Lincoln Center Announces OUT OF DOORS 2014 Summer Festival Lineup; Runs 7/20-8/10
The schedule for this summer's Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, which runs from July 20 to August 10, was announced today by Bill Bragin, Lincoln Center's Director of Public Programming. Nearly 100 free performances will take place across the plazas of Lincoln Center during three weeks. A special Memorial Concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger on July 20 will be followed by the official opening concert on July 23 with Larry Harlow's Hommy: A Latin Opera, the landmark work's first performance in 40 years. Complete festival details and a chronological listing of events follow.
The 44th season of Lincoln Center Out of Doors, one of the country's longest-running, free summer outdoor festivals, features a wide range of music and dance artists, premieres and debuts, family programs and notable anniversaries, and is highlighted by exciting new collaborations with Americana Music Association, Brasil Summerfest, Film Society of Lincoln Center, globalFEST, and Seeger Fest.
Said Bragin, "Each year, the character of Lincoln Center Out of Doors changes, but the festival always maintains a common spirit of exploration. This summer, we are proud to partner with so many great new collaborators, as well as longstanding partners like the Caribbean Cultural Center, Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and Chinese American Arts Council, to present an extraordinarily diverse line-up of some of the world's greatest artists. This approach is something I inherited from my late predecessor, Jenneth Webster, whom we remember this season, and she in turn from Out of Doors founder Leonard DePaur. Jenneth's love for art and community continues to inform the spirit of the festival, and we dedicate this season to her."
Partners in life, in the shaping of a musical legacy, and in their advocacy and activism for social justice and the environment, Pete Seeger and his wife, Toshi Ohta Seeger, died six months apart: Toshi in July 2013, Pete in January 2014. Honoring the legendary couple, Seeger Fest is five days of special events and performances taking place throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley. Organized by the Seegers' grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, Seeger Fest will commemorate what would have been Pete and Toshi's 71st wedding anniversary; they married July 20, 1943. Cahill-Jackson will host the Out of Doors Memorial Concert. The concert line-up includes artists and speakers who had a close personal relationship with the Seegers and their work, including Adira and David Amram, Tom Chapin and The Chapin Sisters, Guy Davis, Emma's Revolution, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Kim & Reggie Harris, Hudson River Sloop Singers, Michael Moore, Holly Near, The Vanaver Caravan, George Wein, Dar Williams, Paul Winter Consort, Peter Yarrow and Dan Zanes, plus surprise guests. Pete Seeger performed at Lincoln Center on a number of occasions over the years, with his last appearance in 2008.
At a red-hot peak in the early 1970s, Larry Harlow, pianist/composer/producer and driving force for Fania Records, had a vision to expand salsa's range and possibilities. With Cuban "rumbero" Genaro "Heny" Álvarez, he penned Hommy: A Latin Opera about a deaf and blind percussion wizard, inspired by The Who's rock opera Tommy. Hommy premiered at Carnegie Hall with a 60-piece orchestra and an all-star lineup of singers and musicians including Celia Cruz, in the role that would revitalize her career. But despite a rousing reception, a hit album and two subsequent performances in Puerto Rico, the ambitious work disappeared in all but recorded form. Now this landmark in salsa history will have its first performance in 40 years. Larry Harlow leads a full orchestra, chorus, vocalists Ray de la Paz, Michael Stuart, Herman Olivera, Emo Luciano, Luisito Rosario, Adonis Puentes, Frankie Vásquez, the Masacote Dance Company and special guest, fellow Fania All-starRoberto Roena. Miami's Lissett Morales, Celia Cruz's niece, sings her aunt's star-making role of la Gracia Divina. The narrator is Ismael "East" Carlo. At Out of Doors 2010, Harlow's revival of his other major extended work from this period, La Raza Latina (starring Rubén Blades and Adonis Puentes) drew one of the biggest crowds in the festival's history.
The evening opens with a set from Michael Stuart y Su Tremendo. Stuart is one of Puerto Rico's brightest salsa stars, has been nominated for multiple Latin Grammy Awards, and is a popular actor in leading musical productions.
Sila: The Breath of the World (July 25-26) is the latest, site-specific work by composer John Luther Adams. Commissioned by Lincoln Center for this summer's Mostly Mozart Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Sila is the latest in a series of works created for the renovated campus of Lincoln Center, following last summer's Ritual Cyclical by Mark Dendy.
John Luther Adams was recently awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for musical composition for his symphonic work, Become Ocean. A longtime environmental activist and resident of Alaska, Adams' life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world. With Sila, Adams continues his exploration of music created specifically for the outdoors, begun with his acclaimed 2009 work Inuksuit. In the Inuit tradition, Sila is the spirit that animates all things. Adams explains, "Sila is the wind and the weather, the forces of nature. But it's something more. Sila is intelligence. It's consciousness. It's our awareness of the world around us, and the world's awareness of us." Approximately 70 minutes in length, Sila is scored for woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, and singers. The World Premiere Out of Doors performance on the Hearst Plaza will feature 80 musicians drawn from leading contemporary ensembles including Contemporaneous, The Crossing, eighth blackbird, Face the Music, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and TIGUE-stationed around the plaza, creating a sonically immersive experience for audience members to move through. Choreography will be by Mark DeChiazza, who last choreographed at LCOOD for Asphalt Orchestra, and music direction byDoug Perkins, who produced the acclaimed recording of Adams' Inuksuit. An artist talk with John Luther Adams in conversation with WNYC radio's John Schaefer will take place at 4 pm, prior to the second performance of Sila on July 26.
Three-time Grammy Award-winners, Chicago's eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet and the energy of a rock band. Highlighting the ensemble's program on July 25 are New York premieres by Bryce Dessner and Andy Akiho. Murder Ballades by Bryce Dessner (of The National and Clogs) was inspired by a form central to American folk music tradition, the murder ballad, and by the tragic shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook. Said Dessner, "I started to think about the nature of violence in American identity." The murder ballad recounted in song, homicides both real and fictional, often in grisly detail. Dessner reworks two classics of the genre "Omie Wise" and "Young Emily," based on real events, as well as "Brushy Fork," a Civil War era murder ballad/fiddle tune, and adds his original composition, "Wave the Sea." Erase, by Andy Akiho, won eighth blackbird's inaugural MakeMusic National Composition Competition in 2011. Also on the program: Tom Johnson's Counting Duets for two speaking voices that has been described as Sesame Street on acid; Études by György Ligeti; and one of the group's signature works, David Lang's these broken wings 3.
Pam Tanowitz draws from both ballet and modern idioms-in particular from Merce Cunningham technique-to create work that challenges expectations. Pam Tanowitz Dance's Out of Doors program pairsPASSAGEN, danced at the company's recent debut season at the Joyce Theater, with the closing section of her acclaimed 2013 company work The Spectators. Both feature live music collaborations. PASSAGEN, a duet for two women, could rightly be considered a trio, since violinist Pauline Kim Harris moves across the stage as she performs John Zorn's music. The excerpt from The Spectators features music by Annie Gosfield performed by The Flux Quartet, as well as recorded music by Dan Sigler. Writing about The Spectators, T
A dozen young dancers and two pioneering DJs from Rio's baile funk music scene will introduce Brazil's national dance phenomenon to American audiences for the first time, across several days at Out of Doors from July 22-26. Passinho, which means, "little step," is a dance style that emerged at popular funk balls in the favelas of Rio in the early 2000s. It had had a similar evolution-and is similar in certain stylistic ways-as hip hop in the U.S., originating with youth in the tough streets and dance parties and eventually becoming a popular, national style. In Brazil, growing internet access led young practitioners to share and post videos of their inventive moves developed for the informal competitions taking place in their neighborhoods. In 2011 Julio Ludemir created A Batalha do Passinho, "Battle of the Little Steps" to bring the form to wider attention, starting with organizing larger and more formal battles in the favelas. Passinho was embraced by popular Brazilian musicians, featured in national T.V. commercials, and then selected to be part of the ceremonies for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. On July 24, preceding a performance by pioneering U.S. hip-hop dance theater choreographer Rennie Harris' Puremovement company, the Passinho dancers will stage a demonstration battle in multiple rounds at the Damrosch Bandshell, to music by DJ Sany Pitbull and MC Smith, two pioneers of the baile funk scene also making their U.S. debuts.
On July 22, a documentary about the Passinho scene in Rio, Passinho: Dance Off, will have its North American Premiere in a free screening at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, presented in collaboration with Film Society of Lincoln Center. Following the screening, the Passinho dancers will join DJ KS*360 of LCOOD alums Full Circle Productions in a "Welcome to NY" edition of their Behind the Groove dance party at the David Rubenstein Atrium, with a guest DJ set by Sany Pitbull. The Passinho dancers will also be featured on Family Day (July 26) as part of National Dance Day, leading a dance class on Josie Robertson Plaza. The young dancers will demonstrate basic moves of this constantly evolving dance form in a casual, family-friendly, participatory workshop and dance party. A Batalha do Passinho is presented in collaboration with Brasil Summerfest.
Choreographer Rennie Harris has been challenging the boundaries and definitions of hip hop since his teenage days as a hip hop dancer in North Philadelphia. He founded his company Puremovement in 1992 based on the belief that hip hop was the most important original expression of a new generation and, a Bessie Award, three honorary doctorates, and many sold-out U.S. and international tours later, he continues to explore it as a medium of addressing universal themes and bridging racial, religious, and economic divisions. For its Out of Doors program on July 24, the company will present several recent works in their New York premieres: Get It (2012) set to the music of Mandrill; Church (2012) with music by Nuspirit Helsinki; and Spirit Migrations (2013) a trio with music and vocals by Raphael Xavier; along with the 1995 crowd-pleaser Students of the Asphalt Jungle, a tour-de-force for the men in the company.
For the centerpiece of this year's edition of Family Day (July 26) at Out of Doors, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra (BRC) under the artistic and musical direction of the incomparable Toshi Reagon, explores the origins and deep roots of rock and roll with a journey that traces rock's roots and early proponents, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. Poet/performer Carl Hancock Rux acts as "radio DJ" guiding the cultural journey up to the present. Toshi Reagon is a one-woman celebration of all that's dynamic, progressive, and uplifting in American music. The versatile singer/songwriter/guitarist has a hold-nothing-back approach to rock, blues, R&B, country, folk, spirituals and funk. Reagon has shared stages with Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, and Meshell Ndegeocello, among others. Members of the BRC Orchestra have won Grammy and OBIE Awards, been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, and performed with major pop, rock and R&B stars. The all-star orchestra includes funk rock icon Nona Hendryx (of Labelle),Corey Glover (of Living Colour), Kat Dyson (of Prince's New Power Generation), V. Jeffrey Smith (of The Family Stand), members of Reagon's band Big Lovely, and others.
This summer's Family Day coincides with National Dance Day and offers three events to mark the occasion: Baby Loves Disco, for young children, toddlers, and their grown-ups in Out of Doors' most surprising new venue, the underground Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe Drive; A Batalha do Passinho Dance Class at 1 pm (described on previous page) on Josie Robertson Plaza for older children; and a participatory National Dance Day group dance at 4 pm on Josie Robertson Plaza.
Baby Loves Disco will have two sessions, between 11 am-1 pm and 2 pm-4 pm. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, and now being held in more than 20 cities across the country, Baby Loves Disco is a dance party featuring music from the 70s & 80s, spun and mixed live by real djs, for toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents and caregivers, with interactive elements like facepainting, baskets of scarves, egg-shakers and more, to provide additional fun. It was started by professional dancer (and mom) Heather Murphy, in Philadelphia and was brought to New York City by Ropeadope records founder Andy Hurwitz.
Launched in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe,National Dance Day is an annual celebration on the last Saturday in July that encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health. At 4 pm in front of Lincoln Center's iconic Revson Fountain, the public will be led in two dance routines, which can be learned in advance on videos that will be posted online one month before the event.
Roberta Flack and Davell Crawford will perform July 26.
Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music. Her songs bring insight into audiences' lives, loves, culture, and politics, while effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape from pop to soul to folk to jazz. Songs like "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Where Is The Love," and "Killing Me Softly With His Song" are part of the American songbook. Active as a humanitarian and mentor, Flack founded and helps support the Roberta Flack School of Music at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, providing an innovative and inspiring music education program to inner city youth.
Davell Crawford opens the evening's bill at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. He has been hailed as the inheritor of the great New Orleans piano tradition, following in a line from Jelly Roll Morton, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, James Booker, and Allen Toussaint. Crawford has recorded several stellar albums (Love Like Yours & Mine, The B-3 & Me, Born With the Funk) and worked as music director/arranger for artists such as Stephanie Mills, Marva Wright and John Boutté.
Started in 2003 as a creatively curated musical showcase in New York City coinciding with the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), globalFEST (gF) has become one of the most catalytic world music events in North America. A premier gateway for emerging and established artists, gF has provided more than 140 groups from around the world and the U.S. access to stages across the continent. Evolving into a year-round service organization for cultural curators, global music artists, and the live music industry, globalFEST aims to bring down boundaries between countries and create cultural opportunities for artists, governments, sponsors, scholars, and critics to collaborate. Now the globalFEST format of multi-site, overlapping performances goes on the road, coming to Lincoln Center with a globe- and genre-spanning line-up on July 27 that includes an underground global bass dance-party.
BaianaSystem was created by guitarist Robertinho Barreto, who, with vocalist Russo Passapusso, bass player/producer Marcelo Seco, percussionist Wilton Batata and DJ João Meirelles layer elements of Jamaican dub and hip hop to explore new sound possibilities for the guitarra Baiana-the distinctive electric instrument created in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, popularized by Carnival and a key element in frevo, choros, and other regional Brazilian sounds.
Banda de los Muertos is a New York-based, 14-piece brass, woodwind, and percussion group that plays the heavy metal, brass-driven banda sound rooted in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. It references works by the pioneering Banda El Recordo of the 1940s, but imparts a distinctive New York flavor under leaders Jacob Garchik and Oscar Noriega.
The Bombay Royale, an 11-piece band from Melbourne, Australia combines the magic and mayhem of vintage Bollywood with a dizzying blend of Tarantino-esque surf, wild disco, flamboyant theatrics, outrageous costumes, and irresistible dance moves.
Debauche, the self-proclaimed "Russian Mafia Band," was formed in New Orleans in 2008. Known for its rambunctious, theatrical performances, the band plays a fun, high-energy mixture of gypsy punk, Russian street folk, klezmer, and traditional Ukrainian- and Balkan-inspired tunes.
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, formed in New York in 2010, juxtaposes traditional Colombian percussion, drum-set, synthesizers, electric bass, guitar, and horns, creating an explosive performance filled with hints of Colombian folklore, psychedelic-rock and unshakeable Caribbean grooves. Recently returned from Cape Verde as the only U.S.-based group at the Atlantic Music Expo, the group is at work on its fourth album.
Pupy y Los Que Son Son is one of Cuba's most popular bands. Started in 2001 by pianist César "Pupy" Pedroso, one of Cuba's best and most prolific songwriters, it makes a rare New York visit this July. Pupy co-founded Cuba's legendary band Los Van Van and has been one of the most important figures in Cuban pop music, and a defining performer of Cuban timba, for over 40 years.
Moroccan-born Emil Zrihan uses his multi-octave countertenor to inject new life into a rich mixture of Moroccan and Judeo-Andalusian folk music, Sephardic and North African songs and improvisational mawals, accompanied by his ensemble on oud, violin, kanoun, and darbouka. Known as "the voice of the mocking bird," Zrihan currently serves as cantor at the main synagogue in the ancient city of Ashkelon in Israel. Emil Zrihan's performance is presented with support from the Consulate of Israel in New York.
Charanjit Singh headlines a dance party that will literally take place underground on the Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe Drive as part of globalFEST at Lincoln Center. In 1982, the Bollywood musician recorded ancient Indian ragas using a Roland 808 drum machine, sequencers, and synthesizers-all set to a disco beat-that went virtually unnoticed at its release. The album was reissued in 2010 and Singh has been getting audiences on their feet. Also taking part in the dance party, Dutty Artz's DJ Ushka Brooklyn-based, Sri-Lankan-born, and one half of iBomba, one of NYC's premiere parties for global bass music, and DJ Ripley, also a member of Dutty Artz, who has lit up dance floors across 22 countries since 1995, along with Baiana Play Som, the soundsystem offshoot of BaianaSystem.
In association with Film Society of Lincoln Center, three notable world music films-Brasslands, The Last Song Before the War, and a third tba-will have free screenings at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center amphitheater beginning at 1 pm onSunday, July 27 and will be repeated again during Film Society's Sound+Vision series, July 31-August 6. Visit filmlinc.com.
Amel Larrieux, Avery*Sunshine, and The Jones Family Singers (New York Debut) will perform July 30.
Neo-soul songstress Amel Larrieux, formerly one-half of the 90s R&B duo Groove Theory, (with Bryce Wilson) recently released her fifth solo album, Ice Cream Everyday, produced on Blissful Records, the label she runs with producer husband Laru Larrieux. "Now this is what you call R&B. Before the coolness of Janelle Monae or Solange, there was Amel Larrieux," wrote Gumballmag. And Soultracks called it a "liberated from all-the-rules progressive soul confection." The singer/songwriter/keyboardist, a Greenwich Village native, attended Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She draws influences from R&B, soul, jazz, folk, hip hop, and gospel with flashes of Middle Eastern, West African, and Indian styles.
Rooted in gospel, singer/songwriter/pianist Avery*Sunshine reaches deep into a cornucopia of styles to offer songs of luminous insight. She has toured with Ledisi, shared the stage with Kem, Musiq Soulchild, Eric Benet, Rachelle Ferrell, and the legendary B.B. King, among others. Getting her start in the Atlanta indie music scene, Sunshine came to national attention with her daily performances at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Her no-holds-barred brand of soul and R&B continues to gather new fans. Her well-received self-titled debut album-an amalgam of jazz, gospel and soul-was released in 2010. Her latest CD, The SunRoom, her first release for Shanachie Entertainment, is a collection of new, original material due out at the end of May.
Making their New York Debut, The Jones Family Singers have raised the spirit and the rafters with their fierce soul-gospel sound for more than two decades. The five sisters, two brothers (Fred Jones, Jr, leads on guitar and keyboards) assorted relatives, and their patriarch Bishop Fred Jones, pastor of Mount Zion Church of God in Christ in Markham, TX have thrilled festival audiences at SXSW and elsewhere, but their first professional recording, The Spirit Speaks, was just released this past February. Their hard-driving, funk and soul songs of praise will resonate with fans of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Relatives, and The Staples Singers.
After three years of touring with his group Junip, the Swedish-Argentinian singer/songwriter José González returns to New York July 31 to perform the World Premiere of new chamber orchestra arrangements of some of his favorite songs in collaboration with yMusic. Relying on his own masterfully eloquent classical guitar and a voice that marries mature assuredness with poignant delicacy, the modern-day troubadour's achingly emotional melodies and thought-provoking lyrics-all sung in crystalline English-combine in a manner at once familiar (think Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Will Oldham) and subtly exotic (shades of Brazilian Tropicália, early Silvio Rodríguez, Cuban Nueva Trova). His low-voiced, serious and introverted music have struck a surprising chord with critics and the general public, skyrocketing to the top of the pops after his cover of The Knife's song "Heartbeats" was featured in a television commercial.
Art rock collides with contemporary classical for yMusic, the young sextet formed in 2008. yMusic's unique combination of instruments-string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet-has led to the creation of an expanding repertoire of works by Indie rock luminaries Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Ryan Lott (Son Lux), and others. They've had collaborative projects with Dirty Projectors, Gabriel Kahane, and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. yMusic opens the evening with instrumental pieces by composers Nico Muhly, The National's Bryce Dessner, Son Lux, and others that they have been developing over a series of commissioned performances at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium for its Target Free Thursdays series.
Jenneth Webster, who served as Director of Community Programing at Lincoln Center for 28 years, passed away on April 10. Under her artistic leadership, Lincoln Center Out of Doors grew into one of New York's and the country's most significant outdoor multi-disciplinary festivals. She was tireless and indefatigable in her efforts and ideas for extending Lincoln Center's community outreach, and was responsible for establishing the beloved La Casita program. From an early age she became aware of the importance of, in her own words, "the impact of living arts on people." Over the decades, through Jenneth's efforts, thousands of people and countless performers came together on Lincoln Center's outdoor spaces to celebrate music, dance, spoken word, and community. Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2014 is dedicated to her memory and on August 1 a special multi-disciplinary celebration of her life and accomplishments (program in formation) will take place.
This year's LA CASITA on August 2 and 3 is Lincoln Center Out of Doors' 14th annual celebration of community, showcasing urban poetry, spoken word, and musical expressions representing traditional and contemporary culture. Created by former Lincoln Center Out of Doors director Jenneth Webster and Ana Araiz, the 2014 edition of La Casita is dedicated to the memory of poet, writer, teacher, and activist Amiri Baraka. Baraka, who died in January, was one of the most prominent voices in American literature and a performer at La Casita in 2007. He incited controversy throughout his career for his confrontational approach that was designed to shock and awaken audiences to the social and political concerns of African Americans. Producer, director, educator, playwright and spoken word artist Baba Israel will emcee both the August 2 program at Lincoln Center's Hearst Plaza and August 3, when La Casita travels to Teatro Pregones in the Bronx. The 2014 La Casita line-up includes poets/spoken word artists: Jennifer Celestin, Louise Sky Dancer Halfe, Jamaal May, Tony Medina, Lenelle Moïse, Jessica Care Moore, Taqralik Partridge, NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ramya Ramana, and Frank X Walker and music artists: Mexican experimental a cappella group Acardenchados, folk-qawwali singer Arooj Aftab, Ulali's Soni Moreno, flamenco from Sonia Olla & Ismael de la Rosa, Afro-Brazilian traditional music and dance from Ologundê, and socially conscious salsa dura "con conscencia" by Orquesta SCC (formerly La Excelencia). Both August 2 and 3 performances will offer ASL interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing provided by Lincoln Center's Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities (PSPD). La Casita is produced in cooperation with Claudia Norman, Claudia Norman Management.
To cap off its 60th-anniversary season, the acclaimed Paul Taylor Dance Group (PTDG) returns to a stage it has visited often at Lincoln Center-the Damrosch Park Bandshell-with two of Taylor's most beloved masterworks Aureole (1962) and Piazzolla Caldera (1997), and a rare revival of an experimental early work, Fibers (1961), on August 1. Piazzolla Caldera features a World Premiere collaboration commissioned by Lincoln Center with Pablo Ziegler's New Tango Ensemble. Dancemaker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography with five other dancers in Manhattan on May 30, 1954. That modest performance marked the beginning of 60 years of unrivaled creativity. In the ensuing decades Taylor has become a cultural icon and one of history's most celebrated artists, part of the pantheon that created American modern dance. August 1 will mark PTDG's ninth appearance at Lincoln Center Out of Doors.
Pablo Ziegler's New Tango Ensemble-Buenos Aires-born, Latin Grammy-winning pianist, composer/ arranger Pablo Ziegler; Hector Del Curto, bandoneón; Jisoo Ok, cello; and Pedro Giraudo, bass-opens the evening. Ziegler, who performed in tango grand-maestro Astor Piazzolla's legendary quintet for over a decade and appeared on iconic Piazzolla recordings, is one of the most important figures in Argentine New Tango, the vibrant hybrid of classic tango and American jazz. Ziegler has led his own groups for more than 20 years, refining and reimagining the bounds of the tango tradition.
Issues of race and identity suffuse the work of the artists who make up the August 2 bill at Damrosch Park. Stew, whose Tony Award-winning Passing Strange turned Broadway on its head, has musical influences which run the gamut from 60s era pop and soul through 80s punk to psych-rock, with a detour through Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim. In addition to new music-theater pieces Family Album and The Total Bent, Stew has been working on a forthcoming rock album with the latest iteration of his longtime band The Negro Problem, which adds a freewheeling improvisational element to Stew's incisive wit, irreverent social commentary, sophisticated wordplay, and compelling melodies.
The second half of the bill is Camille A. Brown and Dancers' thought-provoking dance-theater work Mr. TOL E. RAncE.Inspired by Mel Watkins' book, On the Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock, Spike Lee's movie Bamboozled, and Dave Chappelle's "dancing vs. shuffling" analogy, Mr. TOL E. RAncE celebrates African-American humor, examines "the mask" of survival, the "double consciousness" (W.E.B. Du Bois) of the black performer throughout history, and the stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture. The work's original compositions are by Brandon McCune, Kurt "KC" Clayton, Jonathan Melville Pratt, and Scott Patterson. The piece weaves together comedy, animation, theater, music (live performance by Scott Patterson, piano), and dance. A talkback session with Camille A. Brown will follow the performance, giving the audience a chance to reflect collectively and discuss some of the charged issues raised by the provocative piece. Dancer/choreographer Camille A. Brown is the 2013 recipient of The International Association of Blacks in Dance Founders Award, the Princess Grace Award (choreography), and the 2012 City College of New York Women & Culture Award.
The afternoon Heritage Sunday concert on August 3 at Out of Doors, Echoes of the Divine: Arts of the Turko-Persian Diaspora, features three New York-based ensembles that are leading exponents of performing arts born from more than a thousand years of historical interaction between Persian and Turkic cultures. Ahmet Erdogdular has been hailed as his generation's premier performer of Ottoman Turkish vocal tradition. Ensemble Shashmaqam is a group of Central Asian Jewish and Muslim musicians and dancers, masters of the courtly arts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Rubab (lute) virtuoso Quraishi represents Afghanistan's Pashto tradition. From the shores of the Black Sea, the New York Crimean Tatar Ensemble led by fiery violinist Nariman Asanov performs the traditional music and dance of the Crimean Tatars. Presented in association with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and the Center for Art, Tradition and Cultural Heritage
The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute pays tribute to the Afro-Puerto Rican roots and musical legacy of sonero/percussionist Pete "El Conde" Rodríquez with a concert featuring daughter Cita Rodriguez's Orchestra and his jazzman son Peter Rodriguez. El Conde's style and songs helped to define the legendary Fania sound that traveled the world. The August 3 Damrosch Park concert also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Fania Records and will feature a special appearance by Fania co-founder and elder musician Johnny Pacheco and a Bomba Tribute to el Conde. The all-star lineup includes Tito Allen, Herman Olivera, Adalberto Santiago, Willie Torres, Eddie Montalvo, and Ray Martinez, plus the Alma Moyo Drummers. Presented in association with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.
In India, the jasmine flower traverses the world of man and the world of the gods. Song of the Jasmine, which will have its NY premiere at Out of Doors on August 7, moves between past and present, composition and improvisation, music and dance, to embody the spiritual and the sensual that are the lifeblood of the Indian psyche. The co-creators/collaborators (who were guided by the rich poems of Tamil Bhakti poet Andal) are: Aparna Ramaswamy ("Rapturous and profound," The New York Times), Ranee Ramaswamy (recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award) and jazz saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa (recipient of the 2013 Doris Duke Artist Award), who composed the score. Mahanthappa leads a new ensemble of Carnatic and jazz artists that includes Rez Abbasi (guitar), V.K. Raman (South Indian flute), Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam, south Indian drum), and Anjna Swaminathan (violin), for Ragamala's five dancers. Rudresh Mahanthappa has been a longtime partner with pianist Vijay Iyer on the duo project Raw Materials. He leads the quartet Gamak, and has also been part of the groups Samdhi, Indo-Pak Coalition (with Rez Abbassi), and Dual Identity. Ragamala Dance company draws from the myth and spirituality of South India to make contemporary dance landscapes that evoke the intimate and the infinite. Its co-artistic directors, mother and daughter Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy create intricate and complex worlds that convey a sense of reverence, of unfolding mystery, of universal celebration. Song of the Jasmine will have its World Premiere at the Walker Art Center May 15-18, 2014.
In advance of the performance, a free artist talk with the three co-creators of Song of the Jasmine, in conversation with Rachel Cooper, Director of Global Performing Arts and Cultural Initiatives, Asia Society will be held on Wednesday, August 6 at 6:30 pm at Asia Society.
Drawing upon Eastern philosophies and contemporary Western dance vocabulary, choreographer Kun-Yang Lin's Zen-inspired practice of dance, coming to Out of Doors August 7, manifests itself in lush works of poetic sensibility. Lin draws upon multicultural insights from his ongoing research throughout Asia to create a movement language that is a fresh hybrid between East and West. Lin brings his Philadelphia-based company to Out of Doors with the New York Premiere of Be/Longing 2. Set to original music by Cory Neale, Be/Longing 2 is about individual and collective journeys and draws from multiple sources of inspiration: art works by Lygia Pape and Anish Kapoor, poetry of Sufi philosopher Rumi, the labyrinth and mandala as metaphors for journeys, and the choreographer's movement research in Java, Indonesia. Lin, who founded his company in 2002, trained in diverse Eastern and Western movement traditions and danced in the companies of Martha Graham, Anna Sokolow, Jennifer Muller/The Works, and Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, among others.
The Chinese American Arts Council (CACC) was established in 1975 to meet the cultural needs of the expanding Chinese community in New York City. It aims to preserve the Chinese heritage within its own community and to introduce its culture to the greater New York community. It is the largest Chinese American arts presentation and service organization in the Eastern U.S. and offers many events annually throughout the New York area including Lincoln Center, where it has presented programs for four decades. At Out of Doors this summer CAAC performs traditional Chinese dance, choreographed by Zhiqiang Wang.
Recorded with his quartet in 1964, released in 1965, A Love Supreme is considered the defining work of jazz saxophonist/composer John Coltrane's career and one of the greatest jazz albums ever made. The four-part suite-the sections are titled "Acknowledgement," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm"-is Coltrane's deeply personal spiritual testament. For its 50th anniversary, Lincoln Center Out of Doors has commissioned The Campbell Brothers, whose own spiritual roots run deep, to create A Sacred Steel Love Supreme, and artist Brock Monroe of Joshua Light Show fame to do visuals, which will be created live in response to the performance. The Campbell Brothers first foray into reframing classic jazz in their gospel tradition was part of Symphony Space's 2001 Wall to Wall Miles Davis, curated by Bill Bragin, about whichJazztimes wrote, "A real novelty and crowd favorite of this Miles marathon was an unknown gospel group from Rochester, N.Y., called The Campbell Brothers...they charmed the crowd with eerie, countrified renditions of "Someday My Prince Will Come" and "All Blues."
The sacred steel gospel group The Campbell Brothers have brought the deep gospel-blues sounds of Sacred Steel to Lincoln Center on a number of previous occasions, including a performance in the David Rubenstein Atrium last October to open the White Light Festival. Pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell, his brother, lap steel guitarist Darick Campbell, brother Phillip Campbell on electric guitar, Philip's son Carlton on drums, and guest vocalists perform in a tradition that has been an integral part of worship in the African-American Holiness-Pentecostal church repertoire (founded in 1903 by a Tennessee street preacher), that combines gospel with the growling, wailing, shouting and singing and swinging voice of the steel guitar.
The Campbell Brothers will share the bill on August 8 with vocalist Cassandra Wilson, presented as part of Americanafest NYC. See below.
In 2014, Lincoln Center Out of Doors launches Americanafest NYC August 6-10, a new partnership with the Americana Music Association, the 15-year-old Nashville-based not-for-profit that advocates for the authentic voice of American roots music. Over the course of the last week of Out of Doors, including the concluding annual "Roots of American Music" weekend,Americanafest NYC will offer concerts by a range of artists-long-established and newer voices-drawing from the deep wells of folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, jazz, rock, and R&B. Film screenings and a symposium will also explore the elders and their legacies finding new expression among younger generations of musicians.
Based in Nashville, via Texas, 25-year-old singer songwriter, Robert Ellis eludes categorization. With country nods to Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, his work also shows the meticulous craftsmanship and wordsmithing of Paul Simon and Randy Newman. He's intent on exploring all the byways of blues, soul, pop, and country. Ellis' latest album The Lights From the Chemical Plant tells stories of difficult romance, broken lives and urban landscapes with help from members of Deer Tick and Dawes (he has opened for both on tour) and a guest backing vocal from Jim Lauderdale.
"Harris and Crowell's chemistry class is a joy to attend," is what The Tennessean wrote about Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell's 2013 album Old Yellow Moon, the first duo album ever released by the longtime friends, bandmates, and musical collaborators, and winner of the 2013 Grammy for Best Americana Album. Harris puts her unmistakable silver-voiced stamp on interpretations of country, rock, folk, and traditional songs. She is a 13-time Grammy winner, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, and was the first ever recipient of the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance in 2002. Singer/songwriter/producer Rodney Crowell has penned and performed some of country music's best-loved songs and collaborated with artists Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, and many others. Crowell was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and received Americana's Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2006. Rolling Stone called his just-released new solo album Tarpaper Sky, "eloquent and often elegiac" and Crowell, "a country music trailblazer."
The New Yorker called Tift Merritt "the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry." The North Carolina-born singer/songwriter also draws comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. The two-time Grammy Award-nominee and three-time Americana Awards-nominee will perform an intimate set with guitar and pedal steel master Eric Heywood at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium.
Reviewing Cassandra Wilson's recent 20th-anniversary performance at the Highline Ballroom of her "game-changing, breakthrough" album Blue Light 'Til Dawn, DownBeat wrote that the singer "demonstrated that she is in full control of one of the most flexible and dramatically expressive voices in jazz." With that album in which she reworked songs by Charles Brown, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ann Peebles and Robert Johnson, she rewrote the definition of what it means to be a jazz singer, incorporating blues, country, folk, and more, paving the way for a new generation of singers. The two-time Grammy Award- winner continues her explorations with fresh, creative work that continues to defy categories.
AUGUST 9 - AFTERNOON
The winding road from picaresque rural Brattleboro, Vermont has taken The Devil Makes Three-singer/guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean-to the Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and tours with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Trampled By Turtles. The trio's sound-garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, and old and new timey-is inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz. Their newest album I'm a Stranger Here is about their journey, filled with road songs, heartbreak songs, and barnburners. Last.fm wrote, "The Devil Makes Three are quite possibly the best band that you have never heard of."
Two additional artists, to be announced shortly, will be part of the afternoon Hearst Plaza line-up.
In association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Out of Doors will present two free film screenings at 1 pm and 4 pm on August 9 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center's Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street. Heroes of American Roots: From the Historic Films Archives offers rare footage of musical performances from the archives of collector Joe Lauro, featuring such icons as Bill Monroe, Leadbelly, Elvis Presley, the Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and The Staple Singers, among others. Complimentary tickets will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office starting one hour prior to each event. Limit: One ticket per person. Please note that while tickets will not be distributed until one hour prior to each event, the line may form in advance of this time.
AUGUST 9 - EVENING
Long-time friends Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale have been making music together from more than 30 years since they met on New York's country music scene in the 1980s. Leading lights on the Americana and Nashville scenes, as singers/songwriters (and in Miller's case, star producer)-the two only got around to doing an album together in 2012 and fans couldn't be happier with the country-soul mix of originals and covers of Joe Tex, the Mississippi Sheiks, Jimmy McCraclin, and Johnnie & Jack. Jim is the longtime host and Buddy music director of the annual Americanafest Awards and they co-host the popular "The Buddy & Jim Show" on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country Channel. Buddy and Jim's excellent adventure returns to where it started, still packing a punch.
"Cash comes full circle as a storyteller and singer of exceptional grace and grit. It's among her finest work in a 35-year career, assured and at ease, and one of 2014's first great albums," is what The Boston Globe wrote about Rosanne Cash's The River & The Thread. Daughter of Americana music legend Johnny Cash, the chart-topping singer/songwriter has carved her own path as one of America's preeminent singer/songwriters. The River & The Thread is a kaleidoscopic examination of the geographic, emotional, and historic landscape of the American South in which Cash draws from country, blues, gospel, and rock to create a soulful mix encapsulating the region's many musical strands.
"Brooklyn Country" band The Lone Bellow released its self-titled debut album last December to wide acclaim including raves from USA Today, The New York Times, Paste, Forbes, and Filter. NPR simply stated, "The world of acoustic music is about to get a new household name." The Lone Bellow is lead singer and principal songwriter Zach Williams, singer and mandolin player Kanene Pipkin, and singer-guitarist Brian Elmquist. Georgia-born Williams began songwriting in 2005, during a prolonged stay at Atlanta's Shepherd Center after his wife's near fatal accident. The band's music reflects Williams' Southern roots, incorporating elements of rock, gospel, country, and blues.
The final day of Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2014 and closing day of Americanafest features a free Symposium at 1 pm at the David Rubenstein Atrium. The session kicks off with a screening of Heroes of Americana: From the Historic Films Archives, a collection of short performance clips from the collection of Joe Lauro featuring rare footage of such icons as Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, and Emmylou Harris, introduced by Lauro, to be followed by Talkin' Blues: Music Makers Relief Foundation's Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Ironing Board Sam and Tim Duffy in conversation with Dom Flemons hosted by Lincoln Center's long time "Roots of American Music" consulting producer Coleman "Spike" Barkin.
At 5 pm at the Damrosch Park Bandshell, Music Maker Blues Revue, a bill that brings together three artists supported by the Music Maker Relief Foundation (MMRF) honoring the non-profit artist support organization's 20th anniversary, kicks off the final evening-long concert of Americanafest NYC and the closing night of Out of Doors 2014.
"My style is real Lightnin' Hopkins lowdown blues. I call it hard classic blues, stompin' blues, railroad smokin' blues," is howBeverly "Guitar" Watkins describes her irrepressible guitar playing. This blues lady can play her guitar behind her head, belt out songs, and roll over to sweet gospel. Atlanta-born Watkins started setting the stage on fire with Piano Red in the 1950s and 60s and has worked alongside James Brown, B.B. King, and Ray Charles. MMRF discovered her playing in small Atlanta clubs and helped her record her first CD and several more albums where her roadhouse, jazz-inflected and rockabilly blues influences are in evidence.
Dom Flemons, a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops (who have performed at Lincoln Center's American Songbook series) is a native Arizonan and true example of the wide embrace of American roots music among today's young musicians. He is a member of MMRF's Next Generation Artist Program. The "American Songster" and former slam poet is also a multi-instrumentalist-guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass and snare drum and quills-but his slide-banjo is the center-piece of a dazzling repertoire (he also performs clawhammer, tenor, and three-string banjo styles). He draws from folk, blues, early jazz and rock, and country, and musical influences from Phil Ochs, to Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry. When Flemons gives a concert don't be surprised if you hear Ma Rainey, the Beatles, and the Band in one pyrotechnic set.
Playing professionally for more than 55 years, Ironing Board Sam has amassed a staggering repertoire of original material and classic blues and R&B songs, and his soulful voice and remarkable piano prowess still bring audiences to their feet. He first made an impact on the Miami and Memphis scenes in the 1950s, where, lacking a stand for his electric organ, he propped it up on an ironing board. It was the start of a remarkable set of moves (Nashville, Iowa, L.A. Memphis, New Orleans) and music-making equipment including his "button board," a wind-up toy to keep time, and an eight-foot high wooden jukebox he performed in on the sidewalks of the French Quarter. On stage, he has been described as a slightly mellower Little Richard crossed with a somewhat saner Screamin' Jay Hawkins and a bit less church Ray Charles.
Bobby Patterson has been singing R&B and southern soul in his hometown of Dallas for over half a century. He released countless singles for local and regional labels in the 1960s and 70s, and his songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Little Willie John, Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Jeff Tweedy. His new album, I Got More Soul, produced by Zach Ernst, the former Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears guitarist, will be released this coming summer, and has already earned advance praise from the Dallas Morning News: "The result is the best local record of the year - this one or 1968."
Birmingham, Alabama-based sextet St. Paul & The Broken Bones doesn't look like your father's country-soul band, but they sure sound like it, playing with grit, elemental rhythm, and profound depth of feeling. Frontman Paul Janeway's handle harkens to his beginnings in the gospel-inflected church music of his Pentecostal upbringing. But infusions of the Stylistics and Sam Cooke, not to mention time spent in a band that played Led Zeppelin covers, sent Janeway in another direction. Members of the band are all drawn from Alabama's deep talent pool. Their raw, old-school album Half the City was done in three takes in the studio and the result is high-voltage deep Southern soul. Wrote The Austin Chronicle, "The horn-fueled Broken Bones don't re-create one funky groove after another. They make them sound more like the truth than any band since the Seventies."
"The Screaming Eagle of Soul" and his eight-piece band, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires will close out Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2014 with delicious retro-soul. A testament to the power of perseverance, one-time homeless teenager, sometimes James Brown impersonator, then itinerant cook and janitor for most of his life, Bradley was discovered in Brooklyn in his mid-fifties by Daptone Records in the early 2000s and hasn't looked back. His albums No Time For Dreaming and most recent psych-influenced Victim of Love were on many "best of" recording lists and he has rocked the stages at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and the Newport Folk Festival. His high-voltage performances combine James Brown moves with a tight backing band to highlight his greatest asset-"a voice expressive enough to wow the most demanding soul music fans" (Hollywood Reporter).
We Are the Music Makers, a related exhibition, will run at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center July 9-August 29, 2014.
We Are the Music Makers, an exhibit at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and developed by Music Maker Relief Foundation, will educate and engage viewers in the cultural history of Southern traditional music. We Are the Music Makers features photo and audio documentation of Southern Roots musicians active in the past 20 years, photographed and recorded by Tim Duffy, Music Maker Relief Foundation's founder in his quest to preserve Southern traditional music by partnering with the artists who make it. The multi-media materials will highlight how issues of poverty, geography, and age have limited the exposure of these artists, causing the widespread idea that the musical traditions they perform have "died out." Open during Library hours: 12-8 Monday and Thursday; 12-6 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
The non-profit Music Maker Relief Foundation was founded in 1994 to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time. Music Maker works to give future generations access to their heritage through documentation and performance programs that build knowledge and appreciation of America's musical traditions. Visit: musicmaker.org
The Americana Music Association is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. The Association sponsors events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival & Conference presented by Nissan in Nashville, and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Visit: americanamusic.org
All events are FREE; no tickets are required.
Events take place on LINCOLN CENTER'S PLAZAS between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, from West 62nd Street to West 65th Street (except where noted). Take No.1 IRT to 66th Street/Lincoln Center Station) OR the A, B, C, D and No. 1 trains to 59th St/Columbus Circle.
Visit LCOutofDoors.org for complete schedule or call 212-875-5766 to request a brochure.
Inaugurated in 1971, Out of Doors began as a small festival of street theater in collaboration with Everyman Theater (co-founded by actress Geraldine Fitzgerald.) Over its 43-year history, Out of Doors has commissioned more than 100 works from composers and choreographers and presented hundreds of major dance companies, renowned world-music artists, and legendary jazz, folk, gospel, blues and rock musicians. It has highlighted the rich cultural diversity of New York City with its annual "La Casita" project which offers poetry and spoken word, along with music and dance performances. Out of Doors has partnered with dozens of community and cultural organizations including the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and the Chinese American Arts Council. Since 2008 the festival has been produced by Lincoln Center's Director of Public Programming, Bill Bragin, with Producer Jill Sternheimer.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program,Great Performers, Lincoln Center Books, Lincoln Center Dialogue, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Martin E. Segal Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival,Target Free Thursdays, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations. In addition, LCPA led a $1.2 billion campus renovation, completed in October 2012.