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SummerStage Announces Lineup of Free Shows, 8/18-24

SummerStage Announces Lineup of Free Shows, 8/18-24

SummerStage continues their summer programming of free concerts. They recently released their lineup of free shows for the week of August 18-24th. See the full details below!

Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Tuesday, August 19
Wednesday, August 20

SummerStage Kids presented by Disney presents a special evening of circus! Bring the family for a fantastic evening under the stars where they can enjoy world class performers on stage as well as throughout the venue. This evening brings the circus outside the tent and into the park!

Watch SummerStage Kids premiere of its first ever commissioned work, "Circus," a distinctive piece inspired by the celebrated poet Rumi and his poem, "Zero Circle" that explores the nature of evolving relationships and was created in part with the innovative Loki Circus Theater company and famed beat box and Hip-Hop artist, Akim Funk Buddha.

Founded and under the direction or Samuel Roy and Nicolas Boivin Gravel, THROW2CATCH (T2C) produces contemporary circus performances and is based in Montreal, Canada. Samuel and Nicolas met in the 1990's at the École de cirque de Verdun. Their artistic collaboration urged them to create a juggling act called THROW2CATCH. After attending the École Nationale de Cirque de Montréal, the duo presented their act around the world with major companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Éloize, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Cavalia and the Arsenal Theater Company.

Loki Circus Theater was founded by Susan Voyticky and Michelle Arvin to create innovative movement theater productions using a mixture of circus, physical theater and dance. Performances created with circus push audiences beyond the confines and limits of reality, in celebration of the infinite potential of the human being. The daring inherent in the expression of a circus artist is a call to our own individual audacity, an affirmation of rewards given to those who rise to the challenge of being human. Loki Circus Theater productions achieve this synthesis--combining the effect of circus with the affect of theatre.

Akim Funk Buddha is a multi-faceted performance artist with talents ranging from high-energy Classic Hip Hop rhymes, beat-boxing and Mongolian throat-singing. He creates borderless performance art fusing sounds and movements. Akim has performed his show at venues worldwide. He toured the world with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dancecompany, performing as throat singer/vocalist, multi-percussionist, and dancer, and performed at Carnegie Hall with Bobby McFerrin. He is known for his holistic Approach to Hip Hop, drawing from a full spectrum of cultural traditions and artistic disciplines.

Circus to Go by The Big Apple Circus delivers high quality entertainment beyond the circus ring, bringing the joy and delight directly to you. Strolling performers mix and mingle with guests, spotlighted specialty acts add a splash of wonder to any occasion, skilled teaching demonstrations enhance educational and team building workshops and circus-themed stage shows are the perfect solution to your "featured entertainment" needs. Our creative staff will work with your theme and space to design the perfect performance fit.

Paris, given the nickname "The Hip-Hop Juggler" by Al Roker himself, has been dazzling audiences with his brand of juggling for over a decade. He has appeared at the Big Apple Circus, The Today Show, Sesame Street, The White House, and the We Free convention in Italy to name a few. He has also been featured in Juggle magazine and Time Out New York. Paris has gained critical acclaim for his juggling instruction, teaching hundreds at conventions, universities, and corporations. He has taught over 1,000 people how to juggle. We bet he can teach you too!

Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Thursday, August 21

SummerStage Kids presented by Disney presents a special evening of Circus! Enjoy world class performers on stage as well as strolling performers are part of Circus to Go! by the Big Apple Circus, bringing family entertainment outside the tent.

The Acrobatic Conundrum
The Acrobatic Conundrum was founded in 2012 by Terry Crane and Joselynn Engstrom, with the mission to create performance experiences that delight and engage audiences. Conundrum shows feature moments of absurd and intimate humanity. The artists of the Acrobatic Conundrum tell their stories as individuals as well as take physical risks live onstage. As a company, they are dedicated to a vision of human courage, connection, and collaboration. The troupe has produced three shows to date: Volumes I & II, and The Way Out. The company has performed in various venues around the Pacific Northwest and headlined the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, the first festival of its kind.

Chelsea O'Brian
Chelsea O'Brian is a performer, teacher and artistic director of ChelseaO Productions. She has worked in the mediums of circus, dance, aerial dance, film and theatre. Her works have been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, Conseil des Arts et lettres de Quebec, Adesam, and the City of Vancouver public art program. She has performed with companies such as Cirque Plume in France, Cavalia, Sens Productions, Rea'son d'etre productions, and Zaccho Dance Theatre. She is known in the circus industry for having invented the Aerial Kite, a unique circus apparatus. Her Aerial Kites can now be found internationally. Chelsea is currently based in San Francisco. Cirqu'elle premiered in the summer of 2013 at Zaccho studio in San Francisco. Since then it has toured to Santa Barbara and Richmond CA, and Chelsea is thrilled to bring the show to SummerStage!

Perfect Catch
Perfect Catch is the dynamic juggling team of Michael Karas and Jen Slaw. In 2011, Michael and Jen decided to create a theatrical juggling show that would appeal to the theater goers of New York City. An adorable 50-seat theater, The Canal Park Playhouse, agreed to produce their whimsical idea and the result was a huge success that ran for two seasons. "Perfect Catch: A Throw-mantic Comedy" was named a Critic's Pick by Backstage Magazine and received a rave review from the NYTimes as well, citing Jen and Michael as "expert jugglers". Jen and Michael continue to tour their show, promoting theatrical juggling as well as "huggling", the combination of hugging while juggling. In fact, they set a world record in 2013 on live television for the longest huggling session without a drop - 33 minutes and 43 seconds. They're excited to present their show at SummerStage - enjoy and come say hi after the show!

La Mega's 7th Annual Tropical Fest with ALEX SENSATION
Central Park, Manhattan
Saturday, August 23

Alex Sensation: Website / Twitter
New York City's top Latin DJ, Alex Sensation, began collecting music and at age 16 was already a disc jockey at various nightclubs. He enjoys mixing different genres, but his roots as a mixer are linked with Tropical music. Among his many accomplishments as a prominent DJ and radio personality, Alex has been the face of Dennon DJ Equipment. Alex DJ's five nights a week throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Long Island, and has two #1 mix radio shows in the country: "La Original Mega Mezcla and "La Mega Mezcla Sábado en la Noche" both on La Mega 97.9 FM. He also has DJed to sold­out crowds at the Madison Square Garden, Izod Center, Nokia Theater, and the United Palace, among others. This year, Alex received an ACE Award (the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics). He has also taken his mixes and talent to countries such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay and Aruba.

Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Saturday, August 23

Wallace Roney earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues and his elders since age 16. He has been an integral part of the band with Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis Jr., Herbie Hancock, Jay McShann, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. He was one of the few musicians in his generation who learned and perfected his craft directly from alliances with Jazz Masters. But his most important and meaningful relationship was with Miles Davis. Wallace was mentored by Miles Davis after Miles heard him in 1983 at his birthday gala performance in Carnegie Hall. Their association peaked when Miles chose Wallace to share the stage at his historic performance in Montreux in 1991. In what must be one of the grandest musical gestures imaginable, Wayne Shorter, one of the most important composers in the history of Jazz music and arguably the greatest living composer in Jazz today, bestowed on to Wallace Roney the scores to two large scale, large ensemble pieces that Wayne conceived and composed for Miles when he was still in the band but were never recorded (or even performed) and told Wallace he was now the person who could best fully realize these works. These two major works, Legend (composed in 1967) and Universe (composed in 1968 and 69) are amazing in their scope and breadth (they are written for as many as 18 pieces, including english horn, bassoon, french horn, flutes and clarinet along with more traditional instrumentation) and show Wayne to already be a fully formed masterful composer and orchestrator of large scale works at this early date in his career. Wayne also included a third unrecorded composition, Twin Dragon which was written for Miles in 1981 at his request as he was looking for material to perform for his comeback. Wallace Roney, who has performed and recorded with Wayne and was Miles Davis' only protégé, has become a pivotal artist on the scene in his own right. With his vast experience with these great artists, he is clearly the right choice to bring this important music to life.

Lionel Loueke
Hailed as a "gentle virtuoso" by Jon Pareles of The New York Times, guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke follows up his acclaimed Blue Note releases Karibu and Mwaliko with the extraordinaryHeritage. Co-produced by piano great and Blue Note label mate Robert Glasper, Heritage finds Loueke at the helm of a new lineup with a more electric sound. In addition, Loueke, long known for his nylon-string acoustic guitar, does not feature that instrument on Heritage. He transitions to steel-string acoustic and electric guitars A veteran of bands led by Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Loueke is bringing jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular his native Benin. The title Heritage is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. "I have two heritages," Loueke says. "One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage too. I called this album Heritage because I've been blessed by all different parts of the world, and most of the songs reflect that."

Kris Bowers
Pianist Kris Bowers is one of the newest and brightest lights on the jazz landscape. Schooled in jazz and classical music, raised amid the rap and hip-hop of the 1990s, inspired by the cinematic power of the great film composers of recent decades, Bowers' sound - though rooted in traditional styles - is open to numerous external influences that keep the music fresh and vibrant for a new century. This rich and eclectic sensibility is evident from the very first notes of Heroes + Misfits, an ambitious debut album that positions Bowers at the forefront of a talented sextet and showcases a musical and compositional style that - while clearly rooted in the jazz tradition - is also reflective of an eclectic musical age. Bowers musical sensibilities were taking shape before he even saw the light of day. The story has it that his parents positioned headphones on his mother's belly and piped soft jazz directly into his evolving consciousness in the months before he was born. And it was just the beginning.

Chris Turner
This classically trained crooner is a soul singer for the ages and a writer for our times. Starting at four years old, Chris Turner was a member of the Kairos Youth Choir, at nine with the San Francisco Opera Company, the Young Musicians Program at the University of California (YMP), the School of the Arts (SOTA) in San Francisco and was the featured vocalist for the SF Jazz High School All-Stars. In the GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble, he performed with many GRAMMY artists. Chris graduated from the New School University for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Chris has toured worldwide with Esperanza Spalding and Bilal and he recently opened for Gregory Porter at Town Hall in NYC. He performed on BET "106 & Park" as a MusicMatters "Artist To Watch" and premiered his first single, "Liquid Love". Chris currently has a digital mix tape called "LOVElife Is A Challenge" and is featured on new recordings by Eric Harland, Kris Bowers, and Harvey Mason Sr.

Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan
Sunday, August 24

Kenny Barron
When Kenny Barron first heard that the National Endowment for the Arts inducted him into its prestigious Jazz Masters class of 2010, he felt honored to be among the greats of the music who have also received the U.S.'s top honor in jazz. "I was excited at the acknowledgment of my service," says the 66-year pianist whose solo career has also garnered him numerous awards in jazz critics and readers polls. "I've been playing music for a long time, and this award reflects that I've made a significant contribution." One of the most renowned, most lyrical-and busiest-pianists in jazz today, Barron is a multiple-Grammy nominee, was honored with induction into the American Jazz Hall of Fame (2005), and received the MAC Lifetime Achievement Award (2005) and the Mid Atlantic Arts Living Legacy Award (2009). An in-demand sideman in his early days on the jazz scene, the Philadelphia native launched his solo career in 1973 with Sunset to Dawn, released by Muse Records. He has recorded more than forty albums as a leader, including his latest, The Traveler, in 2008, on Universal France/Sunnyside.

Cindy Blackman Santana
Cindy Blackman Santana is a virtuoso drummer whose artistry spans the realms of jazz and rock. As a bandleader and as a musician, Cindy is a sound innovator with a passion for pushing creative boundaries and exploring movement and change. Cindy has been creating magnificent musical time and space since the beginning of her career as a busking street performer in New York City in the '80s through the present day, touring the globe and making albums at the top of her game- both with her own bands as well as artists like Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Bill Laswell, Joss Stone, Joe Henderson, Buckethead, Don Pullen, Hugh Masakela, Lenny Kravitz and Angela Bofill. Most recently, Cindy has been sitting in with Santana. While substituting for Dennis Chambers at a Santana show in early 2010, Cindy and Carlos sparked a relationship, on and off the stage, that led to their Marriage in 2010.

Born in Oakland, CA, as a music-hungry youngster, Craig Handy experimented on guitar, trombone, and piano before settling on his first true love, the saxophone. Handy moved to New York in 1986 and began several associations with formidable artists including Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, master drummers Art Blakey and Roy Haynes, South African melodist Abdullah Ibrahim, and the Mingus Dynasty Band. For the past several years, Handy has recorded or toured consistently with guitarist John Scofield, trumpeter Charles Tolliver, the John Hicks Legacy Band, and most notably The Cookers - a collective of stalwart leaders renowned for playing that simmers or surges to a boiling point - with brethren Billy Harper, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, and David Weiss. In 2014, Handy returns as an original bandleader and party-starter for his new touring and recording project. Titled Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith, Handy draws from his fondness for the music of New Orleans, smack attached to the groove-filled re-imaginings of originals and standards by the late, great organist Jimmy Smith. The release includes cameos by Dee Dee Bridgewater and Wynton Marsalis while filling a rotating drum chair with Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Ali Jackson, and Steve Williams. But the band at the core of the recording springs out of Handy's current residence in Weehawken, NJ, and shines a light on organist Kyle Koehler, guitarist Matt Chertkoff, and sousaphonist Clark Gayton.

Brianna Thomas
According to Will Friedwald at The Wall Street Journal, vocalist Brianna Thomas "may well be the best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation." Thomas was born and raised in Peoria, IL where she first cut her teeth as a performer. Initially taught and influenced by her Father, drummer and vocalist Charlie Thomas, Brianna comes from a rich background of diverse musical influences. Brianna moved to NYC in 2007 to attend college at The New School University and has since established herself as a talented vocalist on the scene today. Since graduating in 2011 she has performed with jazz greats Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Russell Malone, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and longtime hero Dianne Reeves. Thomas has also performed Nationally and Internationally ranging from the "Women In Jazz Festival" at Jazz At Lincoln Center to the prestigious Montreaux, Umbria, Bern and Sochi Jazz Festivals. Brianna recently released her debut album You Must Believe In Love on Sound On Purpose Records.

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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.

SummerStage reminds our patrons that in the interest of public safety the following items cannot be brought into the Central Park venue: glass bottles, cans, coolers, folding chairs, bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards, beach umbrellas, video cameras, tape recorders, professional camera gear or pets. All bags are subject to search. Bringing alcoholic beverages into any NYC park is forbidden and the distribution or sale of unauthorized promotional materials is not allowed. Beer and wine are on sale at the Central Park venue for on­site consumption only. There is no public storage onsite. SummerStage is not responsible for items left outside the venue entrance. Smoking is prohibited within all New York City parks.

The 2014 SummerStage festival is presented by: Time Warner, Disney, Lagunitas, Ommegang, Six Point, Peter Cooper Village, Bloomberg, Forest City Ratner, City Winery, and JWT are official SummerStage sponsors. Additional funding generously provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation; The Norman E. Alexander Family M Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts, though the Access to Artistic Excellence Program; NYC Council Member Rosie Mendez; NYC Council Member Debi Rose.

Media sponsors include: Time Out New York, Relix, Remezcla, El Especial & El Especialito, Zoom Media & Marketing, The Village Voice, WNET, WNYC, WFUV, WBGO, NBC New York, Big Screen Project, Concert Blogger and Globe Star Media and Entertainment.

In all of its programming and activities, City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities they serve.

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