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2013 NYC Summer Music Guide

For music lovers there can be no better place to be in the summertime than New York. Any given day leaves you with tons of free options for live music in beautiful outdoor settings. This is just a tiny sliver of all the music happening in the city this summer. I’ll try to update it as things come up. Celebrate Brooklyn totally demolished the competition this year, but there might be a few things worth seeing in Manhattan as well. Check the times as many of these shows are in early evening or daytime.

AND after hours and hours of painstaking data entry by yours truly, jazz listings are back up at http://searchandrestore.com/ with my recommendations, so check that out.

All Concerts listed below are free unless noted:
* denotes a ticketed event but you can hear just fine for free outside the ticketed fence.
$ denotes a modest cover charge


June 3 Margaret Glaspy at Rockwood Stage 1 9pm

June 3 Alan Hampton and Rumblefoot at Rockwood Stage 2 9pm

June 4 Michaela Anne – Rockwood Stage 1 11pm (post Michael Daves at 10PM)

June 5 Patty Griffin – Prospect Park Band Shell
Legendary Songwriter

June 6 Louis Michot – Jalopy Theatre
$ Fiddle player from the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

June 7-9 Governor’s Ball – Governor’s Island
$$$ EXPENSIVE but the only place you can see this many great bands (and some terrible ones) in one place. Feist, Animal Collective, Erykah Badu, Dirty Projectors, Beirut, Kings of Leon, Avett Brothers, etc…

June 9 & 16 Red Hook Jazz Festival
$ A bunch of great modern jazz for $10. In the best neighborhood.

June 14 Mavis Staples – Prospect Park Band Shell
Will whip any audience into a frenzied revival.

June 15 Calexico – Prospect Park Band Shell
Lots of trumpets. Trumpets are big right now.

June 16 Bang on a Can Marathon – Winter Gardens
A 9 hour marathon of contemporary music. Lots of premiers.

June 18 The Roots – Prospect Park Band Shell
* Great background music for a picnic.

June 26 Miss Tess and the Talk Backs – Bryant Park
Original swing and rock. Tight band!

June 29 Os Mutantes – Prospect Park Band Shell
Been hearing a lot about this psychedelic Brazillian band.

June 30 Annie and the Beekeepers – Rockwood Stage 2
$ One of my favorite new discoveries of 2013. Great songwriting backed up by simply effective band.

July 3 Joy Kills Sorrow / The Grascals – Madison Square Park
Two great new Amerianca bands.

July 9 Eileen Jewel – Hudson Square Festival
Great early rock influenced singer and guitarist. 6pm Free!

July 9 The Deadly Gentlemen and T.H.E.M. – Joe’s Pub
9:30pm CD Release featuring a bunch of incredible musicians from Boston.

July 9 Dawn Landes – Rockwood Stage 2
Great songwriter performs music from her upcoming release with the band that recorded it. 9pm $10 Michael Daves follows on Stage 1 at 10pm.

July 10 Rene Marie – Madison Square Park
One of the most powerful performers I’ve ever seen. Seriously. Must see.

July 10 – New York Philharmonic – Prospect Park Bandshell
This is a really special night each summer, just to see 90,000 people gathered in the presence of such a great orchestra. And fireworks!

July 11 Belle and Sebastien and Yo La Tengo – Prospect Park Band Shell
* Two hugely influential bands to the entire genre of Indie-rock.

July 15 Morgan James – 54 Below
* This is a ticketed show but one I’m excited to be apart of. James released a killing live recording from Dizzy’s which features one of my favorite guitarists, Doug Wamble, who will also be present at this gig. 9:30pm $25-$45.

July 16 Tim O’Brien – Hudson Square Festival
The cornerstone of popular American traditional folk music.

July 17 Ben Sollee – Madison Square Park
Quirky songwriter.

July 20 The Lone Bellow / The Low Anthem / Joe Purdy – Prospect Park Band Shell
I haven’t heard the Lone Bellow yet but if I was going to check them out, it would be for free in the park.

July 22 Trombone Shorty & Soulive – Central Park Summerstage
Soulive was the premier jam-funk organ trio of the 2000’s.

July 24-28 Kronos at 40 – Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival
This is REALLY exciting. Kronos Quartet has been collaborating with artists from across the musical world for four decades and will celebrate with an incredible marathon of new and favorite collaborations.

July 24 Dafnis Prieto Sextet – Madison Square Park
Gifted young latin jazz drummer.

July 26 Trampled By Turtles / The Devil Makes Three – Prospect Park Band Shell
Trampled by Turtles do what the name implies. They’ve got all the great essence of bluegrass without all the “precision” and matching outfits.

July 27 Robert Plant – Prospect Park Band Shell
* A little bit scared to hear “Led Zepplin covers infused with African rhythms, folk, and even funk” but I guess Plant has earned that right.

July 30 Ben Folds Five – Prospect Park Band Shell

July 31 Lake Street Dive – Madison Square Park
My friends and one of the best live bands out there today. This might be your last chance to see them outside of an arena or other similarly crappy large venue.

August 4 Beck – Prospect Park Band Shell
* For my money the master of the modern pop song.

August 7 Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk – Madison Square Park
Kind of the essence of New Orleans music without all the hype and stereotypes.

August 8 Live Score – Beasts of the Southern Wild / Slavic Soul Party – Prospect Park Band Shell
This should be really cool. And even if it isn’t, Slavis Soul Party with fire things up after (I think after?)

August 8 No BS Brass Band
A great band from Richmond VA that combines the force of a brass band with the flexibility of modern jazz.

August 9 The Revelers – Jalopy Theatre
$ MY BAND! Returns to Brooklyn. Gonna be a dance party y’all.

August 10-11 Lincoln Center Americana Fest
Two days and nights of tons of artists.

August 13 – Hudson Square String Fest
Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, Cynthia Sayer, Andy Statman. An interesting combo for sure.

August 14 – Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge – City Winery
$ Two young innovators of the guitar. They’ve been collaborating sporadically for a couple years now so hopefully things are blossoming.

August 20 – Lost Bayou Ramblers – Hudson Square Festival
Uniquely evolved from a traditional cajun band into a rock band, with some blurred edges.

August 20 – Bobby McFerrin – Central Park Summerstage
Any way you see this guy it’s going to be magical and inspiring.

August 23-25 – Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Three days of great jazz traditionally caps off the summer’s free shows. At parks uptown and downtown in Manhattan, so you have no excuse.

Noteable Festivals within striking distance:
June 14-16 Clearwater’s Hudson River Revival – Croton-on-Hudson, NY
A family oriented folk festival on the waterfront. Some great dance as well.
June 21-23 Solid Sound Festival – North Adams, MA
Maybe the most interesting and ambitious line up of any festival in the U.S. this summer.
July 18-21 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, NY
A who’s who of the bluegrass world. Pretty strictly bluegrass.
August 2-4 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival – Hillsdale, NY
A nice mix of folk, dance, and a few full bands. Andrew & Noah band returns but sadly I won’t be with them this time around.
August 22-25 Mike & Ruthy’s Fall Hoot – Woodstock, NY
This is still in development but if it is anything like the Winter Hoot it will be a great reminder in hope for humanity.
August 30-Sept 1 Rhythm & Roots – Charlestown, RI
Tons of Louisiana bands and a few country headliners.