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free 2017 Central Park SummerStage shows (Yo La Tengo, TMBG, Mavis Staples, Valerie June, Laura Mvula & more)

Laura Mvula at Lincoln Center's Appel Room
Laura Mvula @ Lincoln Center (photo by Toby Tenenbaum)

The lineup of free 2017 SummerStage shows is announced, and as always, it includes concerts happening in city parks in all five boroughs (Betsy Head Park, Coffey Park, Marcus Garvey park, Springfield Park, Corporal Thompson Park, etc). Here’s what’s going at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield.

Things kick off (for Central Park’s schedule AND SummerStage) on June 3 with Mavis Staples (who has recently collaborated with both Arcade Fire and Gorillaz) and Toshi Reagon. Things stay soulful with UK singer Laura Mvula on June 17 which is with Taylor McFerrin & Marcus Gilmore and Blue Lab Beats, and is part of the 2017 Blue Note Jazz Festival; as well as Robert Glasper on June 25 with Phony PPL, and Tank and the Bangas.

Then it’s Canadian folk legend and Polaris Prize winner Buffy Sainte-Marie on July 9 with A Tribe Called Red and Iskwe.

Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata heads up a UCB All-Stars comedy night on July 20 which also features a pre-show panel discussion “Only in New York: Funny Women” with Sarah Maslin Nir.

Central Park hosts two free shows as part of this year’s Latin American Music Festival: Mon Laferte, Princess Nokia, and ÌFÉ on July 12; and Los Pericos, Chicano Batman and La Vida Bohéme on July 15.

There’s a tribute to afrobeat icon Fela Kuti on July 16 featuring jazz/R&B legend Roy Ayers, Fela’s son, Seun Kuti, with Egypt 80, plus Brooklyn’s Underground System, and Rich Medina.

The most interesting free indie rock event at Central Park is probably Yo La Tengo on July 17 who are well matched with UK group Ultimate Painting. Yo La Tengo just played that collaborative show at Town Hall, and are part of the Norton Records tribute this month at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

PANJABI-MC
PANJABI MC

MC Lyte headlines the “Rock Steady Crew 40th Anniversary” on July 30 (more details TBA), and then on August 6 it’s the “Basement Bhangra 20th Anniversary” featuring Apache Indian, Panjabi MC, DJ Rekha, Madame Gandhi, Anik Khan, Horsepowar, Sikh Knowledge, J Petra and DJ Shilpa.

They Might Be Giants headline this year’s Family Day on August 12 with a show titled “Kids, Science, and Beyond” that also features Bill Childs of Spare Rock, Spoil the Child Radio.

Ethio-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke plays August 20 with Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthli, and Sudanese-American singer, Alsarah & the Nubatones.

Central Park SummerStage’s 2017 free show lineup concludes with soul-folk singer Valerie June, Aloysious 3, and Jalen N’Gonda on August 27.

Ticketed Central Park SummerStage shows this year include PJ Harvey, Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor and more. There are more free shows at Central Park, too. The whole Central Park SummerStage free show schedule is below.

CENTRAL PARK SUMMERSTAGE – 2017 FREE SHOW SCHEDULE

June 3: Mavis Staples / Toshi Reagon – Central Park

June 12: The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series – Central Park

June 14: Yiddish Soul featuring The Klezmatics / Zusha / The Maccabeats / Special Guest Cantors: Chaim David Berson and Yanky Lemmer / Emcee: Nachum Segal presented in association with The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene – Central Park

June 17: Laura Mvula / Taylor McFerrin & Marcus Gilmore / Blue Lab Beats in association with Jill Newman Productions and The Blue Note Jazz Festival – Central Park

June 19: City Parks Foundation Gala Concert & Dinner – Central Park

June 21: Fête de la Musique: Wax Tailor / Her / Ayo / Ala.Ni – Central Park

June 24: The Gift / Dead Combo / Sofia Ribeiro in association with Arte Institute – Central Park

June 25: Robert Glasper / Phony Ppl / Tank and The Bangas presented by the Blue Note Jazz Festival – Central Park

June 26: Korea GAYOJE: Year of the Ox / SsingSsing / Coreyah in association with the Korean Cultural Center New York – Central Park

June 28: Freedom Party® NYC – Central Park

July 1: Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks with Catherine Russell / Tatiana Eva-Marie & the Avalon Jazz Band / Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses presented by the French Embassy in association with New York Hot Jazz Festival – Central Park

July 2: Bob Moses / Poolside in association with Meanred – Central Park

July 8: Totó La Momposina / Mariachi Flor de Toloache – Central Park

July 9: Ohio Players / Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue – Springfield Park

July 9: Buffy Sainte-Marie / A Tribe Called Red / Iskwé – Central Park

July 10: UCB All Stars feat. Sasheer Zamata – Central Park

July 12: Mon Laferte / Princess Nokia / ÌFÉ in association with the Latin Alternative Music Conference – Central Park

July 15: Los Pericos / Chicano Batman / La Vida Bohéme in association with the Latin Alternative Music Conference – Central Park

July 16: Fela Tribute with Roy Ayers, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 / Underground System / Rich Medina in association with Giant Step – Central Park

July 17: Yo La Tengo / Ultimate Painting – Central Park

July 29: Taiwanese Waves: Fire Ex / Dadado Huang + Berry j / Sangpuy – Central Park

July 30: Rock Steady Crew 40th Anniversary featuring MC Lyte – Central Park

August 2: Rennie Harris Puremovement / Philadanco! – Central Park

August 5: Elza Soares / Liniker e os Caramelows / Teleseen DJ Set in association with Brasil Summerfest – Central Park

August 6: Basement Bhangra 20th Anniversary: Apache Indian / Panjabi MC / DJ Rekha / Madame Gandhi / Anik Khan / Horsepowar / Sikh Knowledge / DJ Petra / DJ Shilpa – Central Park

August 9: Malposo Dance Company / Daymé Arocena / Nickodemus – Central Park

August 10: The Revivalists / White Denim – Central Park

August 12: Family Day: They Might Be Giants: Kids, Science, and Beyond / Bill Childs of Spare Rock, Spoil the Child Radio – Central Park

August 13: Taj Mo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band / Jontavious Willis – Central Park

August 16: Lincoln Center at the Movies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in association with Dance Films Association – Central Park

August 20: Mulatu Astatke / Emel Mathlouthi / Alsarah & the Nubatones / DJ Sirak – Central Park

August 27: Valerie June / Aloysious 3 / Jalen N’Gonda – Central Park

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