Time to start getting your summer lined up. First order of business: SummerStage just announced this year’s lineup of (mostly) free shows in Central Park and all around the city, and we’re once again looking at a super eclectic mix of music heavyweights. Among other things, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will once again be bringing free top-tier jazz to Tompkins Square Park.
This year, SummerStage is offering up some singer-songwriters (Elvis Costello on June 15, PJ Harvey on July 19, Regina Spektor on July 27; Bob Moses on July 2), indie bands (Yo La Tengo on July 17, They Might Be Giants on Aug. 12; Young the Giant and Cold War Kids on Sept. 13) throwback hip-hop (KRS-One on June 25, Slick Rick on July 7, GZA on July 23, Digable Planets on June 21; DJ Premier of Gang Starr on July 2), downtown arts institutions (UCB All-Stars featuring SNL’s Sasheer Zamata on July 10, Nuyorican Poets Cafe on Aug. 9, the Public presenting Shakespeare by way of Pablo Neruda on July 26), funk and jam bands (Gov’t Mule with Chris Robinson Brotherhood on May 17, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic on June 11, Ohio Players on July 9, Budos Band on July 22), and some jazz (Jimmy Heath Big Band on July 8, a tribute to Fela Kuti featuring the Afrobeat god’s son and the Egypt 80 band on July 16). Plus, plenty of samba, salsa, klezmer, bhangra, and on and on.
Once again, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will be part of the festivities. On Aug. 27, esteemed saxophonist Joshua Redman’s quartet will lead a free Tompkins Square Park concert paying tribute to Bird, whose former house is, of course, right off the park. Uptown at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, on Aug. 26, legendary sax man Lee Konitz will do the honors.
While many of the shows are taking place at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, other venues include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Coffey Park in Red Hook, and others. You can peep the whole schedule here. Most shows are free, but some (like Elvis Costello and PJ Harvey, sorry!) will cost you about $50.