James Carter Organ Trio

HT Recommends: Javelin / Warpaint

Where: Whitney Live – Whitney Museum Lower Gallery & Sculpture Court

When: Friday, August 13, 7 PM

Official Info: Downstairs this July and August Whitney Live rocks the Lower Gallery and Sculpture Court with upstarts in experimental pop, tropicalia, chill-wave, beach music, garage rock, post-punk, and globe-trotting bass-inflected DJ beats. Whitney Live is free with Museum admission, which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays from 6-9 pm.

Musical omnivores and darlings of David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label, Javelin uses colorfully painted boomboxes that form large speaker totems (“boombaatas”) which can hang from the ceiling or stack up on the floor like pyramids for their performances. Sounds range from broken dance jams to relaxed instrumental cut-ups, featuring long forgotten samples, chopped and re-assembled with drums, wooden recorders, old keyboards, handmade thumb pianos or whatever instruments are readily at hand. Javelin is George Langford, Tom Van Buskirk, and friends.

Warpaint is Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (guitar/vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums), an all-girl quartet from Los Angeles. They weave intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals, and driving post-punk rhythms into songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy. Playing to many captivated audiences, Warpaint has opened for Yeasayer, Black Heart Procession, and The Slits

Other Free Shows At The Whitney: 7/2 – High Place / Toro Y Moi, 7/23 – Bear Hand / Darlings, 8/27 – DJ Rupture / Tanlines

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