Concerts on the Upper West Side: Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Series

  Last modified on July 31st, 2018

Check out Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2018!

Summertime is a happening month at Lincoln Center, indeed. For the past month they’ve been doing a wonderful free outdoor concert series in their lovely Damrosch Park Bandshell, that will continue through August 11th, with a splendidly eclectic lineup. This Wednesday at 6:30pm, Lincoln Center will welcome Festival In The Desert’s Caravan For Peace, featuring some of the finest African musicians from Mali. Festival In The Desert is one of the premier world music festivals out there, taking place in the Sahara desert of Mali. The event happens at Lincoln Center annually and draws fans from all over the globe. Sadly, due to the recent violence plaguing Mali, the festival was forced to become nomadic, creating a traveling caravan of musicians who would normally be playing Festival In The Desert. The good news is that you don’t have to travel to Mali to see them! Just head on over to Lincoln Center’s outdoor bandshell and you will be musically transported to the mother continent. Mali is a cultural hotbed of music. Many experts believe that it is where many of the tribal rhythms of American blues originated. The country produces incredible music to this day. A much-celebrated musical style has been carried on for centuries by the nomadic Tuareg peoples, who travel through the Sahara with their amazing songs. Saharan desert blues, the trance-like sound of the nomadic Tuareg peoples and deep Moroccan grooves will be showcased at this exciting event. Guitarist from Mali, Mamadou Kelly, former sideman for legendary Ali Farke Toure, who was once called the African John Lee Hooker, will be performing after having just had to flee his homeland due to war. No doubt this will be an emotional performance. Fellow Tuareg musicians Tartit and Imharhan will be playing their indigenous songs from the Sahara region as well. Last, but not least on the bill is Aziz Sahmaoui and his University of Gnawa group. Sahmaoui is the founder of Orchestre National de Barbes and was a member of jazz legend, Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate. He is a master of blending traditional North African music with American jazz.

Lincoln Center

Photo credit to Flickr User Hilpalny

Thursday August 1st

The bandshell will feature two musicals, Pavement, and World Becomes Flesh. These two performances will feature music, dance and drama, drawing inspiration from Hip-Hop and the lifestyles of urban America. Pavement deals with the trails and tribulations facing a young single father while Word Becomes Flesh, re-interprets the now-classic film Boyz n the Hood as a dance opus, with the story setting moving to a historically African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The performance celebrates and makes light of hip-hop culture meanwhile examining the greater concerns of its community. The show begins at 7:30pm.

Friday August 2nd

The spirit of Mardi Gras will be unleashed on the Damrosch Park bandshell, as two different cultures perform their Carnaval rituals. The legendary Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and his Golden Eagles will showcase their intricately hand-sewn suits while performing their songs of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tradition. This tradition goes back for hundreds of years and Monk Boudreaux is hailed as an elder of these practices, having “masked Indian” during Mardi Gras for his entire life in New Orleans. Monk is also a very well-respected recording artist and performer, having recorded numerous albums as a bandleader, and as part of the Voice Of The Wetlands Band, Anders Osborne, 101 Runners and many more. He is hailed by the city of New Orleans and admirers all over the world as the prominent leader of this age-old tradition. With his 10-foot high, beaded suit that he personally stitches anew every year, Monk onstage is a true experience to behold. The second best thing to seeing him parade in the streets on Mardi Gras day in New Orleans, is to see what he brings to Lincoln Center. On the other side of the Carnaval spectrum, Afro-Brazilian legends Maracatu Nacao Estrela Brilhante (translated Bright Star Maracatu Nation) will perform with their colorful costumes, intricate dance choreography, call and response singing and profound theatrics. They are the champion purveyors of the afro-brazilian Maracatu tradition. A Tale Of Two Nations will assimilate this ensemble with Scott Kettner’s New York-based Nation Beat, which coagulates maracatu with American traditions of the deep south, like country blues, New Orleans brass bands, and funk. Carnaval is the most exciting holiday season no matter what region it’s found in and these performances are sure to be just as lively as the celebration itself! The festivities kick off at 7pm and are open to the public.

Stay tuned for more updates on all of the great free happenings going on at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park Bandshell.

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