photos by David Andrako & Ryan Muir

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings kicked off BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival's 2016 season of shows in style with a packed house on a beautiful evening in Prospect Park on Wednesday (6/8). The rain from earlier in the day even stopped in time for the 5:30pm benefit gala that happens each year on opening day (though that was held safely under a huge extra tent set up by the 9th St entrance, just for the occasion). If you happened to notice many familiar faces from Wetlands circa 2000 in the crowd (John Popper included), that's because this year's gala was honoring ex-Wetlands, current Brooklyn Bowl/Relix owner Peter Shapiro (check out the interview Billboard did with the Grateful Dead 'Fare Thee Well' show producer at the event).

Those that didn't know would never have guessed that the amazing Sharon Jones has been battling cancer for three years. She didn't miss a beat, backed as always by the large, talented and soulful ensemble that is the Dap Kings (two drummers included). As always, the large hometown show for Sharon (who used to sometimes play down the street at the now-shuttered but much smaller Southpaw), was a triumphant one.

For those who want to know more, don't miss the new Sharon Jones documentary which is coming to theaters this summer. More tour dates are also at that link, many of them with Hall and Oates (including a few in the NYC-area).

Celebrate Brooklyn! continues this weekend with a free show for kids on Saturday, June 11 by Del Fuegos frontman Dan Zanes (now more known for his kids music I think). Check out the full summer schedule (which unfortunately no longer includes a free Baaba Maal show, but does include a benefit show where BADBADNOTGOOD is opening for Herbie Hancock)

Check out more photos of Sharon's night, below...

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