The Harlem Meer Festival is one of NYC’s best outdoor summer experiences. The free concert series brings different musicians and dancers together for a live performance in the middle of Central Park. The music of this festival is decidedly international and covers genres as varied as Latin, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and gospel. Enjoy the warm weather with some friends and dance your worries away!
Harlem Meer Festival 2017
Feel free to head over to nearby Lasker Pool for a cool splashdown before enjoying one of the concerts. The Harlem Meer Festival takes place every Sunday from June 18 to September 3 at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. The performances start at 2pm and end at 4pm. The center can be accessed at 110th St. between Fifth Avenue and Lenox Avenue. Check out some of this year’s most anticipated acts by reading below:
Sonido Costeno, June 18
Sonido Costeno will be opening this year’s festival with their unique fusion of salsa and Latin music. This highly-requested band has performed at some of NYC’s most exclusive institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum and El Museo del Barrio. Their sound is influenced by modern American jazz. The founder of the group, Juan Ma Morales, is the lead vocalist, the guitarist, and player of the Puerto Rican cuatro. Two of his songs, “Las Gaviotas” and “Senora” have earned Morales and his band two Billboard songwriting awards. Their performances turn every song into a high-energy number full of rhythm and passion. They even play the cha cha cha, mambo, guaguanco, and merengue. Get your feet moving on the floor when you see them live on June 18!
British Dependency, June 25
British Dependency is a one-of-a-kind Caribbean band from the tropical island of Anguilla. Their sound is completely original and crosses genres such as rock and roll, reggae, funk, soul, and blues. The lyrics of their songs convey deep and meaningful messages about life, love, and unity in the face of adversity. The band is composed of three talented musicians. The guitar player is Ishmael who approaches music with a magnetic presence. The bassist’s name is Joyah and at the helm of the drums is Jaiden. He gets a solo drum act that you won’t want to miss. Catch their energetic performance and unique melodies at the Harlem Meer Festival this summer!
Something Positive, July 9
Something Positive is an Afro-Caribbean ensemble of international dancers that produces incredibly captivating shows. Their performances blend spellbinding dances and music with the art of poetry and theater. Something Positive is a not-for-profit organization that’s founded on the mission on increasing awareness of the African Diaspora. They have performed for more than three decades at different educational and cultural institutions around the NYC area. Their spectacles offer audiences a taste of African and Caribbean cultures in new and unconventional ways. Don’t miss the special opportunity to catch their moving art show at the Harlem Meer on July 9!
Ola Fresca, July 23
Latin band Ola Fresca will bring their own signature tropical latin salsa sound to the Harlem Meer Festival. The band got its start in Brooklyn and is led by Cuban-American Jose Conde. They made their debut in 2004 with “Ay! Que Rico” and received critical acclaim. The band won Best Latin Album at the 2008 Independent Music Awards with “(R)Evolucion.” Their songs are packed with meaningful lyrics about immigration and identity issues. Ola Fresca’s sound is always evolving and they’ve adapted a funkier style through the passage of time. They’ve embraced different genres such as the Cuban son, the salsa, and the timba. Each one of their performances never fails to turn the stage into a dance floor. Watch them make a big splash live on July 23!
Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble, August 27
The Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble is led by Anthony Morgan. He was the former lead singer of the Harlem Gospel Choir. His choir performed at The Rachel Ray Show and toured across the European continent several times. Morgan’s a renowned singer who’s vocals capture the emotion felt in each and every note. His ensemble is all about transmitting the power of God through soul music. The Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble attempts to offers its listeners a life-affirming spiritual experience. Catch them live on one of the last summer Sundays of the year!
Check out @centralparknyc Twitter’s feed before heading out to a concert if the weather is overcast. Some of the performances might get cancelled in cases of extreme weather conditions.
The Harlem Meer Festival brings the best local talent to perform live onstage. From Latin jazz to Afro-Caribbean beats and from gospel to pop music, the concerts above offer something for everyone.