BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival Announces Its 40th Season, Adding to the Summer Bounty

May 2, 2018

Jazz and blues artists make up a small but substantial contingent in the 40th anniversary season of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, announced today.

Running June 5 through Aug. 11 at the Prospect Park Bandshell, this year’s BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival covers a typically kaleidoscopic array of musical style — from indie-rock royalty like The Breeders to prominent recent arrivals like Julien Baker. The opening-night concert will feature Common, whose most recent album is August Greene, a collaboration with drummer-producer Karriem Riggins and keyboardist-producer Robert Glasper.

Another supergroup anchored by Glasper, R+R=Now, is among the few jazz headliners on this year’s schedule: the group, which also includes saxophonist, keyboardist and producer Terrace Martin, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and bassist Derrick Hodge, will perform on Friday, June 22, in coordination with the release of a new album on Blue Note.

BADBADNOTGOOD, an instrumental unit from Toronto, will bring its stylish blend of postbop and atmospheric hip-hop to the festival on Aug. 2, one day before appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival.

And along a more swinging axis, saxophonist Branford Marsalis will perform on Friday, June 29, sharing the bill with Frederick Douglass Now, a one-man show by Roger Guenveur Smith.

Pivoting to the blues, Dorrance Dance will present The Blues Project on June 28, with music provided by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely. And the blues-and-beyond guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. will appear on Aug. 9.

The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, at the Prospect Park Bandshell
Credit David Andrako

As any seasoned New Yorker knows, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival coexists more or less peacefully with Central Park Summerstage, another long-running outdoor concert series with mostly free admission.

The 2018 Summerstage schedule was announced last month, and it, too, includes a smattering of jazz and blues. Gregory Porter will play the opening concert on the Summerstage calendar, on June 2, drawing from his recent album Nat “King” Cole & Me.

A program called 3 Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul, on June 30, will put that multidimensional artist into dialogue with the operatic soprano Brandie Sutton, the jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris, the R&B singer Keke Wyatt and the jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn.

Eddie Palmieri, who leads La Perfecta at Central Park Summerstage on Aug. 26.
Credit Erik Valind

And the eminent pianist, composer and bandleader Eddie Palmieri will bring his La Perfecta band to Summerstage on Aug. 26, with an opening set by the salsa bandleader and singer Tony Vega.

Adding to these offerings, of course, is the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which has its 26th edition the weekend of Aug. 24-26. The lineup on Aug. 24, at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, will feature trumpeter Charles Tolliver observing the 50th anniversary of his debut album, Paper Man. Along with saxophonist Gary Bartz, who played on the original recording, he’ll have bassist Buster Williams and drummer Jack DeJohnette in the all-star band.

On Aug. 25 at Marcus Garvey Park, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will continue with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express, singer Catherine Russell, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and the Matthew Whitaker Trio.

And on Aug. 26 in Tompkins Square Park, the Gary Bartz Quartet will share a bill with The Bad Plus; pianist and singer-songwriter Amina Claudine Myers; and UNHEARD, a piece honoring Parker that was commissioned in association with The Joyce and George Wein Foundation under the artistic supervision of The Jazz Gallery. That program will feature three young artists of great promise: trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins and vibraphonist Joel Ross.

For full schedules and more detailed information: