Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech – Free Concert Series New York City
Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech – NYC Free Concert Series
Free Concert Series in NYC, New York, USA
Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech 2008
This free outdoor summer concert series features an eclectic roster of legendary trailblazers and emerging musical visionaries. Past performers have included Maceo Parker, Los Lobos, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, Odetta, Salif Keita, Amadou and Mariam, and The Spinners.
Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 12.00 noon
The Skatalites are a Jamaican institution, matchless musicians who defined the musical sound of Jamaica during the 1960s. The original members brought signature styles to hundreds of the island’s musical releases; songs like “Guns of Navarone” and “Blackberry Brandy” introduced a genre of music that came to be called “ska.” Often quoted as saying the invention was never intentional, merely a by-product of flawed attempts at American soul music, this gently self-deprecating explanation neglects the jazz and big band swing sound crucial to ska’s genesis. Decades on, the music of The Skatalites remains timeless.
Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 12.00 noon
Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab has become one of the greatest world music bands, with influence extending far beyond national boundaries. Fusing Afro-Cuban rhythms and Portuguese Creole melodies with Congolese rumba, high-life, and a whole gamut of local styles, they helped turn the capital Dakar into one of the world’s most vibrant musical cities. With acclaimed albums on Nonesuch Records produced by Youssou N’Dour, including cameos by N’Dour and the great Buena Vista crooner Ibrahim Ferrer, Orchestra Baobab has cemented their renown as pan-African musical masters.
Thursday, July 03, 2008 at 12.00 noon
Though Oleta Adams’ roots are in gospel, her professional debut came rather unexpectedly on the British band Tears for Fears’ album The Seeds of Love. Listeners were taken aback by the soulful female voice that was prominently featured, and in 1990, Tears for Fears produced Adams’ debut, Circle of One, which yielded the number one hit “Get Here.” Adams remains one of the finest singers in contemporary soul and R&B, with a deep spirituality that keeps her firmly aligned with the gospel music world.
Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 12.00 noon
The first song on Leela James’ debut album, A Change Is Gonna Come, reminisces about Aretha, Gladys, and Chaka. Conceived as a throwback to an earlier era of soul music, it builds upon the legacy of 1970s soul singers while incorporating elements of contemporary R&B, funk, and gospel. Her dance floor beats boast lyrical relevance and thematic range that challenge her audience to dance hard and think harder.
Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 12.00 noon
Renowned for her multi-range contralto and jazz-scat vocal gymnastics, singer Phoebe Snow was raised in a household where Delta blues, Broadway show tunes, Dixieland jazz, classical music, and folk were played religiously. Her debut album, Phoebe Snow, produced the top five hit single, “Poetry Man,” garnering Snow a Grammy nomination and establishing her as a formidable singer/songwriter. A tour with Paul Simon, a Rolling Stone cover, and legions of fans followed. A genuine legend, she remains one of the most distinctive voices in popular music.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 12.00 noon
Alice Smith’s luscious four-octave range astounds with its remarkable control, versatility, and emotion. Her nuance and fine sensitivity to rhythm has made her one of the most promising female singer/songwriters to hit the local NYC music scene in years. Circling from rock to blues to soul to neo-soul and on, Smith’s style defies genre, never settling fully into one before a new chord, a new phrase, or a new verse changes the feel completely.
Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 12.00 noon
The innovative bassist, composer, and bandleader Meshell Ndegeocello was one of the first artists signed to Madonna’s Maverick label in the early 90s. Her 1993 debut, Plantation Lullabies, received three Grammy nominations, but it was a duet a year later with John Mellencamp on a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” that brought Ndegeocello universal acclaim. Today, she is among the most respected musicians in contemporary R&B, breaking musical barriers and crossing funk with jazz, psychedelic rock, rap, and world music.
Richie Havens with special guest Marcus Carl Franklin
Thursday, August 07, 2008 at 12.00 noon
Born in Bed-Stuy, Richie Havens is gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music-a fiery, poignant singing style that has remained ageless since he first emerged from the burgeoning Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. His blistering performance at Woodstock helped Havens reach a worldwide audience of millions, and for decades he has used music to convey messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. Joining him is teenage blues guitarist Marcus Carl Franklin, who portrayed a young Bob Dylan in the 2007 fictionalized biopic of Bob Dylan I’m Not There appearing in a telling scene with Havens.
2, 3 to Hoyt Street and walk two blocks north on Bridge Street
2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall Station and walk five blocks east
M, R to Lawrence Street Station and walk one block north
A, C, F to Jay Street/Borough Hall Station and exit at Myrtle Promenade