SummerStage Gala To Feature The Music of Simon and Garfunkel

May 24
1:28 PM 2010

City Parks Foundation is pleased to announce the SummerStage Gala,- The Music of Simon and Garfunkel, a special fundraising event held at Rumsey Playfield on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of SummerStage (Raindate: Wednesday, June 9, 2010).

For this special anniversary season, the SummerStage Gala will feature the timeless music of Simon & Garfunkel --two musicians closely associated with Central Park -- as performed by an eclectic group of well established musical legends and up and coming stars. 30 artists will pair up to perform 15 classic duets from Simon & Garfunkel's beloved archive of songs. The performance component of the gala is produced by Michael Dorf , who has successfully produced a series of similar tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall over the past decade.

For event information, including ticket sales, please visit: 

Aimee Mann, Shawn Colvin, St. Vincent, Joan Osborne, Paula Cole, David Hinds (Steel Pulse), Loudon Wainwright III, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Alejandro Escovedo, John Forte, Dar Williams, Ricky Skaggs, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Cory Chisel, Stephen Kellogg, The Holmes Brothers, Dean & Britta, Valerie June, John Roderick, Marc Cohn, Kristina Train, Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Cambell, plus Ollabelle who will support the event as the house band. More artists will be confirmed in coming weeks.

A cocktail party for table purchasers will begin at 7:00 pm. Tables of ten will be provided with a full dinner. Bleacher seats for the concert are also available for purchase. Concert will begin at 8:00pm. SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield (72nd Street, mid-park). There will be a post-performance reception with artists.

About SummerStage

In June, 1986, Central Park SummerStage was launched with a free performance from Sun Ra and the Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra. In 1990, City Parks Foundation began programming free concerts in neighborhood parks under the name CityParks Concerts. In 2006, City Parks Foundation began CityParks Dance and CityParks Theater. Today, City Parks Foundation is combining all of these initiatives under the banner of SummerStage, a city-wide festival of over 100 music, dance and theater events in 16 parks in all five boroughs. It will be one of the largest, most geographical diverse and thematically broad festivals in the nation. The SummerStage Gala raises funds to support City Parks Foundation's free year round arts programming in parks citywide.

SummerStage showcases world-renowned and emerging talent from around the globe and from New York City's own backyard. This summer, as part of the 25th anniversary season, City Parks Foundation launched a major re-branding of the festival to include music, dance, film and theater performances in all five boroughs of NYC, allowing more New Yorkers than ever before to enjoy the quality free programming that SummerStage provides.

About City Winery

City Winery is the innovative 20,000 sq ft mixed-use winery, music venue and event space founded in 2008 by Michael Dorf. The winery will be creating a special commemorative wine for the SummerStage gala, in addition City Winery will be the EXCLUSIVE wine sponsor for the 2010 season of SummerStage events at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. The award winning wines produced at City Winery are handcrafted in Soho at the only commercial custom-crush facility in New York City.

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. We work in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. Our programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

Artist Information

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A former member of 80's new wave band ‘Til Tuesday, Aimee Mann's 20-year solo career has been defined by heartfelt lyrics and soaring, infectious melodies. The folk-rock vocalist, bassist and guitarist garnered a great deal of recognition for the Grammy and Academy Award nominated song "Save Me" from the soundtrack for the film Magnolia. Mann's most recent studio album, @#%&*! Smilers, debuted on the Billboard 200 at Number 32 and on the Top Independent Albums chart at Number 2.

Shawn Colvin
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Contemporary folk artist Shawn Colvin's songs have been referred to as "slow-release works of craft and catharsis." Becoming involved in the folk scene upon moving to New York City in 1980, Colvin's breakthrough came with the release of her album A Few Small Repairs. That album's hit single "Sunny Came Home" earned her Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. She had previously won the Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy for "Steady On."

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Coming from a musical family, Alejandro Escovedo began his career performing with a punk rock band in San Francisco, but cites a wide array of genres and musicians as his influences. He then adapted a more alternative country/roots/rock style after relocating to Texas and released his first solo album shortly thereafter. Since then, his rise has been steady and gradual garnering him a strong underground following. His tenth studio album, "Street Songs of Love," will be released this June.

Joan Osborne
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Singer/songwriter Joan Osborne performs an eclectic mix of rock, folk, country, blues and soul and has toured and collaborated with a myriad of well-known artists representing each of those genres. Of her 10 albums, Relish earned the most acclaim, including six Grammy nominations, in large part due to the popular single "One of Us" which was more pop-oriented than the rest of the album. In addition to writing and performing, Osborne started her own record label, Womanly Hips.

Loudon Wainwright III
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The forty year career of singer/songwriter and actor Loudon Wainwright III has given birth to 22 studio albums, his most recent High Wide & Handsome, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. He had two prior album nominations for I'm Alright and More Love Songs. His witty, self-mocking style is on display in the song "Dead Skunk," considered by some to be his most famous.

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A member of the musically accomplished Wainwright and Roche families, singer/songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche only recently decided to pursue a music career. Since then she has put out three EP's and toured with such greats as the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, father Loudon Wainwright III and brother Rufus Wainwright. In 2009, her single "Snare Drum" won an Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song. Her first full-length project "LUCY" will be released this fall.

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John Forté began his professional music career when he was introduced to the groundbreaking hip hop group, The Fugees by member Lauryn Hill in the early 1990s. He co-wrote and produced two songs on their multi-platinum and Grammy-winning album, The Score. Afterwards, Forté released his debut solo album, Poly Sci and followed up with I, John. This year, he has plans to release a new album building on his hip hop foundation with water, light, sound.

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Folk and alternative country singer/songwriter Dar Williams has been described as writing "insightful melodic story-songs." Composing songs she truly believes in, Williams often uses themes of religion, anti-commercialism, family, loss, humor and gender to create meaningful, touching pieces. Since releasing her first album under her own label, Burning Field Records, she has earned rave reviews for numerous additional records and has toured and collaborated with such folk standouts as Joan Baez, Alison Krauss and Béla Fleck.

Ricky Skaggs
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By the age of 21, Ricky Skaggs was already considered a "master" of bluegrass music, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in mainstream country music. However, it was clear that his passion for bluegrass puts him in the position to bring this lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. With a career that has now spanned almost 40 years and garnered him14 Grammy awards in both country and bluegrass music, Skaggs is known affectionately today as bluegrass music's official ambassador.

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An exquisite voice and a commanding stage presence have helped David 'Dread' Hinds and Basil Gabbidon gain notoriety as the groundbreaking reggae band, Steel Pulse. Their pioneering mix of conscious reggae tunes on their now classic debut album, Handsworth Revolution has continued to delight and entertain audiences across the globe. Now some thirty years into his career, Hinds continues to tour around the world and is committed to the same message on his latest album, African Holocaust as they were with their debut album.

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Ben Gibbard's unique voice is easily recognized as the lead singer of popular bands Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. Gibbard began Death Cab for Cutie as a solo project, and after the release of a successful cassette You Can Play These Songs with Chords, he expanded into a full band. Songs from the band's forth album Transatlanticism became well-known, thanks in part to television shows such as The O.C., and Six Feet Under. The following album, Plans, received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album in 2005. The Postal Service is a side collaboration between Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello known for the frequently covered single "Such Great Heights."

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Like many artists before him, Cory Chisel first connected with the power of song - and the spellbinding possibilities of live performance - through the music he heard in church. The gospel's rich vernacular of loss and redemption also informed his innate poetic sense and lyrical range. As the front man of the his own band, The Wandering Sons they released their first album in 2009, entitled, Death Won't Send A Letter. The album has a dark and urgent rock and roll vision and takes a romantic albeit gutsy stance on the meaning of love and spirituality, as the songs seek to make sense of the world outside and human desires within.

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Stephen Kellogg, front man of folk-inflected roots rock band, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers built a solid fan base through nonstop tourin over the past few years. After the release of four solo albums and a handful of other projects, Kellogg formed his namesake band. With an assortment of folk-rock anthems and modern pop jingles that are quintessentially radio-ready, Kellogg's songs are ripe for his glossy, impassioned vocals.

Paula Cole
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Noted singer/songwriter Paula Cole gained fame for her ethereal, appealing musical sound and songs that relied equally on dreamy melodies and poetic, introspective lyrics. Most famous for her album, This Fire which yielded the hits, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want to Wait", Cole went on the win the coveted Grammy for Best New Artist in 1998.

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The Holmes Brothers' unique sound is best described by the New York Times as, "timeless, deeply soulful and uplifting gospel-drenched blues, street corner doo-wop, ballads, R&B, country and funk." Add to this top notch drumming and rhythm-based guitar and you have a down-home rural feeling that no other roots music group can duplicate. Consisting of brothers Sherman and Wendell Holmes, along with drummer and falsetto voice, Popsy Dixon, The Holmes Brothers have secured endured a 30 plus year career filled with 10 albums and numerous collaborations with musical royalty.

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St. Vincent is the nom-du-microphone of multi-instrumentalist/chanteuse Annie Clark. This Dallas-raised, doe-eyed songbird, began her musical career performing with Sufjan Stevens and The Polyphonic Spree. In 2007, St. Vincent released her debut solo debut effort Marry Me, catapulting the young singer to the top of critics lists and earning a PLUG Independent Music Award for Female Artist of the Year. Her second album, 2009's Actor, prompted Pitchfork to exult "St. Vincent is an artist capable of crafting believable, complicated characters with compassion, insight, and exacting skill." Watch St. Vincent perform at SummerStage on August 1.

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Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, former members of the New York alt-rock band Luna, write and record their own sweetly swooning pop music as duo, Dean &Britta while keeping their old band's successful sound alive and strong. Following the breakup of Luna, the married couple released two EPs of melodic indie-pop to complement their debut full-length, L'Avventura. With artistic renderings of cover songs and obscure '60s throwbacks the duo has gained acclaim as a unique pop music duet while also finding the time to create movie scores.

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With an angelic voice and a Medusan tangle of dreadlocks as thick and strong as her family ties and her musical roots in the flatlands of West Tennessee, Valerie June is a true original and an emerging star in the legendary Memphis music scene. A self-taught guitar player, composer and troubadour of heartbreak ballads, folk songs, spirituals, soul-stirring blues she has become a mainstay at such events as the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival and the International Folk Alliance Conference. Currently, Valerie is emerging as one of the stars of the ballyhooed new MTV web series "$5 Cover".

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John Roderick is the songwriter and singer/guitarist of The Long Winters a Seattle based band that crafts intricate and intimate pop songs. John Roderick writes songs that make you feel like you've been talking to someone really interesting in an airport for the last hour and, although you know you'll never see them again, you just told them your whole life story and a part of you will love them forever. His skillful songwriting has led NPR saying, "The Long Winters craft delightfully clever, shimmering pop. Roderick is a master storyteller."

Marc Cohn
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Marc Cohn established a following by country music fans for his soulful voice and introspective lyrics. Most famous for his break out self-titled album, which generated the cross-over hit "Walking in Memphis" and garnered him a Grammy award for Best New Artist. Since then, he has released three other studio albums to date includingThe Rainy Season, Burning the Daze, and Join The Parade.

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Hearing Kristina Train's soulful and smoky jazz/pop songs for the first time will have most people disbelieving her actual age. Her 2009 debut, Spilt Milk, is urbane and lush in its arrangements but intimate in its emotions, built on a foundation of classic and deeply felt southern soul. Her music unfolds with an almost cinematic grandeur, its string-laden chorus swelling with widescreen melancholy. Balancing the sultry with the strong, Train excels on bittersweet breakup/makeup numbers. Train knows how, over the course of a song, to walk away from a relationship with tremendous style.

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In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen is the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, and one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots, blues and Americana music. Kaukonen was a founding member of the popular San Francisco-based band Jefferson Airplane, which gained fame for its unconventional sound. Known for his eclectic use of the electric guitar's large arsenal of sound effects, he helped pioneer what became known as the band's signature, psychedelic rock sound and helped put the band at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll. He has won numerous accolades including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone's ranking as one of the top 100 rock guitarists of all time.

Larry Campbell
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Larry Campbell is highly respected multi-instrumentalist who plays numerous stringed instruments (including guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, slide guitar, and violin) in genres including country, folk, blues, and rock. While most widely known for his collaboration on Bob Dylan's album Love and Theft and for being an integral part of Dylan's live band for several years, he has amassed a long list of music credentials throughout his impressive thirty year career.

OLLABELLE performing as the house band
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Ollabelle is a New York based folk music group named after the influential Appalachian songwriter Ola Belle Reed. The band formed in 2001 at Sunday night gospel music sessions humorously dubbed "Sunday School for Sinners" held in a small bar called 9C. The member's individual talents and musical tastes fused together to provide a unique musical experience that takes from multiple genres. Their songs speak on hard times, loss, compassion and hope and draws from a deep well of gospel, blues, bluegrass, and country influences to create timelessly resonant music that honors the integrity of its sources while remaining effortlessly contemporary.

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