Carnegie Hall Citywide
Five free concerts that tap into the pulse of the city
This season, Carnegie Hall Citywide offers free concerts featuring outstanding blues, salsa, orchestral, Broadway, and jazz artists. Tapping into the pulse of the city, these performances bring New Yorkers together to share in the joy of music.
“For more than four decades, Carnegie Hall has partnered with community organizations in all five boroughs, offering free performances by renowned mainstage artists and rising musical stars in New York City neighborhoods, bringing together local residents and people from all over to share in great music,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “As part of this commitment to community, we are thrilled to return to Bryant Park this summer, presenting five fantastic concerts, kicking off next season’s Carnegie Hall Citywide series.”
Friday, July 9
Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely
Described by Vibe magazine as “one helluva rock’n’roller-coaster ride” and by PopMatters as “a treasure waiting to be found,” Toshi Reagon is a one-woman celebration of all that’s dynamic, progressive and uplifting in American music. Since first taking to the stage at age seventeen, this versatile singer-songwriter-guitarist has moved audiences of all kinds with her big-hearted, hold-nothing-back approach to rock, blues, R&B, country, folk, spirituals and funk. The New York Times described her blend as “... a love of mixing things up ... [her] vocal style ranges from a dirty blues moan to a gospel shout to an ethereal croon.” Her live performances, in particular, aren’t just accessible; they’re irresistible. And Toshi Reagon loves her audiences. Leading her renowned band – BIGLovely, launched in 1996 – she instantly connects, inspires and empowers.
Friday, July 16
Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the three-time Grammy-winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the gold standard for excellence in authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Whether in a concert hall or at an outdoor jazz festival, there is no easing you in, they come at you full force, from start to finish. Their energy on stage and their rich sound and musical precision leave audiences mesmerized until the last note is played. With an unwavering respect for the music’s storied history, the ensemble’s thirteen world-class musicians and vocalists come together to create an unparalleled musical experience. SHO, as they are known to fans, is dedicated to the sounds of the barrio (Spanish Harlem, NYC). Their music is characterized by the raw, organic and vintage sound defined by the genre. They are on a mission to keep the musical legacy of salsa dura (hard salsa) alive and expand its audience to those who love great music, not just Latin music. Grounded in the past, while focused on the future, they strive to keep the music relevant, creating a unique and fresh approach. With six albums and five Grammy nominations, this powerhouse orchestra is aware that it is crucial to continually push themselves and raise the bar. Their latest release and 6th album, Anniversary, won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Tropical Album.
Friday, July 23
The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The orchestra has toured and recorded with renowned soloists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Vienna Musikverein. The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The Knights are committed to creating unusual and adventurous partnerships across disciplines; they perform in traditional concert halls as well as parks, plazas, and bars, all in an effort to reach listeners of all backgrounds and invite them into their music-making. Since incorporating in 2007, the orchestra has toured consistently across the United States and Europe.
Friday, July 30
Adrienne Warren & Friends
Adrienne Warren made her West End debut in the World Premiere of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical in the title role of Tina Turner (Olivier, Evening Standard & WhatsOnStage Award Nominations). She was last seen on Broadway in Shuffle Along as Gertrude Saunders / Florence Mills, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. She originated the role of Danielle in the Tony-nominated Bring It On: The Musical on Broadway. She was also seen at the Apollo Theater as Lorrell in Dreamgirls, followed by the national tour. Other New York theater credits include The Wiz at Encores City Center. Adrienne has had the honor of performing for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the 2018 Royal Variety Show in London. She has toured and recorded with the multi-platinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and is currently working on her solo debut album. Adrienne has headlined with The Virginia Symphony Orchestra and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops.
Friday, August 6
Terence Blanchard & the ECollective with Turtle Island Quartet
Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard embarked onhis solo recording career with his eponymous Columbia Records album in 1991, the New Orleans-born-and-based artist has traveled many paths musically, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material, composing over 50 soundtracks and even, in 2013, debuting Champion: An Opera in Jazz. He has also, in the spirit of his one-time membership in the jazz school of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, mentored several musicians in his bands who have gone on to have significant recording careers of their own including Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott and one of his current band members Fabian Almazan). As a leader and co-leader, Blanchard has recorded more than 30 albums that often defied genres, yet were still critically acclaimed. For his latest Blue Note Records album, Breathless, Blanchard powerfully and playfully journeys into another jazz realm with his new quintet, The E-Collective – an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors.
New this year: thanks to generous support from Bank of America, nearly all Picnic Performances will be livestreamed and available to watch at no cost. We invite you to grab a blanket, get comfortable, and enjoy the show, no matter where you are!
Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Entry to Picnic Performances is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis for all audience members. Advance ticket registration is no longer required. Please arrive no earlier than 5:30pm when doors open. There will be two seating areas:
1. Vaccinated and Tested: Attendees must present either digital or physical proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or an immediately recent negative COVID-19 test, along with government issued photo ID. In this area, attendees can bring a blanket or use a Bryant Park chair. Upon entry, attendees may distance and wear masks at their own discretion.
2. Distanced: In this area, audience may sit in pre-set, distanced chairs. Chairs may be moved only at staff discretion. Attendees may not enter the vaccinated and tested area.
Please visit the Picnic Performances page for more information.