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BAM R&B Fest 2017: free Brooklyn daytime Metrotech concert lineup

Sinkane at Bowery Ballroom
Sinkane at Bowery Ballroom in February (more by Amanda Hatfield)

The annual BAM R&B Festival brings free music to MetroTech Commons (corner of Flatbush and Myrtle Aves in Brooklyn) on Thursdays at noon, and the 2017 edition will run every Thursday from June 8 to August 10. One big highlight is Sinkane, who has other stuff coming up, like Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival, a DJ set at Amadou & Mariam and Innov Gnawa’s free Celebrate Brooklyn! show, and Upstate NY’s Mountain Jam festival. Here’s the full lineup:

June 8: Ramsey Lewis
June 15: Raul Midón
June 22: The Suffers
June 29: John Hammond
July 6: Sinkane
July 13: Tank and the Bangas
July 20: Preservation Hall Jazz Band
July 27: Septeto Santiaguero
August 3: Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
Aug 10: Liv Warfield, Judith Hill, and Shelby J: Love 4 One Another

The Suffers also just announced a NYC show happening July 28 at Brooklyn Bowl. Tickets go on sale Friday (5/12) at 10 AM. That’s right around the time they play NJ’s XPoNential Fest. All tour dates here.

Check out a more detailed R&B Fest schedule below. More info here.

Ramsey Lewis Thu, Jun 8, Noon––2pm

Jazz icon Ramsey Lewis is a leader in contemporary jazz, recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts and with 80 albums—seven of them gold—to show for it. Since becoming a fixture in the 1950s Chicago jazz scene, the three-time Grammy-winning pianist has collaborated with countless artists, frequently working with past bandmate Maurice White and featuring Earth, Wind & Fire on his 1974 career-defining album Sun Goddess. Most recently, Lewis returned to his electric roots with 2015’s Taking Another Look–Deluxe Edition, in which he rekindles original tracks from Sun Goddess along with a mix of new tunes.

Raul Midón
Thu, Jun 15 Noon––2pm

Raul Midón’s syncopated flamenco- and jazz-infused acoustic guitar is a wonder matched only by his silky tenor. Blind since infancy, the emotionally insightful songwriter got his start as a backup singer for Shakira, which eventually led to collaborations with the likes of Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder, along with appearances on recordings by Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg. Perhaps best known for his improvisational mouth-horn technique, in which he performs a bebop “trumpet” solo entirely with his lips, Midón released his latest album, Bad Ass and Blind, earlier this year.

The Suffers
Thu, Jun 22 Noon––2pm

Houston’s commanding 10-piece ensemble is here to shake up the notion that they’re just another soul revival band. The Suffers’ signature “Gulf Coast Soul” sound is as much influenced by classic rock ‘n’ roll, country, Latin, and Southern hip-hop as by the eras of Stax/Volt records and Muscle Shoals studio. Boasting a powerful horn section, reggae vibes, and massive vocals from Kam Franklin, they have garnered 20 Houston Press Music Awards and made appearances on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel Live! in support of their 2016 self-titled debut album.

John Hammond
Thu, Jun 29 Noon––2pm

Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Hammond remains the only person to have had both Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton in his band at the same time. The Grammy Award-winning acoustic guitar legend has recorded over 33 albums since cutting his teeth during the mid-60s blues renaissance, amassing critical acclaim for his solo act of wailing the blues with a harmonica around his neck.

Sinkane
Thu, July 6 Noon––2pm

Sinkane makes feel-good music for trying times, spreading Afrobeat cadences, funky guitar licks, and soulful falsetto with a generosity of spirit. London-born Ahmed Gallab heads the four-piece band after making his musical debut as a drummer for Of Montreal. The group comes to MetroTech fresh off this year’s Life & Livin’ It, offering slinky grooves in the name of celebrating what makes life good without ignoring what makes it hard.

Tank and the Bangas
Thu, Jul 13 Noon––2pm

The winners of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, Tank and the Bangas conjure a magical mix of rhythmic soul and spoken word, a unique sound that the New Orleans natives compare to gumbo. Mesmerizing lead vocalist Tarronia “Tank” Ball’s enrapturing performances draw on her background as a poet, spinning Disney-esque plays on lyrics backed by funky synth keys, saxophone, and flute.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Thu, Jul 20 Noon––2pm

The seminal New Orleans house band of Preservation Hall was formed at the French Quarter haunt by the venue founders’ son, Allan Jaffe, who still leads the band today. Its original members performed with the likes of Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. The ensemble continues its deep reverence for tradition while touring worldwide and building fresh material, including the 2013 release of That’s It!, the band’s first album of all-
original music in its entire 50-year career.

Septeto Santiaguero
Thu, Jul 27 Noon––2pm

The intoxicating Cuban ensemble Septeto Santiaguero gained attention for infusing an adventurous streak into the traditional son music of its native Santiago de Cuba. Before winning the 2015 Latin Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Album and sparking collaborations with salsa stars like José Alberto “El Canario” and Rubén Blades, the seven captivating performers honed their sound at the famous Casa de la Trova nightclub, cultivating an infectious call-and-response style that continues to heat up dancefloors wherever they go.

Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
Thu, Aug 3 Noon––2pm

Brooklyn native and Hammond B-3 organ apostle Cory Henry entered the scene at the tender age of six, making his debut on the Apollo Theater stage. He has since won two Grammys with experimental jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy and grown a rabid social media fan base for his dynamic and improvisational solo work. This master of good vibes is now on tour with his newest passion project, the six-member crew Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles.

Liv Warfield, Judith Hill, and Shelby J: Love 4 One Another
Thu, Aug 10 Noon––2pm

Three brilliant female Prince protégés carry on the icon’s legacy for this special live show under the same banner as his Love 4 One Another charity. The trio combines the vocal talents of thrilling stage presence Liv Warfield, previously a member of Prince’s New Power Generation backing band; Grammy winner Judith Hill; and powerful songwriter Shelby J. After touring with the likes of Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, and Santana, the women come to MetroTech backed by Warfield’s own band.

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