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BAM R&B Fest 2016: free Brooklyn daytime Metrotech concert lineup (The Fatback Band, King Sunny Ade, Zapp & more)

Zapp in the '80s
Zapp in the ’80s

BAM’s annual summer R&B Festival which happens Thursdays at noon at MetroTech Commons at MetroTech Center from June 2 – August 4 (corner of Flatbush and Myrtle Aves in Brooklyn). All shows are free and open to the public. This year’s lineup:

June 2: Zapp
June 9: William Bell and Band featuring John Leventhal
June 16: Mali Music
June 23: The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats
June 30: George Gray Groove Coalition featuring Jazzmeia Horn
July 7: The Fatback Band
July 14: King Sunny Ade
July 21: The Hallelujah Train ft. Pastor Brady Blade, Sr., Daniel Lanois, Brian & Brady Blade Jr., & more
July 28: Ladies Sing the Blues starring Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, and Charanee Wade
Aug 4: Dee Dee Bridgewater with Theo Crocker

William Bell also plays a free NYC “soul” show at Hudson River Park on Saturday, August 6 and King Sunny Adé will play a free show with Orlando Julius and DJ Rich Medina at Central Park on July 3 as part of the SummmerStage concert series.

A more detailed schedule is below.

Zapp
Thu, Jun 2, 2016 12 noon

The members of Zapp Band have been playing boisterous, bass-soaked funk together for over four decades, rising to prominence after they were discovered by the legendary George Clinton in the late 1970s. Known for singles like “More Bounce to the Ounce,” “Doo Wa Ditty,” and “I Can Make You Dance,” their performances are as heavy on space-age talkbox distortion as they are on dazzling showmanship.

William Bell and Band ft. John Leventhal
Thu, Jun 9, 2016 12 noon

Soul icon William Bell is known both as a powerhouse performer and dextrous songwriter, having penned some of the most enduring hits of the influential Stax Records label, including “Born Under a Bad Sign” and “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” At age 76, he’s touring in support of his first album in nearly four decades, an intimate suite that sets his grainy voice loose on everything from mid-tempo grooves to classically Bell ballads.

Mali Music
Thu, Jun 16, 2016 12 noon

Savannah-based singer-songwriter Mali Music, also known as Jamaal Pollard, exploded onto the R&B scene with his 2014 debut album Mali Is…, which earned him a Grammy nomination, followed by the powerful track “Contradiction” for Spike Lee’s 2015 film Chiraq. A multi-instrumentalist with staggering range, he draws from hip-hop and neo-soul to build driving, lyrically rich songs onto rock-solid gospel foundations.

The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats
Thu, Jun 23, 2016 12 noon

This all-star youth orchestra comprises gifted young musicians from across the five boroughs. Helmed by Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats deliver highly danceable classics from the big band Latin jazz repertory, including works by Tito Puente, Machito, and Chico O’Farrill.

George Gray Groove Coalition ft Jazzmeia Horn
Thu, Jun 30, 2016 12 noon

Baltimore-based drummer George Gray is a versatile beat-making machine, having toured with the likes of Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind & Fire; Cassandra Wilson; Chuck Berry; Abdullah Ibrahim, and Janet Jackson. Singer Jazzmeia Horn won the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, channeling the best of Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughn. At MetroTech, they unite with like-minded denizens of the groove for an afternoon of jazz, funk, and soul in the sunshine.

Fatback Band
Thu, Jul 7, 2016 12 noon

This seminal New York City funk and disco band, now in its fourth decade of performing, is responsible for driving hits like “Backstrokin’, “Gotta Get My Hands on Some (Money),” and “King Tim III (Personality Jock),” which is considered by many to be the first-ever rap recording. Legendary drummer Bill “Fatback” Curtis is the group’s indomitable leader, propelling horns, guitar, bass, and background vocals with “street funk” beats inspired by rhythms from New Orleans and the Caribbean alike.

King Sunny Ade
Thu, Jul 14, 2016 12 noon

King Sunny Ade is the undisputed king of juju, the high-energy, highly danceable hybrid of Western pop and traditional African music with roots in the guitar tradition of Nigeria. Boasting a diverse roster of collaborators including Youssou N’Dour and Stevie Wonder, Ade has also been an influence on Talking Heads and David Bowie. He comes to MetroTech as part of his first North American tour in eight years.

The Hallelujah Train featuring Pastor Brady Blade Sr., Daniel Lanois, Brian & Brady Blade Jr. & more
Thu, Jul 21, 2016 12 noon

Called “the most imaginatively supple drummer in jazz” (The New York Times), drummer Brian Blade (Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell), began playing at Shreveport’s Zion Baptist Church, where his father—the spine-shaking Pastor Brady Blade, Sr.—has presided for over 50 years. For the Hallelujah Train, the sanctuary moves to the stage with Grammy-winning producer-guitarist Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan, U2, Peter Gabriel) and special guests joining for a live gospel project like no other. Presented in association with Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors.

Ladies Sing The Blues ft. Catherine Russell, Charenee Wade, and Brianna Thomas
Thu, Jul 28, 2016 12 noon

Jazz diva Catherine Russell, a staple at Jazz at Lincoln Center, is joined by vocalists Brianna Thomas and Charenee Wade to pay impassioned tribute to the great female blues singers of the 1920s: Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Ethel Waters. Backed by a seven-piece band, led by pianist Mark Shane, the trio delves into the catalog of 1920s and 30s legends Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, backed by a seven-piece band.

Dee Dee Bridgewater With Theo Croker
Thu, Aug 4, 2016 12 noon

Legendary entertainer Dee Dee Bridgewater has won a great many things, among them: three Grammy Awards for her work as a jazz vocalist, a Tony Award for her role in The Wiz on Broadway, and the hearts and ears of a nation as the host of NPR’s JazzSet. At MetroTech she is joined by celebrated trumpeter and composer Theo Croker, who is blazing his own sensational path while honoring the legacy of his grandfather, jazz icon Doc Cheatham.

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