SummerStage rings in its 30th year on May 18, and this season — the longest in its three decades of bringing music to the parks and pavilions of New York City — is an aural smorgasbord that deals an even hand to seasoned greats and up-and-coming performers alike.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band will be the first to hit Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield on May 18. After that, the SummerStage programming stretches to the far-flung reaches of the boroughs, with plenty of acts giving non-Brooklynites a reason to take the Ikea water taxi to Red Hook, an excuse to revisit Flushing Meadows in Queens, and a chance to make the required voyage on the Staten Island Ferry. Rumsey field will play host to everything from the Blue Note Jazz Festival (June 6) to the Okayplayer-produced dance party headlined by London’s premier soul ensemble, Jungle (June 20), to r&b’s front-running firecracker, Jazmine Sullivan (August 23).
Brooklyn is where fans can find Troy Ave (June 3 at Red Hook Park), Biz Markie (June 17, Herbert Von King Park), and banjo-strummin’ folk-stompers the Felice Brothers (June 4). Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires are the top-billed act for the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival in Queens (June 7), and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will descend upon Queensbridge Park (July 15) as well. As for Staten Island, Clove Lakes Park will boast everything from the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series (June 30) to the universal groove of Jellybean Benitez (July 29).
The best part? Most of these outdoor fêtes are free. SummerStage will wrap things up with Walk the Moon’s Central Park set on September 24, so plan your steamy nights accordingly long past Labor Day.
For more the full (jam-packed) SummerStage lineup and information for tickets and transportation, click here.