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Celebrate Brooklyn – complete 2011 Prospect Park show lineup

The National show in Prospect Park (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Celebrate Brooklyn

We already knew that ‘Celebrate Brooklyn‘ is hosting an impressive lineup of ticketed Prospect Park Bandshell shows this summer: The Decemberists, Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver & Cut Copy. And we knew that the 33rd annual series of free shows would start with an Andrew Bird show on June 10th, and that BRIC is also hosting three free ‘dance parties’ in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer too.

Now the entire 2011 lineup of “24 free performances, including 20 music concerts, two dance performances, two film screenings with live music, and a family concert” is here! You can check it all out (The Feelies, Real Estate, The Books, Junip, Doveman, Justin Townes Earle, Punch Brothers, Raekwon, Oumou Sangaré, Times New Viking, Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve, Buke & Gass and Hal Willner included), below…


FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 8:00 P.M.
ANDREW BIRD
Opening Night Concert

The festival’s thirty-third season begins with a free full-band concert by the stylistically omnivorous folk visionary. A classically trained multi-instrumentalist and one of the most distinctive songwriters of his generation, “Bird could be the only performer who’s lit up both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo with a combination of vocals, violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling…he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock. (Esquire)”

The show will be preceded by Celebrate Brooklyn!’s Opening Night Gala at 5:30 P.M. While the concert is free, gala tickets ($325 and up) entail reserved seats, in addition to cocktails, dinner and dancing: For gala guests and Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn!, there is an after party with the Brooklyn-based video-and-performance group Cheryl, at 9:45 P.M.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 7:00 P.M.
THE DECEMBERISTS / BEST COAST
Benefit Concert. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 7:00 P.M.
HAL WILLNER’S FREEDOM RIDES PROJECT FEATURING ROSANNE CASH | TOSHI REAGON | STEVEN BERNSTEIN & MANY MORE
Presented by Celebrate Brooklyn! & American Express

The maverick music producer Hal Willner brings his singular network of artists and his genius for curating multi-artist concept shows to the music of the Civil Rights Movement. Commissioned for Celebrate Brooklyn!, this concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, which integrated the interstate bus system and helped bring America’s and the world’s attention to the deprivations of the segregated South. Willner will convene a surprising and eclectic array of musicians, actors, and other artists–established and emerging, famous and infamous–to perform songs that inspired, illuminated, and sprang from the tumultuous aftermath of the Movement. The evening begins with a pre-performance artists discussion. Performers subject to change; check bricartsmedia.org/cb for an updated list.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 7:00 P.M.
THE BOOKS | JUNIP | DOVEMAN
Time Warner Cable Series

With their dizzying folktronica–a mix of innovative instrumentation and songwriting with obscure found sound and speech samples–and perfectly calibrated, hallucinatory quick-cut video collages, the Books, says Pitchfork, “remain more or less a genre of one…the flotsam and jetsam of American culture aren’t a cheap joke to the Books, but a source of endless discovery and joy.” Junip, the band that predates Swedish-Argentine singer José González’s solo stardom, conjures an expansive take on his songs in which, as Rolling Stone describes it, “González’s classical guitar and weightless tenor float over soul jazz, Afrobeat, Ethiopian funk and krautrock.” The evening will begin with the “haunting, ethereal, and beautifully melodic” (Paper Magazine) bedroom pop of in-demand pianist and composer Thomas Bartlett’s outfit Doveman. Sponsored locally by Aguayo Realty Group.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 7:30 P.M.
LARRY HARLOW LATIN LEGENDS BAND: BATTLE OF THE SALSA VIOLINS | LA EXCELENCIA
Bud Light Latin Music Series

Larry Harlow, “El Judio Maravilloso,” revolutionized modern salsa as both a musician and producer in his work with the storied Fania label. Here he brings his all-star band to back a violin throwdown: the great Cuban Alfredo de la Fe vs. Brooklyn’s own Lewis Kahn. Among the young torchbearers of the sound Harlow helped create, few are as compelling as the Bronx-based La Excelencia, a group of young hotshots that is taking the music to new levels but, as The New York Times says, still “emphasizes hard-driving brass and percussion, just like a Fania Records band from salsa’s heyday in the 1970s.”

THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 7:30 P.M.
LEDISI | ANTHONY DAVID

This night of neo-soul is headlined by Ledisi, one of the most versatile and dynamic vocalists of her generation and, as Soul Tracks puts it, “a singer with nothing left to prove…an artist who’s arrived.” She shares the bill with Anthony David, the first artist signed to India. Arie’s Soulbird label, whose acoustic guitar playing and liquid voice recall a young Bill Withers. USA Today has said of him, “The Atlanta singer-songwriter seems to fly below the radar even though he makes some of the most intelligent and soulful music around.”

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 7:30 P.M.
ROY HARGROVE QUINTET | THE BADWAGON FEATURING JASON MORAN’S BANDWAGON & THE BAD PLUS
Presented by Celebrate Brooklyn! & American Express

Known for collaborations with R&B stars like D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, Roy Hargrove is among the foremost jazz trumpeters of his generation. With his stellar quintet, Hargrove, according to AllMusic, “is reaching a new and elevated level of pure jazz artistry.” The evening also includes the debut of The Badwagon, a project that pits two outstanding piano trios, Jason Moran & The Bandwagon and The Bad Plus, against one another onstage. They will trade songs, riffs, and maybe some friendly trash talk.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 7:00 P.M.
THE HEAVY | THE LONDON SOULS | SUPERHUMAN HAPPINESS

The Heavy has garnered critical plaudits for “menacing and dirty mix of Funkadelic, James Brown and maxi-fuzzed psychedelic garage” (Time Out NY). Some will recognize their sound from the film The Fighter, which featured The Heavy’s song ‘How You Like Me Now?’ throughout. The London Souls, with their roaring guitars, channel “the best bits of your old man’s dusty vinyl collection” (Relix). This night of vintage rock and funk will begin with a set by Superhuman Happiness, whose music combines funky ’80s electronic pop with Afrobeat and other styles.

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 7:00 P.M.
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE | PUNCH BROTHERS | THE HACKENSAW BOYS
Time Warner Cable Series

Justin Townes Earle, who “sings like a honky-tonk hero and thinks like a 21st century man” (Guitar Aficionado), shares a Celebrate Brooklyn! bill with another beloved Americana artist of his generation, Chris Thile of Nickel Creek, who will perform with his “wide-ranging and restlessly imaginative” (The New Yorker) supergroup Punch Brothers. Punk-bluegrass band The Hackensaw Boys will kick things off.

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 7:30 P.M.
STEEL PULSE | NATURAL EXPRESSION RHYTHM BAND
Bud Light Music Series

The iconic Steel Pulse came storming out of Burmingham, UK in the late ’70s and have never let up, delivering their Rastafarian protest reggae with relentless fire now for three-plus decades. National Public Radio therefore calls them “perhaps the last great old-school reggae band left.” Also on the bill is National Expression Rhythm Band, a sprawling local pan-Caribbean collective whose joyful music incorporates everything from cowbells to old car parts.

THURSDAY, JULY 7, 7:30 P.M.
COURT YARD HOUNDS | THE ABRAMS BROTHERS
Time Warner Cable Series

While The Dixie Chicks are on hiatus, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison are applying their impeccable musicianship and sublime vocal blend to the “harmony-laden pop-country hybrid” (Billboard) project Court Yard Hounds. The Abrams Brothers, two Canadian brothers and a cousin too young to have a beer at the Bandshell, are virtuosic interpreters of bluegrass, country, and other American roots idioms whose musical connection goes back four generations deep in their family band.

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 7:00 P.M.
LOS LOBOS | HELLO SEAHORSE! | ZIGMAT
Bud Light Latin Music Series
Presented by Celebrate Brooklyn! & LAMC

This year’s annual Latin Alternative Music Conference show at Celebrate Brooklyn! will showcase the old guard and the new. Los Lobos’ “unpredictable mix of traditional Latin, earthy rhythm & blues, roiling funk, and rock & roll wallop” (LA Weekly) has made them one of the world’s best live bands for decades; Mexico City’s Hello Seahorse! is on a meteoric rise with what Stereogum calls a “knack for writing pop songs that hit you immediately.” The Brooklyn electro rockers Zigmat open, and Raul Campos, of the tastemaking L.A. radio station KCRW, spins between sets.

SATURDAY, JULY 9, 7:30 P.M
LYRICIST LOUNGE FEATURING RAEKWON | SMIF-N-WESSUN | JOELL ORTIZ & MORE
Bud Light Music Series

Raekwon, whose record Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is on many critics’ short lists for the year’s best, headlines this show curated by the Lyricist Lounge, an NYC hip-hop institution for almost 20 years. A Brooklyn-centric lineup of MCs fills out the bill.

TUESDAY, JULY 12, 6:30 P.M.
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE / OPENER TBA
Benefit Concert (Sold Out)

THURSDAY, JULY 14, 7:00 P.M.
FRANKIE GAVIN & DE DANNAN | LIAM Ó MAONLAÍ | MCPEAKE

This triple bill of traditional sounds from the Emerald Isle features De Dannan, whose front man, Frankie Gavin, holds the Guinness record for world’s fastest fiddler. Also performing are Liam Ó Maonlaí of Hothouse Flowers, who explores the mystical beauty of Gaelic singing, and Belfast’s McPeake, who carry on a family tradition of Irish folk that goes back 100 years. Travel support provided by Imagine Ireland.

FRIDAY, JULY 15, 7:30 P.M.
SHIRLEY CAESAR | VY HIGGINSEN’S GOSPEL FOR TEENS CHOIR

The 11-time Grammy-winner Shirley Caesar, “The First Lady of Gospel,” has been singing for the Lord for six decades. Her career is at a peak. Vy Higginsen’s Gospel for Teens Choir, a prize-winning Harlem educational program/vocal group, will perform an opening set.

SATURDAY, JULY 16, 4:00 P.M.
DAN ZANES WITH THE BROOKLYN YOUTH ORCHESTRA & BED STUY VETERANS
Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert

Celebrate Brooklyn!’s annual Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert celebrates the legacy of the trailblazing children’s author with musical performances and readings of beloved Keats stories. This year, the event is an all-Brooklyn collaboration between Dan Zanes, whose “rootsy but rockin’ back-porch approach to music makes parenting more bearable” (New York Magazine), the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra and dancers from BSV.

THURSDAY, JULY 21, 8:00 P.M.
WEST SIDE STORY DANCE & SING-ALONG
Music & Movies

When director Robert Wise, choreographer Jerome Robbins, and composer Leonard Bernstein transposed Romeo & Juliet to the gang-ruled streets of NYC, one of Hollywood’s greatest musicals was born: West Side Story won 10 Oscars in 1962, including Best Picture. In this unique participatory screening, the lyrics will be shown Brooklyn’s enormous outdoor screen–NYC’s largest–and Officer Krupke (played by the choreographer Lawrence Goldhuber) will teach audiences some of the famous steps. Sharks enter at 11th Street, Jets at 9th. The evening will begin with a pre-performance discussion.

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 7:00 P.M.
SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 | FAAJI AGBA

The yearlong celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence that began last October continues here with a generation-bridging concert. Fronting his father Fela’s legendary band, Seun Kuti is the living embodiment of afro-pop. Faaji Agba’s lineup of Afrobeat pioneers–including Fatai Rolling Dollar, Chief Seni Tejuoso and Prince ‘Eji’ Oyewole of the Afro-Skittles Band–makes them Nigeria’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club: a supergroup of veteran musicians who are re-popularizing faaji grooves, agidigbo blues, juju and other styles of Nigerian roots. Travel support provided by Arik Air.

SATURDAY, JULY 23, 7:00 P.M.
THE FEELIES | REAL ESTATE | TIMES NEW VIKING

Jon Pareles of The New York Times has described New Jersey’s The Feelies as “a garage band reimagined by mathematicians, a psychedelic band with no illusions, a folk-rock band hypnotized by repetition, a punk band for introverts.” The band’s influence on contemporary indie rock is difficult to overstate: They represent a direct link between the Velvet Underground and so much of the scene today. The Feelies released Here Before, their first album of new material in 19 years, to much acclaim this spring. At Celebrate Brooklyn!, they will perform material from it, as well as favorites spanning their catalogue. They will be preceded on the bill by Real Estate, who, according to Pitchfork, “share tones with North Jersey indie rock titans Yo La Tengo and the Feelies, pouring those influences through warm impressions of oldies radio,” and the Columbus, OH lo-fi heroes Times New Viking.

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 8:00 P.M.
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP WITH THE BROOKLYN PHILHARMONIC & THE BROOKLYN INTERDENOMINATIONAL CHOIR

The world-renowned Brooklyn-based company returns to the Bandshell with a program of works that includes Resurrection (2002), Lucky Charms (1994), and Gloria (1981). Maestro Alan Pierson debuts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir joins in on Gloria for a powerful finale. The evening exemplifies what The Washington Post calls “Morris’s extraordinary commitment to live music,” which, the paper adds, “transforms his performances and enriches the experience immeasurably.” Friends of CB pre-concert reception sponsored by Warren Lewis Realty. See Friends panel for details.

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 7:30 P.M.
OUMOU SANGARÉ | BASSAM SABA

The Malian singer Oumou Sangaré is arguably, as New York Magazine noted, “the most celebrated performer in West Africa.” She has brought the enchanting tribal rhythms of her Wassoulou homeland to the global stage with a captivating presence and an unmistakable voice. The Arabic music savant Bassam Saba “weaves together Lebanese and Arabic folk music with Turkish Gypsy styles and Russian motifs, playing oud, flutes, violin and buzuq…surprisingly funksome stuff.” (Time Out NY).

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 6:30 P.M.
DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911 | CHUCK BROWN | RED BARAAT

Dr. John carries New Orleans’ rich heritage in his fingers, drawing upon a seemingly infinite musical vocabulary that embraces blues, pop, jazz, Zydeco, boogie-woogie and rock & roll. Having revived his Nite Tripper persona, he is in top form: His 2010 album Tribal is “close to a career-defining summation from one of America’s most important musicians” (AllMusic). In the late ’70s the DC guitarist Chuck Brown, “The Godfather of Go-Go,” combined funk, R&B, and early hip-hop with call and response and a syncopated beat to invent a brand new genre–and has kept the party going ever since. Brooklyn-based bhangra and brass funk band Red Baraat will deliver the first performance of the event, which also includes Celebrate Brooklyn!’s first-ever pig roast.

TUESDAY AUGUST 2, 7:00 P.M.
SUFJAN STEVENS
Benefit Concert. Tickets available via Ticketmaster and the Best Buy Theater box office.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 7:00 P.M.
THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS WITH ALLOY ORCHESTRA | MARIKA HUGHES
Music & Movies

Roger Ebert has declared Alloy Orchestra “the best in the world at accompanying silent films.” Here the group will perform its original live score to the newly restored version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which The New York Times critic A.O. Scott recently called “a masterpiece of visionary silent cinema,” adding, “Just about every science-fiction movie you can think of pays tribute to its influence, but to date none has matched its strangeness or its prophetic power.” This print, discovered in 2008 in Buenos Aires, includes 25 additional minutes and is just four minutes shorter than the lost original that premiered in 1927; its reconstruction is among the most significant restoration projects in cinema history. An opening set by the soulful and versatile local cellist Marika Hughes will prepare the audience for this sonic and visual roller coaster.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 7:00 P.M.
RA RA RIOT | DELICATE STEVE | BUKE AND GASS
Time Warner Cable Music Series

With bounding rhythms and infectious hooks, Ra Ra Riot’s high-speed chamber pop combines “Arcade Fire’s orchestral reveries with Vampire Weekend’s pop sensibility” (Rolling Stone). Delicate Steve is a wildly energetic and uplifting instrumental band led by the talented guitarist Steve Marion, who is rumored to play 39 other instruments. Local duo Buke & Gass uses strange tools–a mutant bass/guitar hybrid, a modified baritone ukulele, effects pedals, and tricked out foot percussion–to create what NPR describes as “a throttling yet joyful sound and a handcrafted sensibility.”

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 8:00 P.M.
AILEY II: REVELATIONS

In a special 50th anniversary celebration of the work’s premiere, Ailey II performs Alvin Ailey’s signature work, one of the great masterpieces of American dance. Revelations is a tribute to African-American cultural heritage–and to Ailey’s genius–that uses spirituals, song-sermons, gospel and holy blues to fervently explore in movement and music the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. The Chicago Tribune has asked “Is there a more moving work in 20th century dance than Revelations?” The evening begins with a pre-performance artists discussion.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 7:30 P.M.
BON IVER
Benefit Concert (Sold Out)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11 / 6:30PM
CUT COPY / WITH FOSTER THE PEOPLE AND MIDNIGHT MAGIC
Benefit Concert. Tickets available via Ticketmaster, the Mercury Lounge box office and the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office.

About BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn

BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn presents contemporary art, performing arts, and community media programs that reflect Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity. BRIC also provides resources to launch, nurture and showcase artists and media makers. We advance access to and understanding of arts and media by presenting free and low-cost programming, and by offering education and other public programs to people of all ages. Each year, upwards of a million people in Brooklyn and citywide are served through BRIC’s programs.

BRIC’s performing arts programs present emerging and established artists in music, dance, theater and multidisciplinary performance to broad audiences from Brooklyn and throughout New York City, and support the development of new work. BRIC’s flagship performing arts program is the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, one of New York City’s longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched by BRIC in 1979 as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions. Throughout its history, over 2,000 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity, ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to emerging, cutting?edge artists, have been presented at Celebrate Brooklyn!

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