Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SummerStage Expanding in Queens This Year

The famed free performing arts festival, SummerStage opens its 30th anniversary season in Queens on June 7! For this special season, SummerStage will be expanding its city wide programming to include 6-day “mini-festivals” in 8 citywide parks. SummerStage will have performances in 3 parks in Queens including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City and Queensbridge Park in Queensbridge. 

Here's all the info, along with the first event this weekend:

City Parks Foundation Presents
Presented by Capital One Bank
FREE Music, Dance, Family, Film and Theater Programs in Queens

Season runs June 7 – July 19

In June of 1986 Sun Ra and the Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra performed a free concert in the Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park, and the summer music landscape in New York City changed forever. Today, nearly 30 years later, SummerStage is New York City’s largest free performing arts festival, presenting work in all performing arts disciplines, with a focus on New York’s unique neighborhoods. SummerStage has touched the lives of more than six million fans from around the world. In celebration of this milestone, City Parks Foundation, the independent nonprofit organization that produces the festival, plans to deepen the impact the festival has in neighborhoods throughout New York City. The 2015 season will feature more shows in Central Park and 15% growth in the number of performances offered in neighborhood parks around the city, creating 6-day "mini-festivals" in 8 parks, featuring music, dance, theater, film, circus and family days. In total this new model will add over 20 performances to the sixteen parks SummerStage presents in, bringing more than 200 unique artists to these stages and over 140 shows around the city.

In Queens, the festival will offer show dates in three parks spanning the borough including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City and Queensbridge Park in Queensbridge.

“As an organization we are dedicated to working in traditionally underserved neighborhoods across the city,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “By presenting artists and genres that reflect the cultures and communities in these parks, introducing disciplines such as dance or theater alongside musical performances, and providing all of this fantastic art free of charge, we are building new audiences and fostering a broader interest in the arts here in New York City.”

“SummerStage is the festival that truly celebrates New York City,” said Director of Arts & Cultural Programs for City Parks Foundation, Ian Noble. “From the iconic to the avant garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus, there is no other festival like it. Not only do we select our artists to reflect the nature of each neighborhood, but each park and audience becomes part of the adventure and charm of each and every show.”

“Capital One Bank is proud to support SummerStage as it showcases the diversity and artistic vitality of New York,” said Michael Slocum, President, Commercial Banking and Northeast Regional President, Capital One. “The arts play an important role in building strong, healthy communities, and we are pleased to help the festival reach new audiences across the city.”

For the most up-to-date scheduling and line-up for all SummerStage programming,  visit for festival information.

Sunday, June 7 World’s Fair Anniversary Festival: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires / Hollis Brown / Damien Escobar 
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, QU 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Other artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. By now, his remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone's Gabe Roth. The year following the release of his debut, No Time For Dreaming, was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, MOJO, GQ, Pasteand more. Victim of Love, Bradley's second record, is a continuation of that story, moving past the 'heartache and pain' and closer to the promise of hope.

Hollis Brown is a self-defined American Rock ‘n’ Roll band. Named after a Bob Dylan song (“The Ballad of Hollis Brown”), the band was formed by Queens-natives and songwriters Mike Montali (lead vocals/guitar) and Jonathan Bonilla (lead guitar). Both 2nd-generation immigrants (Italian-American and Puerto Rican-American, respectively), they soon found their musical brethren in the Mid-West, recruiting Dillon Devito (bass/vocals) and Andrew Zehnal (drums) from Ohio, and Adam Bock (keyboard/vocals) from Missouri. Hollis Brown made a significant splash as an independent band with the release of their debut album “Ride On The Train” on Alive Naturalsound in 2013, garnering song and video premieres from Rolling Stone, Paste, and American Songwriter, and music placements on MTV’s “Real World”, Showtime’s “Shameless”, and the Willem Dafoe/Matt Dillon film “Bad Country”. They toured extensively in America and Europe, building a fanbase on both continents. Following a memorable performance at a Lou Reed tribute concert in NYC, Alive Naturalsound asked the band to go back into the studio to record a tribute to the Velvet Underground’s classic album “Loaded”, as a limited-edition vinyl release for Record Store Day 2014. The band has now finished recording their new studio album, “3 Shots” which has been mixed by the legendary John Agnello, and will be released May 5th.

Turning points come to serve a purpose of either making or breaking-- for two-time Emmy award winning violinist, Damien Escobar, it achieved both. In 2012 the world renown duo, Nuttin' but Stringz (America's Got Talent) ended their 10-year journey together, and from that Escobar's solo career emerged. Rebuilding proved to be challenging but with undeniable talent and perseverance, Escobar now boasts of 200,000 downloads from his debut mixtape; a running list of notable solo headliner performances on his résumé including: Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef Awards, Indy Car Championship Awards, Oprah Winfrey's The Life You Want Tour, Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Inaugural Ball; and in 2014 Escobar released "Freedom," his breakout single which debuted on and "The Katie Couric Show.” Escobar, credited for being one of the top crossover violinists in the world, is making strides towards bringing instrumental music to the forefront. Stay tuned, his mission has already begun.

No comments:

Post a Comment