The 2018 Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival runs July 24 – August 12 with all manor of free music, dance and spoken word events. This year's lineup includes: the previously mentioned Raphael Saadiq show; NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live featuring music and conversation with Carly Rae Jepsen, Jamila Woods, I’m With Her, and more to be announced; Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA presenting his live score to Shaw Brothers’ classic martial arts film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin; the New York City premiere of Hal Willner’s Amarcord Nino Rota, a tribute to Italian film composer Nino Rota; Sun Ra Arkestra performing a live score of 1970s film Space Is the Place; OkayAfrica’s Mzansi Heat & Naija Beats with Yemi Alade, DJ Maphorisa, and DJ Tunez; and the annual Roots of American Music Weekend (lineup TBA).

There's lots more, too, and all events are free and open to the public. Check out the full lineup and schedule below.


RZA: Live from The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Wu-Tang Clan founder, composer, and filmmaker RZA kicks off the season with an epic audio-visual film experience— a re-score of the Shaw Brothers’ 1978 martial arts classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. With its themes of perseverance, transcendence, and brotherhood, the film was a formative influence on Wu-Tang’s aesthetic. Now, weaving together instrumentals, beats, and lyrics from the Wu-Tang discography (and beyond), RZA performs his thrilling new score live, amplifying the film’s powerful narrative and astonishing action from opening sequence to closing credit. After touring this project to sold-out venues in 12 cities, RZA returns to New York City with a special edition crafted specially for his hometown fans.

Raphael Saadiq
Tamar-kali: PsychoChamber Ensemble
Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Since his early days with the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! and throughout his three-decade career collaborating with artists like Solange, D’Angelo, and The Roots, Grammy-winning musician, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq has kept the flames of old school R&B burning brightly. For this special show, he takes his rightful place center stage to play treasures old and new from his deep catalog. Sharing the bill is Brooklyn’s own Tamar-kali,
recently nominated (like Saadiq) for her musical work on the film Mudbound. Tonight, she and her strings/vocal ensemble explore the intersection of classical music and post-punk sensibility.

Selena for Sanctuary featuring Mon Laferte, Cuco, Nina Diaz, Omar Apollo, and August Eve
Thursday, July 26 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
The queen of Tejano music and an idol to an entire generation of young artists, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is the inspiration for this beautiful evening of music and community. Join an exciting lineup of genre-defying Latinx musicians including Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte; SoCal “DIY dream pop” wunderkind Cuco (Red Bull); fierce, magnetic vocalist and musician Nina Diaz; soulful, alternative R&B artist Omar Apollo; and accomplished songwriter and creative August Eve as they bring their own spirit to Selena’s famous melodies under the starry Manhattan sky.

Hal Willner’s Amarcord Nino Rota (New York City premiere)
Friday, July 27 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Legendary downtown music producer Hal Willner brings together an eclectic array of musicians for an imaginative musical tribute to Italian composer Nino Rota, known for his iconic scores to Federico Fellini’s films, including La Dolce Vita, 8½, and Juliet of the Spirits. Willner and friends open the night with music from two other famous Rota scores—the first two Godfather movies—before digging into the Fellini scores in a live performance of the seminal 1981 tribute album that launched Willner’s storied career, Amarcord Nino Rota (I Remember Nino Rota).

Family Day
Saturday, July 28
Bring the kids and get into the Out of Doors spirit with family-friendly music and dance performances on our spectacular

  • Dance with Mark Morris Dance Group
    Saturday, July 28 at 11:00 am
    Hearst Plaza
    Co-presented with the Mostly Mozart Festival
    Learn to dance with one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary dance companies. For this special all-ages, allabilities class, participants will have the chance to dance steps from Mark Morris’s Love Song Waltzes, which will be performed in August at the Mostly Mozart Festival.
  • Marching Cobras
    Saturday, July 28 at 12:00 pm
    Josie Robertson Plaza
    They’ve performed at the Super Bowl, in an Oscar-winning movie (Birdman), and as part of the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, and now this 60-member drumline and dance team brings its high-energy artistry to Josie Robertson Plaza.
  • Soul Science Lab
    Saturday, July 28 at 1:00 pm
    Hearst Plaza
    Dancing and singing are encouraged at this interactive performance by dynamic duo Chen Lo and Asante Amin. Together with an MC, a DJ, horns, and vocalists, Lo and Amin chronicle the joys of travel and cultural exploration using their signature blend of hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul, and Afrobeat rhythms.

Faramarz Aslani accompanied by Babak Amini
Saturday, July 28 at 7:00 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Persian music is refracted across generations with this exceptional triple bill anchored by legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Faramarz Aslani. Beloved for setting classical Persian poetry and original lyrics to pop grooves, Aslani has been one of the most respected Iranian artists since his 1977 hit song "Ageh Ye Rooz" (If One Day). He shares the evening with KIOSK, the popular rock band that emerged from the Tehran underground in the early 2000s, and Brooklyn-based Habibi, whose lauded new EP, Cardamom Garden, blends Iranian psychedelic rock from the '70s with girl-group harmonies and surf guitar.

Janis Claxton: POP-UP Duets (fragments of love)
Various times
Josie Robertson Plaza
Wednesday–Sunday, August 1–5
Lincoln Center’s campus becomes the stage for this “richly inventive, wonderfully perceptive” set of duets (Herald, U.K.) from acclaimed Scottish choreographer Janis Claxton. Over the course of nine encounters, pairs of dancers emerge from the crowds to offer ephemeral glimpses of love and affection, from overt flirtation to secret passions, all set to a gorgeous score by Pippa Murphy. A unanimous hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Duets will delight visitors during the second week of Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live: 21st-Century Edition
Music and conversation with:
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jamila Woods
I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan)
and others to be announced
Wednesday, August 1 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Last summer, NPR Music and Lincoln Center radically changed how we talk about the history of popular music with the publication of the 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women list and a live show at Lincoln Center Out of Doors celebrating those albums. This marked the beginning of the Turning the Tables project, a challenge to think bigger about music's past, present, and future by highlighting voices often relegated to its margins. This year, NPR's Turning the Tables Live: 21st-Century Edition shifts focus toward a new generation of artists claiming center stage. To celebrate, we present a night of music and conversation with Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum recording artist and singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen; visionary Chicago R&B artist and poet Jamila Woods; Americana supergroup I'm With Her; and more.

OkayAfrica’s Mzansi Heat & Naija Beats
Yemi Alade
DJ Maphorisa
DJ Tunez
Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
OkayAfrica—the online hub of the African New Wave—brings two Afropop superstars and a legendary Brooklyn DJ to Damrosch Park for this high-octane party. Drawing on everything from Ghanaian highlife, Ivorian coupé-décalé, and American hip-hop, the Nigerian “Queen of Afrobeats” Yemi Alade (Fader) lights up the stage with power vocals and irrepressible charisma. DJ Maphorisa, the multiplatinum South African producer known for his banging blend of house and Afropop, and Flatbush’s own DJ Tunez—official DJ to Nigerian megastar Wizkid—will keep you feeling great all night long.

Peter Wolf
Friday, August 3 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Known to ’70s FM radio kids and early MTV fans as the charismatic lead singer and songwriter of the J. Geils Band (“Centerfold,” “Love Stinks”), Peter Wolf takes us on "a tour de force excursion through the landscape of American music" (All About Jazz). As a solo artist Wolf has collaborated with the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Mick Jagger, and Aretha Franklin. Leading his own band of seasoned pros, he brings an energetic set of blues, pop, funk, soul, bluegrass, country, and rock 'n' roll to the Bandshell.

La Casita
Saturday, August 4 at 12:00 pm Hearst Plaza
Sunday, August 5 at 2:30 pm Teatro Pregones (Bronx)
Poetry: Timothy DuWhite, el-Walad, Amanda Gorman, Randall Horton, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Fred Moten, José Olivarez, Purvi Shah, Danez Smith, and Frank Waln
Music: Bohio Music, Los Pleneros de la 21, Madison McFerrin, Soul Inscribed, and Ulali Project
MC: Jennifer Falu
Through poetry, music, and stories, a powerful community of artist-activists give voice to the everyday heroes working to uphold and extend LGBTQ, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights. La Casita is curated by Melody Capote, Caribbean Cultural Center; Lillian Cho, consultant; C. Daniel Dawson, arts and media consultant; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, writer, vocalist, sound artist and curator; Cady Gierke, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian; Claudia Norman, Claudia Norman Management; and Rich Villar. American Sign Language interpretation provided.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Saturday, August 4 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
For 50 years, Dance Theatre of Harlem has been spreading a message of empowerment through the arts. In recent years, the first Black classical ballet transformed into a superlative, multi-ethnic company with a powerful vision for ballet in the 21st century. For this celebratory evening, the company dances some of the signature works that embody this impressive legacy. The magic of the night begins with London-born, Paris-based singer-songwriter ALA.NI, who brings the spirit of Billie Holiday and Judy Garland to her jewel box of intimate songs.

Heritage Sunday
Sunday, August 5

  • 1:00 pm Hearst Plaza
    Made in NYC: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance featuring Andy Statman, Cherish the Ladies, Grupo Rebolu, and Sidiki Conde and Tokounou
  • 5:00 pm Josie Robertson Plaza
    Heritage Sunday Dance Party
    with DJ Rekha
    For this 50th birthday celebration, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance calls upon some of its favorite artists—many of whom got their start with CTMD—for an eclectic, energetic afternoon of music reflecting the diversity of NewYork City’s neighborhoods. Among the guests are klezmer pioneer Andy Statman, Irish-American supergroup Cherish the Ladies, the groundbreaking Afro-Colombian band Grupo Rebolu, and the miraculous Guinean dancer, drummer, and singer Sidiki Conde and his group Tokounou. DJ Rekha—the visionary behind SOB’s legendary BasementBhangra parties—oversees the post-show dance party around the Revson Fountain.

Yoruba Remixed!
A Sonic Journey Through the Sounds & Vibes of the African Diaspora
featuring PALO!, Philbert Armenteros y Los Herederos, Yuba Ire, Something Positive Dance Company, DJ
Carlos Mena, and DJ Bembona
Sunday, August 5 at 7:00 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Join the Caribbean Cultural Center as they celebrate the legacy of its co-founder Marta Moreno Vega with music and dance inspired by West African Yoruba traditions. Dance performances by the Something Positive Dance Company open and close this evening that also features live music from Puerto Rican percussion ensemble Yuba Ire and two celebrated Miami bands—Philbert Armenteros y Los Herederos and PALO! In between, world-renowned DJs keep the
vibe going with sets of remixed Yoruba songs.

Sun Ra Arkestra live score to Space Is the Place
Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers
Samora Pinderhughes: The Transformations Suite
Wednesday, August 8 at 6:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell

This cosmic evening, part of LPR’s 10th-anniversary celebrations, builds up to the Sun Ra Arkestra performing the live score to the film, in which Black people create their own paradise on Saturn, transported there by music. Getting us to that place tonight are the beloved songs of soul singer and composer Bill Withers (“Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,” “Just the Two of Us”) performed by Blue Note jazz and R&B artist José James. Jazz pianist and composer
Samora Pinderhughes opens with The Transformations Suite, a musical and theatrical examination of the radical history of resistance within communities of the African diaspora. Presented as part of LPR X, celebrating (le) poisson rouge's 10th-anniversary season

West Side Story Reimagined
Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
Poetry by La Bruja and Rich Villar
Friday, August 10 at 7:30 pm
Damrosch Park Bandshell

Leonard Bernstein's score to West Side Story fused progressive big-band jazz, lyric opera, modern dance, and Latin rhythms into a groundbreaking masterpiece that revolutionized the Broadway musical. Celebrate Maestro Bernstein’s centennial year with the Grammy-nominated Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band. Just a few blocks from where the opening of the film was shot, they reimagine the timeless instrumental score using traditional Afro-Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Brazilian, Venezuelan, and Mexican rhythms, funk, rock, and jazz. Poets La Bruja and Rich Villar kick off the evening with an electrifying set of spoken word.

In the Name of the Earth (World premiere)
North, South, East, and West choruses
Simon Halsey, conductor
John Luther Adams: In the Name of the Earth (World premiere)
RAIN LOCATION: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Join hundreds of neighbors, visitors, and singers in the northernmost part of Central Park for the world premiere of In the Name of the Earth, a large-scale choral work by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer John Luther Adams. Led by the incomparable Simon Halsey, hundreds of experienced and amateur singers transform the names of North American rivers, lakes, mountains, and deserts into a communal meditation on Adams's holy trinity: the Earth, the Water, and the Holy Wind. Experience geography in sight and sound as you move around the beautiful water of the Harlem Meer and through an enveloping sound world created by 360-degree singing.

Saturday & Sunday, August 11 & 12
Americanafest NYC
Lineup to be announced

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