Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn SummerStage programs begin June 13

May 9, 2016 From City Parks Foundation
Photo courtesy of Mia Min Yen
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City Parks Foundation is proud to announce the 2016 season of SummerStage, New York City’s largest free performing arts festival, bringing more than 115 free performances to Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Yiddish Soul, and Taiwanese music to dance, comedy and theater, SummerStage will feature more than 200 unique artists, filling a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts landscape, ensuring that New Yorkers will have access to exceptional cultural experiences, free of charge. Since its inception 31 years ago, SummerStage has benefited more than six million people from New York City and around the world.

Having highlighted hip-hop music and culture in 2013 and salsa and Latin music in 2014, the festival is thrilled this year to honor another distinctly New York musical form: Jazz. The 2016 season of SummerStage will both showcase exceptional performing artists from around the globe, and will also feature more jazz performances than ever before, with nearly half a dozen planned for Central Park and many more in neighborhood parks across the city. The focus on jazz this season coincides with the upcoming centennial of the musical dawning of the term “jazz,” as well as what would have been the 100th birthdays of late jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Ella Fitzgerald.

In Brooklyn, the festival will span across the borough, with 23 show dates in four different parks. From indie music to jazz to African dance, the diverse programming has something to satisfy all tastes.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

This season in Brooklyn, SummerStage will feature artists of many different genres such as indie-rock band Chairlift, socially-conscious hip-hoppers Public Enemy and vocalist Lisa Simone Kelly, daughter of the late American vocalist and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

In the world of dance the festival presents The Brooklyn Dance Festival, featuring up and coming Brooklyn and NYC area dancers, and the electric songs and dances of the Maimouna Keita School of African Dance.

For theater lovers, SummerStage has partnered with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe to present a program featuring  poet and author Mahogany L. Browne and reg e gaines, Tony-Award-nominated playwright and Grammy-nominated lyricist.

In keeping with this year’s celebration of jazz, SummerStage presents Soul in the Horn featuring jazz trumpeters Theo Croker and Maurice Mobetta Brown, guitarist Marcus Machado and Grammy-winning vocalist Kendra Foster.

“At City Parks Foundation, we believe culture should be convenient and affordable for everyone. Our SummerStage festival removes the barriers to culture, bringing world-class artists, topical and popular, to neighborhood parks across all five boroughs, free of charge,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “SummerStage brings together New York’s diverse communities in authentic and meaningful ways, making high quality performing arts — from music to spoken word, circus and contemporary dance — truly accessible.  We are thrilled to bring another season, filled with exceptional artistry, to communities across the City.”

“Capital One is proud to once again support SummerStage as it celebrates New York’s artistic energy and creativity,” said Michael Slocum, President, Commercial Banking and Northeast Regional President, Capital One. “The arts build communities and enrich lives, and this remarkable festival embodies our commitment to investing for good in the diverse communities where our associates live and work.”

Visit  for festival information.

UPDATE: SummerStage events in Red Hook Park will now take place in Coffey Park due to field closures in the Red Hook recreation area. Coffey Park is located at Verona Dwight Streets, a few blocks northwest of the Red Hook Recreation Center.


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