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Lincoln Center is ‘Out of Doors’ Again This Year—And All For FREE!

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, July 15, 2016

Lincoln Center will open its doors to the public for three weeks of free concerts and performances beginning on July 20 through August 13 for its annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. No tickets are issued for any of the events, so seating is first come first serve. For more information, please visit the festival’s official website here. The lineup of performers is highlighted below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

A Night of Words and Music with Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, and Tony Shanahan

The season’s festivities kick off with one of our city’s greatest living artists and a true Renaissance woman. For this extraordinary evening, the writer behind celebrated memoirs Just Kids, which won the National Book Award, and the “achingly beautiful” M Train (New York Times) presents an evening of poetry, prose, and acoustic music. In moving between these forms, Smith will channel the city’s creative energy as only she can, bringing a folk-informed approach to experimentalism that has endeared her to artists and audiences the world over.

The all-female, Latin Grammy–nominated group Mariachi Flor de Toloache underscores the cosmopolitan, only-in-New York vibe of the evening with their virtuosic ranchera interpretations of traditional Mexican songs, Latin dance tunes, jazz standards, and pop hits, sung in both English and Spanish.

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

The Hallelujah Train featuring Pastor Brady Blade Sr., Brian Blade, Daniel Lanois, and guests Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Get ready for a supercharged blast of authentic Southern gospel when Pastor Brady Blade Sr. and his “Hallelujah Train” make their New York debut. Boasting an ensemble that includes the pastor’s congregants as well as his son, famed jazz drummer Brian Blade, the group’s uplifting message will be carried aloft by the unique blend of traditions the pastor has fostered in Shreveport, Louisiana’s Zion Baptist Church. Expect supple funk and jazz-wise flexibility—as well as guests like Daniel Lanois (guitarist and producer of U2 and Bob Dylan).

And when the winning harmonies of South Africa’s a cappella vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo are added to the evening, this one-of-a-kind bill will trace the evolution of spiritual music, from Africa to the American south.

Friday, July 22, 2016, 7 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Barbara Lynn

With natural charisma and effortless soul, Barbara Lynn burst through the barriers of early R&B and rock ’n’ roll on a wave of sheer talent. Growing up in Beaumont, Texas—where the blues was always on the radio—she started fronting her own bands as a teenager. Lynn is a rare triple threat, famous for her distinctive left-handed rhythm guitar, smoldering vocals, and vast well of original songs, including her biggest hit “You’ll Lose a Good Thing.” Tonight, this true musical pioneer illuminates six decades of American music.

Friday, July 22, 2016, 7:30 p.m.,Damrosch Park

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

Damrosch Park will be filled with the distinctive bravado and brilliance of Mozart’s music at this free outdoor concert ushering in the 50th Mostly Mozart Festival. Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra welcome 19-year-old violin sensation Simone Porter for the playful G-major Violin Concerto, followed by the unparalleled “Jupiter” Symphony.

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 11 a.m., Josie Robertson Plaza

Lincoln Center Block Party with Illstyle & Peace Productions

Get ready to be schooled in some of the finer points of tap, ballet, and beatboxing when this Philadelphia dance collective brings its optimism and hip-hop bona fides to Family Day. Led by Brandon “Peace” Albright, the ensemble will lead a dance party drawing on everything from old-school rap to West African musical forms.

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 1 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Illstyle & Peace Productions

Once their audience-participatory set is finished, the Illstyle outfit will reconvene to take over Hearst Plaza. The dazzling artistry that unfolds will make the performance space a strictly “for pros only” zone—though virtuosity on this level makes it easy to be an audience!

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 2 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Dance Theatre of Harlem Company and School Family Day

 Students from the famed company’s Summer Intensive program and professional dancers dazzle with demonstrations of classical ballet technique and then share bits of wisdom with audience members during a talkback.

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 3 p.m., Josie Robertson Plaza

She’s a Rebel: The Girl Group Project Family Day

Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Lincoln Center Education have collaborated on this unique community-based educational project that invited young women between the ages of 12 and 18 from all five boroughs of New York City to participate in an extended workshop focused on the essentials of harmony singing. Centering on the pop and doo wop songs of the early 1960s, participants also attended master classes taught by legendary singers who had their first hits when they were just the students’ ages. Now, you’ll get to hear the fruits of this effort, as these chart-certified stars and fresh new voices combine for a fun and moving intergenerational celebration of classic American song-styles.

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

An Evening with Darlene Love 7:30 pm

Hers was the voice that helped launch a hundred hits during the glory days of the girl-group era, including the No. 1 “He’s a Rebel,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Recently, she has been on a creative hot streak, featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom and releasing last year’s Introducing Darlene Love with songs written just for her by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and other renowned songwriters. Experience true music royalty at Love’s 75th birthday celebration, where Lincoln Center Out of Doors gives the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee free reign to interpret American popular music as only she can.

Sunday, July 24, 2016, 1 p.m., Hearst Plaza

HERITAGE SUNDAY: Global Beat of The Bronx

The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) celebrates the dance traditions that have been birthed, cultivated, and perpetuated in the Bronx. This year’s Heritage Sunday spotlights the various contributions of the people from the borough, who are not only connected through community, but through shared culture and traditions.

The Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble brings West African traditions to the stage in this high-octane program, alongside the Afro-Puerto Rican traditions of Bombazo Dance Company and the Chief Joseph Chatoyer Dance Company representing the Garifuna community. The afternoon will be rounded out by legendary hip-hop crew Full Circle Souljahs. See why they call it “the Boogie Down Bronx.”

Sunday, July 24, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz / Miramar

When one of the most famous New York salsa duos of all-time hit the stage, an epic evening is guaranteed. Since the mid-1960s, pianist and singer Richie Ray and singer-songwriter Bobby Cruz have amassed a rich catalog of recordings that reflects these musicians’ eclectic brand of salsa, which gleans elements of rock, jazz, and classical music. And if their records are the stuff of legend, the experience of seeing them perform live in front of a hometown crowd is not to be missed.

Miramar, a trio formed by members of indie salsa band Bio Ritmo, opens the evening with the poignant boleros of Puerto Rican composer, singer, and poet Sylvia Rexach, whose songs have since become part of the Puerto Rican canon, but remains mostly unknown outside of her native island.

7/27–8/7, various times

International Contemporary Ensemble Micro-Concerts Mostly Mozart

The International Contemporary Ensemble presents 15 free micro-concerts, each lasting 15 minutes and featuring a world premiere. For more information and specifics about these concerts, please click on the link here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 7 p.m., Damrosch Park

AFROPUNK’s Girrrl Riot @ Lincoln Center Alice Smith SATE The VeeVees

Known as a movement celebrating the creativity and freedom in alternative black culture and described by the New York Times as America’s “most multicultural festival,” AFROPUNK presents a concert full of powerful women. Included in this stellar lineup is the fiercely individualistic singer-songwriter Alice Smith, known as much for her high-octane vocals as for her stunning stage presence. SATE is a powerhouse vocalist and songwriter who is determined to keep the fire of hard rock ablaze with her bluesy raunch and stomping power chords. And the good-natured strut favored by The VeeVees balances an affection for outlandish theatrics and garage-rock revivalism.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 7 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Dane Terry

Dreamy ballads and folk songs are shaped into dramatic arcs with Appalachian twang in Dane Terry’s delightful brand of one-man music theater. Hailed for his original productions at the Public Theater and La MaMa, Terry’s songs traverse an enormous emotional range that manage a winning wryness even amidst the deepest melancholia. Expect poignant wisdom leavened by memorable hooks and delivered with captivating showmanship.

Thursday, July 28, 2016, 7 p.m., Hearst Plaza 

Jaime Woods

Having honed her molasses-rich voice in Chicago gospel groups and at the Berklee College of Music, this Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has fashioned her own brand of adventurous pop that blends folk and soul textures. Whether she’s exploring funk or crooning over acoustic guitar, Woods is a bewitching performer who has shared the stage with Bilal, Roy Hargrove, Emily King, and her brother, Solo Woods, who will be joining her for this performance.

Thursday, July 28, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

Maurice Hines / Michael Mwenso & The Shakes

Let a dance legend guide you through his life story, as he taps along to vintage big-band smashes and iconic tunes from Broadway history, while also paying tribute to his late brother, Gregory Hines. Prepare for a living, breathing autobiography as Hines spins memoir from a rich trove of moves. And when the backing band is as potent as the Diva Jazz Orchestra, you know the music will prove every bit as expressive and joyful as Hines’s infectious showmanship. This night’s irrepressibly creative vibe will be supercharged by the “sharp, ecstatic” music (New York Times) of jazz vocalist and bandleader Michael Mwenso and his band, The Shakes.

Friday, July 29, 2016, 7 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Eli “Paperboy” Reed 7:00 pm Eli “Paperboy” Reed

Hailed for his ability to channel the good-time feel of vintage soul styles, Reed is currently celebrating his fifth album, the gospel-tinged My Way Home. With his falsetto flights, propulsive guitar playing, and crisp work as a bandleader, this soul music revivalist will bring the same energy that he’s displayed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and SXSW.

Friday, July 29, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

Okayafrica: Afrobeat x Afrobeats 7:30 pm Okayafrica: Afrobeat x Afrobeats
Davido, Antibalas

In this beat-driven doubleheader, Okayafrica—the source for “all that’s hot and jumping in the new African renaissance”—bridges the funk-infused Afrobeat popularized in 1970s-era Nigeria to the next wave of charttopping African club music. Brooklyn-based ensemble Antibalas opens the show in the pure Afrobeat spirit of the legendary musician and activist Fela Kuti. Then 23-year-old Nigerian artist-producer Davido, who Fader hailed as “the future of African pop,” takes over the stage, injecting his signature electronic “Afrobeats” into an exhilarating blend of traditional African music, hip-hop, funk, and pop.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 – All day

The Bells: A Daylong Celebration of Lou Reed

Lou Reed’s art drew its energy from the worlds of poetry, pop music, experimental composition, and much more—so naturally Lincoln Center’s all-day celebration of this New York icon will be inspired by a diverse range of creative fields. Curated by two of Reed’s closest collaborators, musician and wife Laurie Anderson and friend and producer Hal Willner, The Bells offers revelers the chance to join a 360-degree Lou Reed experience. Begin the day as Reed would have, with an open class led by Reed’s tai chi instructor, Master Ren Guangyi, who will also offer an advanced weapons demonstration later in the afternoon. The commemoration then continues with live performances of Reed’s music by notable bands, an immersive installation of his six-guitar drone music, and readings of his lyrics by noted authors and actors.

When night falls, friends and admirers come together for a set of Reed’s love songs, given fresh voice by a cross-genre cast of musicians who are keen to pay tribute to this visionary solo artist and founding member of The Velvet Underground. To close out the evening, grab a pair of headphones for a late-night screening of Julian Schnabel’s Berlin, a critically acclaimed film documenting Reed’s 2006 performances at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.

Saturday, July 30, 2016, 2:30 p.m., 571 Walton Avenue, The Bronx 

La Casita at Teatro Pregones

An impressive lineup of artist-activists convene to explore the far-reaching social, political, and expressive powers of oral tradition. Here, wordsmiths share the stage with musicians to uncover how poetry, song, and storytelling can unleash personal truths, construct identity, and fundamentally alter historic narratives.

Sunday, July 31, 2016, 12 p.m, Hearst Plaza

La Casita

An impressive lineup of artist-activists convene to explore the far-reaching social, political, and expressive powers of oral tradition. Here, wordsmiths share the stage with musicians to uncover how poetry, song, and storytelling can unleash personal truths, construct identity, and fundamentally alter historic narratives. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016, 7 p.m., Damrosch Park

Songs of Freedom Ky-Mani Marley Finotee

Galvanized by song and the voices of Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Gilberto Gil, Roy Brown, and many others, the Civil Rights Movement fought to address the inequities faced by communities of African descent. In the 21st century, there is still a vital need to revitalize the spirit of social justice through songs of freedom. Tonight, the healing and empowering nature of music shines on in the Jamaican-accented soul of Ky-Mani Marley and the bright fusion of rock, funk, soul, and reggae from Bronx-based band Finotee.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 7:00 p.m., Damrosch Park

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca Manhattan Camerata: Tango Fado Project featuring Nathalie Pires

This celebrated flamenco troupe and its lead dancer, Soledad Barrio, bring Andalusian Spain’s richly rhythmic music and dramatic movement to the Damrosch Park Bandshell for a spellbinding set. By presenting their dynamic performances inside vibrantly colored stagings, the ensemble gives audiences a tactile sense of the region’s uniqueness—achieving an effect the New York Times describes as “a mesmerizing array of dance and music.”

In the first part of the evening, old and new worlds collide when the Manhattan Camerata brings its Tango Fado Project to the stage. Rising fadista Nathalie Pires, who infuses the Portuguese song tradition of fado with blazing new energy, joins forces with some of Argentina’s foremost tango champions for an electrifying dialogue between these treasured world music traditions.

Thursday, August 4, 2016, 7 p.m., Damrosch Park

NPR Music Live in Concert

Some of NPR’s top on-air talent comes to the Damrosch Park Bandshell for an evening of interviews and performances with three hand-picked artists. The Record’s Ann Powers talks with singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, who has spent her celebrated career brewing a potent mix of blues, rock, and country. She’ll close the show with a rousing set of slow-burning soliloquies and driving rock anthems, accented by Louisiana twang, a bluesy growl, and an irrepressible rebellious streak.

Bob Boilen of All Songs Considered invites alt-rock darling Thao Nguyen and her band, The Get Down Stay Down, to the stage. This San Francisco–based group, whose most recent album The Man Alive! was produced by Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs), gleefully layers garage rock, synth pop, noise, and funk. Cutting through it all are Thao’s piercing lyrics that often provide a dark counterpoint to the music’s effervescent rhythms and breaks.

Alt.Latino hosts Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd present iLe, a.k.a. Ileana Cabra Joglar, who went by PG-13 when she performed with the multiple-Grammy and Latin Grammy–winning Puerto Rican rap group, Calle 13. Four years after her powerhouse rendition of the classic bolero “La Pared” started building buzz for a solo effort, iLe’s debut album, ilevitable, was recently released.

Friday, August 5, 2016, 7 p.m., Hearst Plaza

Zé Renato with special guests Vinícius Cantuária and Ricardo Silveira

There is no better way to unwind than attending a sunset concert with Brazilian guitarist, singer-songwriter, and onetime member of Boca Livre, Zé Renato. Over his three-decade career, Renato has built a reputation as a guardian of the samba tradition. Beloved by other musicians, specialists, and novices alike (even children!), his songs, such as “Anima” and “Song for a Rainforest,” inhabit that sweet spot between hushed and electric, classic, and smartly modernized.

The celebrated duo of drummer and vocalist Vinícius Cantuária and guitarist Ricardo Silveira underlines this program’s focus on adventurous interpretations of Brazilian styles.

Friday, August 5, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Damrosch Park

Ward and Margaret Glaspy

Get ready for guitar exclamations both punchy and profound in this double bill featuring veteran Portland-based singer-songwriter M. Ward and the up-and-coming power pop talent of Margaret Glaspy, whose debut album Emotions and Math was released by ATO Records this summer. Fueled by “a conviction that simple songs can transcend time” (Pitchfork), M. Ward has been a galvanizing force in folk-accented indie songwriting since the early 2000s. Ward and Glaspy’s songs share invigorated traditional structures and potent vocals, but where his songs possess a certain moodiness, she tends to charge her lyrics with defiant sunniness.

Saturday, August 6, 2016, Hearst Plaza

AMERICANAFEST NYC: Roots of American Music

Melody and narrative are the ties that bind this afternoon program. With a name plucked from a Shakespeare sonnet, Those Pretty Wrongs—comprising Jody Stephens (Big Star) and Luther Russell (The Freewheelers)—craft sun-dappled songs, in which poetry and harmonies soar over acoustic soundscapes. Equipped with “unflinching introspection and Southern Gothic–shaded storytelling” (NPR Music), celebrated singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier excavates poignant songs from a bittersweet life. With their bright, side-by-side harmonies, power pop songstress Kelly Jones and Teddy Thompson (son of British folk-rock icons Richard and Linda Thompson) strike a vintage boy-girl Everlys vibe. Their original songs run the gamut from heartbreaking country ballads to lively rockabilly tunes.

Saturday, August 6, 2016, 7 p.m.,Damrosch Park

AMERICANAFEST NYC: The Last Waltz 40th Anniversary Celebration

Lincoln Center Out of Doors revisits a pivotal moment in the history of American music: the farewell performance by The Band at the Winterland Ballroom in 1976. In a spirit of reverent joy, late Band drummer Levon Helm’s group The Midnight Ramble Band and its longtime musical director Larry Campbell, along with special guests, dig into the original concert’s formidable set list, offering up a veritable map of American roots music.

Opening the evening is Parker Millsap, a bright light in the storytelling tradition of American folk music who “uses his inquisitive mind to deploy striking imagery, plot twists, and cultural symbols” (NPR). The Oklahoma native will present his soulful and literary original songs alongside a band that includes fiddle, acoustic bass, and occasional blasts of electric guitar.

Sunday, August 7, 2016, 7 p.m., Damrosch Park

AMERICANAFEST NYC: Dwight Yoakam / The Cactus Blossoms Roots of American Music

An iconic torchbearer of the plainspoken Bakersfield sound made famous by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam’s pioneering songs evoke the dusty backroad, barroom feel of the American west. On his latest album, Second Hand Heart, the country superstar has produced “some of the best music of his life” (Spin). Filled with the “hillbilly” spirit of early hits like “Guitars, Cadillacs,” “Honky Tonk Man,” and “Streets of Bakersfield,” this newest collection of songs ranges from stompers to ballads, best performed live with Yoakam’s golden voice, six-string guitar, and kickin’ band.

To get things started, the charismatic Minneapolis-born brothers behind The Cactus Blossoms— Jack Torrey and Page Burkum—give voice to lilting harmonies that recall the glory days of the Everly and Louvin Brothers. Inspired by early country-and-western acts, they have penned a charming catalogue of original songs that makes a simpler, more wholesome life seem well within reach.

Saturday, August 13, 2016, 5 p.m., Josie Robertson Plaza

Mostly Mozart: the public domain

Renowned choral conductor Simon Halsey presides over 1,000 volunteer vocalists for the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang’s the public domain. Presented outdoors on Lincoln Center’s iconic campus, the public domain is a groundbreaking work of unprecedented scale honoring the stream of humanity that connects us all.

LC Out of Doors2


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