Just shortly after all the Memorial Day festivities are over, SummerStage will kick off the summer season with their opening night on Saturday June 11 with Jazz icon Herbie Hancock. The free show will take place at their City Park’s Foundation stage Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.
The stage had undergone a $5.5 million transformation back in 2019 that included a brand new stage along with a new sound system, better lighting, and new raised seating areas. That said, this makes it all the more exciting to check out a few of their concerts between June and October (and they’re free anyway, so why not?).
The 2022 season is an especially significant comeback as this year’s festivities will take place and celebrate music in some of the many places of refuge that were crucial to New Yorkers throughout the pandemic—the city’s many parks.
“Parks have always been neighborhood gathering spaces, but the pandemic brought to light just how absolutely critical parks are to our city’s health. We are thrilled to be able to bring neighbors together in their parks to enjoy a diverse, representative line-up that is reflective of our city’s rich cultural fabric,” said Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation’s Executive Director.
The lineup for the season has finally been announced with notable performances by renowned and local artists from around the world in a variety of genres spanning salsa, jazz, hip-hop, indie, reggae, Afrobeat, soul, and contemporary dance among others. Festival highlights will include Caribou, Waxahatchee, MC Solaar, Carla Morrison, Ney Matogrosso, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Patrick Watson, Ana Tijoux, and Tony Vega.
“Each season, SummerStage has always presented a festival full of talent as diverse and broad as the communities that host these performances in parks across all five boroughs,” said Erika Elliott, Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage. “The artists we are presenting this season not only represent their own distinct cultures but reflect the global diversity that truly matches the spirit of New York City.”
The parks set to host these free performances will include Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Von King Park and The Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, Crotona Park in the Bronx, Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island, along with the SummerStage flagship venue at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Therefore, no matter where you’re at in NYC, there’s sure to be a concert near you.
Beyond free and benefit concerts throughout the five month event, SummerStage will also welcome dance performances, outdoor screenings, and special tributes to cultural icons.
You can see the current scheduled lineup for the 2022 season here.
For more information about the SummerStage events, check out their site at summerstage.org.
Also published on Medium.