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Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival Announces Line-Up Beginning June 5 - 32 Shows Including SLOW FADE TO BLACK


Celebrate Brooklyn! today announced its lineup for this year, which begins June 5 with a free concert by reggae icon Jimmy Cliff.

Like its namesake borough, Celebrate Brooklyn! continues to grow. The season has expanded to 32 performances with a wide range of artists from around the world and from Brooklyn appearing at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Presenting Sponsor Google Play will enable attendees to get free music from Celebrate Brooklyn! performing artists on the Google Play store. A new partnership with NPR Music will make select Celebrate Brooklyn! concerts accessible to a global audience, through broadcast on public radio stations, including New York’s own WNYC, WBGO and WFUV, and free streaming at Scheduled concerts for broadcast include Jimmy Cliff, Hot Chip, Dirty Projectors, Sigur Ros and Calle 13, among others to be announced.

“I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my life, but never one as memorable as the Celebrate Brooklyn! presentation of Sufjan Stevens in 2011,” says Bob Boilen, host and creator of NPR Music’s All Songs Considered. “So this year, it’s time we share the best of the festival at NPR Music and public radio.”

The festival’s platform is expanding within Brooklyn, too: This year, Brooklyn Independent Television, a community media program of BRIC, will launch a new series of Celebrate Brooklyn! cablecasts, showing some of the most memorable concerts in the festival’s nearly 35-year history. These episodes began May 7, just in time for the second annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Bridge Dance Party series taking place on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 on three consecutive Thursday nights in May. The Bridge Dance Party series features bands and DJs, a great lawn with sweeping views of the city, dance lessons, free valet bike parking and food trucks including Kimchi Taco, Kumquat Cupcakery, Morris Grilled Cheese, Pizza Moto and Rickshaw Dumplings.

This 34th summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell consists of 32 shows, 25 of them free (with a $3 suggested contribution at the gate). Two highlights of the free programming are premieres of performances commissioned by BRIC for Celebrate Brooklyn! On June 15, pianist Geri Allen and photographer/video artist Carrie Mae Weems will present Slow Fade to Black, an exploration of race and gender in America with projections by Weems and performances by Allen, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lizz Wright, Patrice Rushen, Howard University vocal group Afro Blue, the tap dancer Maurice chestnut and others. On June 30, Angelique Kidjo, joined by friends including Laurie Anderson, Sibongile Khumalo and Somi, will premiere Women Waging Peace, a multi-artist concert tribute to Kenyan activist and Noble Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, who passed away in September 2011. In connection with the concert, the Prospect Park Alliance will host a tree-planting ceremony in the park in honor of Maathai, and the Brooklyn Public Library will host a film screening and panel discussion on women, war and peace.

The lineup includes artists from across the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe, including AfroCubism / Alsarah & the Nubatones (June 9), Laura Marling / Michael Kiwanuka / Willy Mason (June 14), Balkan Beat Box / Chico Trujillo / Nation Beat (June 16), TBA / Latice Crawford (June 21), Keb Mo / Natalia Zukerman (June 22), Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue / The Brooklyn Steppers / Dayna Kurtz (June 29), Souad Massi / Simon Shaheen (July 7), Machel Montano / BélO (July 20), The Head and the Heart / Lost in the Trees (July 27), Wild Flag / Mission of Burma (August 3), The Del McCoury Band / Cahalen Morrison & Eli West / Spirit Family Reunion (August 4), and Lyle Lovett & His Large Band / Aoife O’Donovan (August 11).

Bud Light will return as a Series Title Sponsor and present the Bud Light Music Series including the Lyricist Lounge 20th Anniversary featuring Ghostface Killah / Camp Lo / Astro and more (June 23) and Little Dragon / Frankie Rose / Voices of Black (August 10), and the Bud Light Latin Music Series with Calle 13 / Ana Tijoux / Ritmo Machine (co-presented with LAMC, July 13) and Arturo Sandoval / Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (July 21).

“For 11 great years, Bud Light has been proud to sponsor Celebrate Brooklyn!, a great summer tradition in New York’s most diverse and creative community,” said Beverly Freites, Geographic Marketing Manager, Anheuser-Busch.

Sweet Honey in the Rock will headline this year’s Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert on July 8. There will be dance performances by Ballet Hispanico (June 28) and Complexions Contemporary Ballet (August 9), and three events in the Celebrate Brooklyn! signature Music & Movies series, which pairs iconic films projected onto the festival’s enormous outdoor screen (50’ wide x 21’ high)—New York City’s largest—with special live music performances. These include a 35th anniversary screening of Saturday Night Fever(Tony Manero costumes welcome!) with an opening set by Bee Gees tribute band Tragedy (July 14); a The Muppet Movie (1979) sing-along with an opening set of Muppet music by The Losers Lounge (July 28); and a showing of Franco Zeffirelli’s multiple Academy Award-winning, Nino Rota-scored Romeo & Juliet, with an opening performance of The Love Show, a set of classic love songs reinvented by Helga Davis and other vocalists.

The other events in the season are Celebrate Brooklyn! benefit concerts, which offer rare opportunities to see great artists at a reasonable ticket price while supporting the festival’s free performances. This summer’s benefit concerts include Childish Gambino / Danny Brown / Schoolboy Q (June 26), Dirty Projectors / Wye Oak / Purity Ring (July 10), Hot Chip / Gang Gang Dance (July 18), Wilco / Lee Fields and the Expressions (July 23 ), Wilco / Lee Ranaldo Band (July 24), Sigur Ros (July 31) and M. Ward / Yo La Tengo (August 7).

A complete schedule of 2012 Celebrate Brooklyn! events can be found below.

This summer, beloved Ditmas Park eatery The Farm on Adderley will again offer a menu of seasonal, carefully sourced food, and the local artisans collective Etsy NY will make it possible for concertgoers to shop for a range of handmade goods.

Leslie Schultz, Executive Director of BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, said, “For 34 years, BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn has proudly presented this festival of free performances by outstanding artists in the gorgeous setting of Prospect Park. We are so grateful to all of the individuals, businesses, foundations, agencies and elected officials who help to keep strong this tradition of free, diverse programming presented for all to enjoy.”

Jack Walsh, BRIC’s Director of Performing Arts and Executive Producer of Celebrate Brooklyn! said, “We are thrilled to announce our most robust lineup ever of free performances at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The season features a truly eclectic and world-class mix with both local and global artists, and an array of music, dance, spoken word and film that is sure to attract audiences from all of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, New York City as a whole, and beyond.”

Emily Lloyd, President of the Prospect Park Alliance, which is a partner in presenting the festival, said: “Prospect Park welcomes Celebrate Brooklyn! back to the Park for its 34th summer of providing a wide variety of exciting programming at the Bandshell. Congratulations to Leslie Schultz, Jack Walsh and everyone at BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn for creating this wonderful festival. We know that this year’s line-up will entertain longtime Park fans and hopefully attract a whole new generation to discover all that Prospect Park has to offer.”

Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn! memberships for individuals and small businesses offer reserved seats, Friends Tent access with food and beverage service, and ads for businesses. The Friends Tent is specially designed by Hecho Inc. design with supplies from IKEA Brooklyn. More information is available at


TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 8:00 P.M.
Opening Night Concert
NPR Music Broadcast

The reggae legend performs this free concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, the 40th anniversary of the iconic film The Harder They Come, and 34 years of free shows at Celebrate Brooklyn! Cliff’s musical legacy stretches back nearly a half century—to the early ’60s and Hurricane Hattie, his first hit as a teenager in Kingston. He soon followed that with a string of hits that became classics of early ska, like “Miss Jamaica” and “King of Kings,” which then led him to Island Records. He released his debut album Hard Road to Travel in 1968, and broke through internationally the next year with Wonderful World, Beautiful People, which charted in Britain and the States. He has continued to tour and release music at a ferocious pace ever since, but it’s his starring role in 1975’s The Harder They Come and the songs he contributed to that soundtrack like “You Can Get It if You Really Want” and “Many Rivers to Cross”that have left the biggest mark. Those and his other originals on the album have a timeless quality and a universal appeal that transcend genre; they are instantly recognizable, and have become indelible pieces of the pop canon.

Cliff’s voice remains as singular and true as ever. Rolling Stone called his recent performance at this year’s Coachella “masterful.” He releases a highly anticipated album later this summer.

The show will be preceded by Celebrate Brooklyn!’s Opening Night Gala at 5:30 P.M. While the concert is free, gala tickets ($325 and up) entail reserved seats, in addition to cocktails, dinner and dancing: For gala guests and Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn!, there is an after party with the Brooklyn-based video-and-performance group Deadly Dragon Sound System, at 9:45 P.M.


AfroCubism is the all-star collaboration between Malian and Cuban musicians that famously never happened. In 1996, a group of Mali’s finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba’s most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: The Buena Vista Social Club. But what about that original album? What riches might have been revealed in the interaction of virtuosi from one of Africa’s most musically rich territories, and from Cuba, whose music has origins in Africa, and which has in turn been hugely influential on the mother continent? The group has finally united, to the delight of music fans everywhere. AfroCubism features Eliades Ochoa, singer of the great Buena Vista theme “Chan Chan,” along with ngoni lute master Bassekou Kouyate and Super Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, all from the original project. Joining them is Eliades’ Grupo Patria, amongst Cuba’s longest running and most revered bands, the mercurial kora genius Toumani Diabaté, the Malian griot singer Kasse Mady Diabaté and the balafon player Lassana Diabaté.

Alsarah & The Nubatones came together out of a collective love for Nubian music and a genuine belief that soul transcends all cultural and linguistic barriers. They blend a selection of Nubian 'songs of return' from the 1970s to today with original material and traditional music of central Sudan.

THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 7:00 P.M.

Just 16—a seemingly fully formed artist—when she leapt into the public eye in the UK in 2006, she has since signed to Virgin and released three extraordinarily acclaimed albums: her full-length debut, Alas I Cannot Swim, in 2008; 2010’s Mercury Prize-nominated I Speak Because I Can; and last year’s A Creature I Don’t Know. Such early promise might seem daunting, almost too much to live up to. But seeing Marling live, one has the immediate impression of an artist with volumes of work in her and a path ahead of boundless possibility.

At an earlier juncture but on a similar trajectory is the likewise preternaturally talented Michael Kiwanuka, a Londoner of Ugandan heritage who has emerged as the next star of the same scene. Having supported Adele on tour last year, Kiwanuka captured the BBC Sound of 2012 award and released his debut Home Again this March.

The enigmatic Martha’s Vineyard songwriter Willy Mason has toured with the likes of Radiohead and Beth Orton, but his popularity in the UK has always outpaced his profile at home. He delivers sophisticated and literate songs with a slow-burning, low-key intensity.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 8:00 P.M.

The pianist Geri Allen and the photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems team up for this world premiere commission. Slow Fade to Black combines Weems’ projections with live music by Allen’s new trio with fellow jazz giants Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington; Allen’s regular group, Timeline; Lizz Wright; Patrice Rushen; the Howard University vocal group Afro Blue; the tap dancer Maurice chestnut; and many surprise guests. Weems, who has a three-decade retrospective coming to the Guggenheim Museum this fall, explores issues of gender, race, and identity in her work. These themes inform Slow Fade to Black, in which live performance and video will comingle on stage and screen in unimagined ways.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 6:30 P.M.

This evening is a veritable melting pot of a dance party. Balkan Beat Box’s transcendent pan-Mediterranean bacchanal collides with the Chilean ska-punk-new cumbia of Chico Trujillo and the fusion of Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans second line rhythms of Brooklyn’s own Nation Beat.

Balkan Beat Box was formed by NYC-based Israelis Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan, who had done time in the bands Firewater and Gogol Bordello, respectively. The collective grew out of an electro/Gypsy/punk project the two created in the early 2000s that fused ancient musical traditions with hip-hop, Jamaican dub, and other beat-driven styles to make world music for the club and the dancehall. They have always kept a political edge on their party music, and their latest album, Give (2012), is inspired by protest movements across the globe: from the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall St., to Israel’s own massive social protests. It captures the cautious hope and re-energized spirit of our time.

Chico Trujillo is Chile's most prominent cumbia band—the soundtrack to parties from Santiago to Valparaiso. At home their mixture of classic cumbia, rock and ska fills stadiums. Now they are poised to break out on the international stage.

Nation Beat, led by the percussionist Scott Kettner and the powerhouse singer Liliana Araujo, is the first American group to record in Brazil with the legendary Mestre Walter and Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante—and the first Brazilian band to perform with Willie Nelson.


The Queens native Latice Crawford arrived on the contemporary gospel scene when she became a finalist on the second season of BET’s “Sunday Best,” and has since shared the stage with New Life Ministries (Richard Smallwood), Hezekiah Walker, Timothy Wright and David Bratton. Both her voice and her commitment are clear every time she performs; as she always says, “I don’t sing, I testify to a beat!”

FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 7:30 P.M.

A channeler of authentic Delta Blues and one of the form’s greatest modern interpreters, Keb’ Mo’ effortlessly incorporates other styles into his playing and storytelling in a celebration of African American roots music. Keb Mo's 2011 album The Reflection captures his musical spirit and virtuosity: the songs, which find him collaborating with such artists as India.Arie, Vince Gill, Marcus Miller, Dave Koz and David T Walker, have a deep emotional connection and show Mo’ to be a master at blending blues, jazz, R&B and soul through melody and rhythm. He’s here for a solo performance.

The dazzling Brooklynite Natalia Zukerman plays an opening set. Zukerman is a musical polyglot whose diverse influences include folk, jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, country and even classical.

SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 7:30 P.M.
Bud Light Music Series

Many of the greatest names in the game have passed through the legendary Lyricist Lounge, and what began 20 years ago as an open mic night in a studio apartment on the LES has become one of the foremost showcases in hip-hop. Def Jam artist Ghostface Killah, the most prolific record-maker in the Wu-Tang Clan pantheon, headlines this birthday celebration. Celebrate Brooklyn! and Lyricist Lounge have a history that dates back to 2006 and includes shows with KRS-One, a Crooklyn Dodgers reunion, Big Daddy Kane and Raekwon. Check for lineup updates.

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 7:00 P.M.
Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 8:00 P.M.

The New York-based Ballet Hispanico’s innovative repertory fuses ballet, modern and Latin forms into a spirited image of the contemporary Latino diaspora. Founded in 1970 by Artistic Director Tina Ramirez, the company has performed at The John F. Kennedy Center, Houston’s Wortham Center, the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, UCLA’s Royce Hall, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, Wolf Trap, Jacob's Pillow, Boston's Celebrity Series and The Joyce Theater, as well as extensive international appearances from Zurich to Buenos Aires and beyond. A pioneer in the field of arts education, Ballet Hispanico’s innovative Education & Outreach division annually brings the company’s singular blend of dance and Hispanic culture to over 25,000 public school students and teachers in New York and across the nation. The dynamic program for Celebrate Brooklyn! highlights the extraordinary athleticism and playfulness of the company and includes Artistic Director Eduard Vilaro’s first piece for the company, Aruska, a celebration of the music of Celia Cruz, along with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s flamenco-inspired Nube Blanco and Pedro Ruiz’s high-spirited Club Havana.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 7:30 P.M.

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his untouchable band create a band that unites the Crescent City’s past and future. Andrews hails from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans’ 6th Ward, and he got his nickname at four years old when his older brother James saw him marching in a street parade wielding a trombone twice as long as the kid was high. Andrews started early, learning to play drums and what he remembers as “the world’s smallest trumpet” at the age of three. By the time he reached six, this prodigy was playing trumpet and trombone in a jazz band led by his older brother James, himself a trumpet player of local renown. He has subsequently risen through the ranks of New Orleans players, touring and recording with Orleans Avenue. Since the release of their Grammy-nominated 2010 debut, Backatown, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have performed on five continents. Last year’s For True, (Verve Forecast) which features a host of special guests, offers substantive proof of their growth, further refining the Signature Sound Andrews has dubbed Supafunkrock.

The soulful local favorite Dayna Kurtz, who released two albums simultaneously this spring, gets things started, and The Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band swings by for an explosive drum line interlude.

SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 7:30 P.M.

Angélique Kidjo, named one of the “World’s 100 Most Inspiring Women” by The Guardian, curates this special commission tribute to Wangari Maathai, the late Nobel Peace Prize winner and Kenyan political, environmental and women’s activist. Women Waging Peace features a concert at the Bandshell with an opening set by Somi, followed by Kidjo and her band, who will be joined by special guests Laurie Anderson and the South African opera star Sibongile Khumalo. Friends of CB pre-concert reception sponsored by Betarncourt & Associates Realty.

The Prospect Park Alliance will host a tree planting ceremony just outside the Bandshell in memory of Wangari Maathai and to commemorate the 20,000 trees she helped plant in Kenya.

The Brooklyn Public Library will host a screening of Pray The Devil Back To Hell, from the five-part series Women, War & Peace, followed by a panel discussion with Sarah Lee Whitson (Human Rights Watch), Zainab Salbi (Women for Women International) and others at Central Library Dweck Center/Grand Army Plaza. See for details.


The outspoken Algerian songbird Souad Massi is one of the most original voices to come out of North Africa in a generation, with a stylistic range that runs the gamut from Western folk, rock and country to flamenco, Arab street pop and the chaabi music of her home. She first rose to prominence in Algiers with the rock band Atakor, in the late 1990s, but faced with censorship and threats she relocated to Paris, where she recorded and released her solo debut, Raoui, a set of stylistically adventurous and highly personal songs. She has been on a continuous journey of musical evolution ever since, releasing four more albums and touring the world. She brings a nine-piece band to NYC for this performance, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence (declared July 5, 1962).

The evening begins with a set by the NYC-based Palestinian oud and violin wizard Simon Shaheen. Shaheenn’s work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music while forging ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. Shaheen’s unique contribution to the arts was recognized in 1994, when he was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award at the White House. His new project, Zafir, puts all his soaring technique and melodic ingenuity on display.

This concert is made possible by the generous contribution and support of The Embassy of Algeria to the United States and The United States-Algeria Business Council (USABC).

SUNDAY, JULY 8, 4:00 P.M.
Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert

Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 (with Mie, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson) at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock, the internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, has been a vital and innovative presence in the arts and communities of conscience around the world. Their deep commitment to creating music out of the rich textures of African-American traditions makes them a perfect fit for Celebrate Brooklyn!’s annual celebration of the trailblazing Brooklyn-born children’s book author Ezra Jack Keats. Keats introduced multiculturalism into mainstream children's literature: he was one of the first children’s book authors to place his stories in an urban setting, and to use characters of color regularly as his protagonists. This edition of the festival’s Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert marks the 50th anniversary of Keats’ most famous work, The Snowy Day, and, as always, will feature a reading before the music.

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 7:00 P.M.
Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert
NPR Music Broadcast

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 7:00 P.M.
Bud Light Latin Music Series
Presented by Celebrate Brooklyn! & LAMC
NPR Music Broadcast

Calle 13’s groundbreaking and eclectic urban style has made this Puerto Rican band. The group was formed by stepbrothers René Pérez Joglar a.k.a. Residente (lead singer and songwriter) and Eduardo José Cabra Martínez a.k.a. Visitante (multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, beat producer), and their sister Ileana a.k.a. PG-13 (choirs, background vocals). They released their self-titled debut in 2005 and have since won a record nineteen Latin Grammy Awards, as well as two Grammy Awards.

Calle 13 headlines Celebrate Brooklyn!’s annual Latin Alternative Music Conference show, which also features Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux and Ritmo Machine, a collaboration between Cypress Hill percussionist Eric Bobo and mix master Latin Bitman.

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 7:30 P.M.
Music & Movies

The film that catapulted John Travolta to stardom and sent disco and the Gibb brothers into the stratosphere has some of the greatest dance scenes ever committed to celluloid, but it’s also a moving coming of age drama and a gritty, sometimes brutal portrait of blue collar Brooklyn in the 1970s. To mark Saturday Night Fever’s 35th anniversary, Celebrate Brooklyn! screens the original (rated R—not appropriate for a younger audience).

To celebrate the film’s legacy, Tragedy, the Tri-State Area’s #1 heavy metal tribute to The Bee Gees, will perform an opening set. Tony Manero costumes are welcome. Come early for a disco-themed yoga class hosted by lululemon at 6:30.

Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert
NPR Music Broadcast

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 7:30 P.M.

Machel Montano brings the wild and steamy spirit of Trinidad Carnival to Brooklyn. Montano was born in 1974 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and began his career in 1982 at age seven. At age nine he formed his band, Pranasonic Express. His 1985 debut album, Too Young to Soca, was an instant hit. In April of 1986, he appeared on Star Search, bringing soca music to U.S. national television. The next year, he took 2nd place in the Trinidad & Tobago National Song Writer’s Festival. In 1987, at the age of 12, he was the winner of the Caribbean Song Festival held in Barbados, becoming the first Trinidadian and youngest to ever win this prestigious contest, and he has never looked back. In 2011 he released his 35th album, and won in six categories at the International Reggae and World Music Awards: Most Outstanding Stage Personality, Best Male Calypso/Soca Entertainer, Best Caribbean Entertainer, Most Outstanding Show Band, Best Soca Band, and The King of Soca.

The night begins with an opening set by the socially conscious Creole singer-songwriter BélO, who has been called Haiti’s musical ambassador to the world.

SATURDAY, JULY 21, 7:30 P.M.
Bud Light Latin Music Series

A night of red-hot Latin jazz with dueling Grammy winners. Arturo Sandoval plays Afro-Cuban groove, bebop and Mozart with equal power and grace. A protégé of the great Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town in the outskirts of Havana, in1949—just two years after Gillespie became the first musician to bring Latin influences into American jazz. Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but quickly turned to jazz. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most celebrated guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.

Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which features O’Farrill’s sons, celebrates three generations of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Latin musical heritage; Arturo is the son of legendary bandleader Chico O’Farrill. The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which he formed for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002, has since gone on to create the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, a not-for-profit dedicated to the preservation, furthering and teaching of Afro Latin jazz. O’Farrill is a proud resident of Brooklyn.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 7:00 P.M.
Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 7:00 P.M.
Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

FRIDAY, JULY 27, 7:30 P.M.

The Head and The Heart is a band. The six-piece came together in Seattle in the summer of 2009, and the speed with which it went from handing out burned copies of its self released debut in custom denim sleeves to selling out multi-thousand capacity venues across the country is a testament to the connection people find in its music.

While everything about The Head and The Heart’s swelling vocal harmonies and driving acoustic stomps seems at the very center of the American roots revival, the orchestral folk of Lost In The Trees represents the far left of the same movement. Both its 2010 debut, Alone in an Empty House, and this year’s A Church That Fits Our Needs have wowed critics and fans alike with their expansive arrangements, taking listeners on sonic journeys that range from the pure melodies of American folk and pop to symphonic sound exploration.

SATURDAY, JULY 28, 7:30 p.m.
Music & Movies

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? Ask the Loser’s Lounge. Before this screening of The Muppet Movie (the 1979 original), the all-star tribute ensemble salutes the Muppet musical œuvre, which—between the show, the many films and the albums—represents an extraordinary body of work. And who better to dig into it than the Loser’s Lounge, which has covered everyone from Elton John to Dolly Parton, Simon and Garfunkel and Prince? (All of these artists, it’s worth noting, have appeared on The Muppet Show.) The whole night is a sing-along. It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…

TUESDAY, JULY 31, 7:00 P.M.
Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert
NPR Music Broadcast
Sold Out

Franco Zeffirelli’S ROMEO & JULIET | THE LOVE SHOW
Music & Movies

With a Nino Rota score, Academy Awards for cinematography and costume design (and a host of nominations including Best Picture), and scandalous star turns by teenage beauties Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet is a feast for the eyes and ears and perhaps the greatest Shakespeare film ever made. For all Zeffirelli’s triumphs as a director and producer of film and television and a director and designer of opera—critical and box office successes, productions at the Metropolitan Opera, and being the first Italian national to earn a British Knighthood—Romeo and Juliet remains his best-loved work and the one with which he is most frequently associated. This an opportunity to see it on the largest outdoor movie screen in New York City.

The Love Show, a set of classic love songs reinvented by the inimitable singer Helga Davis and a cohort of powerhouse vocalists, will set the mood.


Wild Flag has risen from the ashes of a number of storied bands. It is fronted by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and “Portlandia” and Mary Timony of Helium, and includes Sleater-Kinney’s Janet Weiss and The Minders’ Rebecca Cole. The band’s launched their eponymous debut album last year.

Meanwhile, the resurgence of Mission of Burma continues. With the release of its new record, Unsound, this July, a much-anticipated next in line to 2004’s OnOffOn, 2006’s The Obliterati and 2009’s propulsive The Sound the Speed the Light, the band has effectively doubled the early ‘80s recorded output that made it a talisman for the louder faction of the last three decades of alternative and then indie music. They will descend on the Bandshell with a hurricane of snarling guitars and raw power not seen in Prospect Park since Sonic Youth in 2010.


Del McCoury leads this generation-spanning triple bill in honor of the dearly departed Earl Scruggs. With his sons in the band, McCoury conjures an authentic high lonesome sound. He has been a keeper of the flame now for decades, touring relentlessly and releasing records at a furious pace since his 1968 debut. In 2010 he received a National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2011 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Opening honors go to the virtuosic young pair Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, a self-proclaimed “new old-time duo” from Seattle, and Brooklyn’s Spirit Family Reunion, whose joyfully raucous music is communal.

Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concert

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.


Inspired by artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and their pronounced appreciation for the multicultural, Complexions’ unique mix of methods, styles, and cultures has created an entirely new vision of human movement. The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole. At Celebrate Brooklyn!, the company performs excerpts from a selection of recent works, including Moonlight, Choke, Testament, Rise and What Come, Thereafer, and Mercy, which is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Swayze.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 7:30 P.M.
Bud Light Music Series

The Swedish electro-soul outfit Little Dragon, fronted by the enchanting vocalist Yukimi Nagano, plays electronic music. After recording a handful of hits with various collaborators in the European downtempo lounge scene, Nagano formed the band and released Test, its first single, in 2006. Their self-titled full-length debut came the next year, followed by 2009’s Machine Dreams and 2011’s Ritual Union, which, along with their reputation for ecstatic live shows, have led to a deeply devoted and exponentially increasing fan base.

With Brooklyn indie scene vet Frankie Rose (ex Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, and Dum Dum Girls), whose sophomore solo effort Interstellar is their second album, and special guest DJs Voices of Black.


Lyle Lovett’s wry wit and omnivorous musical pallet embraces everything from country and folk to big-band swing and traditional pop. Lovett is a renaissance man who, along with singing and songwriting, has produced records and acted extensively (including roles in the Robert Altman films The Player, Short Cuts, Prêt-à-Porter and Cookie's Fortune). The Texas native has been actively touring and recording since 1980.

The festival’s closing night begins with transplanted Brooklynite Aoife O’Donovan, well known as the leader of the revered bluegrass band Crooked Still and an in-demand collaborator with the likes of Chris Thile and Yo-Yo Ma. She’s here with her country-folk leaning solo project.

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