April 25, 2012
Lincoln Center Out Of Doors
April 25, 2012
Contact: Marian Skokan, 212-875-5386
ANNOUNCING LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS 42nd SEASON
JULY 25–AUGUST 12, 2012
100 FREE PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE PLAZAS OF LINCOLN CENTER
17 WORLD, US AND NY DEBUTS, PREMIERES AND COMMISSIONS, INCLUDING:
Marking the 40th Anniversary of “Soul at the Center,” Lincoln Center’s Landmark Festival of African-American Artists With:
Black Rock Coalition’s Pardon Our Analysis - Nile Rodgers - Lenny Williams - Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company - Otis Clay - Aloe Blacc - Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Stars - Swamp Dogg
Celebrating The Music That Shaped the Culture: Laura Nyro, Frisner Augustin, Tite Curet Alonso, Gil Scott-Heron, Sister Songwriters, Irish American Songbook
April 25, 2012 New York, NY—The schedule for this summer’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, which runs from July 25 to August 12, was announced today by Bill Bragin, Lincoln Center’s Director of Public Programming. 100 free performances will take place across the plazas of Lincoln Center. Seventeen premieres and debuts highlight the three weeks of this latest edition of one of the country’s longest-running, free, outdoor festivals. For a complete chronological listing of performances, visit: www.LCOutofDoors.org
On opening night, July 25, everyone’s invited to the party with the man who wrote and produced the music that defined popular dance in the 1970s, 80s and beyond, NILE RODGERS. Rodgers gathers together the CHIC ORGANIZATION, some of that era’s—and today’s—leading musicians, to get Le Freak on at Damrosch Park. Opening the evening, DJ KS*360, aka hip-hop DJ, dancer, choreographer, and poet KWIKSTEP, joined by members of his Full Circle Souljahs musicians and dancers, offers up 70s funk, 80s soul/R&B, Afrobeat, and disco from New York’s basements, rooftops, apartments, and dance clubs to create a giant block party in the Park, BEYOND THE GROOVE. Kwik provides “Soulutions” because he says, “good music always has the answer to your questions and the Soulutions to your problems.”
Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2012 is sponsored by Bloomberg and PepsiCo.
Said Bill Bragin, “Active engagement and participation are essential to many of this summer’s programs. A number of the performances move off of the stages and into Lincoln Center’s plazas, relying on the audience’s involvement to complete the event. In addition, two key events—one also happening this summer, the Olympics, the other which took place 40 years ago, “Soul at the Center”—were important touchstones for this summer’s presentations, and both are about creating a space where a multiplicity of cultures, ideas and expressions are shared and celebrated.”
Off the Stage, Onto the Plazas
Opening on July 25, continuing to the end of the Festival, and punctuated by a live 60-piece percussion performance on August 3, is the world premiere of PHIL KLINE’S dreamcitynine, a Lincoln Center commission, in honor of John Cage’s Centennial anniversary this year. From vast boombox symphonies (his signature Unsilent Night) to chamber music and song cycles (he is a long-time collaborator with Bang on a Can), Phil Kline’s work has been hailed for its originality, beauty, subversive subtext and wit. The boundary-pushing composer’s newest work was inspired by Cage's one-minute stories from Indeterminacy. Kline takes the concept a step further with his work that uses a downloadable GPS-based app tied to various locations mapped across the Lincoln Center campus. As users walk the campus, the app will randomly “trigger” the 60 new, original, one-minute texts written by many familiar names from the world of music, art and ideas, including filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, historian Luc Sante, American novelist/playwright Darryl Pinckney, composers Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, Elliott Sharp, and David T. Little, musicians Theo Bleckmann, Nadia Sirota, and Mary Rowell, and radio personality John Schaefer, among others. The stories will unfold to a live soundscape of 60 percussion players, led by Talujon Percussion Group, placed throughout the plazas of Lincoln Center, and converging on Josie Robertson Plaza on August 3.
TANGLE, (U.S. Premiere) a project of Australia’s POLYGLOT THEATRE, is a huge, messy, fun, interactive, elastic weaving event created live by children and their families. Premiering on July 26 and running for four days with multiple performances daily through July 29, it’s part mass visual arts installation, part performance, part playground, and part dance party. To live music, children and family members create a giant installation by weaving colored elastic through 25 poles of different heights set on a large platform base. Weavers (company members) use big crooks to assist kids in placing elastic up and through the growing tangle of strands. As time passes and the structure becomes denser, it morphs into a huge, bouncy playground. Polyglot Theatre, making its New York debut with Tangle, is an internationally acclaimed creator of interactive and experimental theater for children. The 30-year-old company has performed internationally at venues and festivals that include the World Expo Shanghai, Singapore Arts Festival and the Kennedy Center. Tangle will be constructed on four days on Josie Robertson Plaza, July 26, 27, 28 and 29, with times to be announced at a later date.
July 28 is “Family Day,” at Out of Doors, and along with Tangle, will offer an afternoon of circus and street performers, highlighted by the BINDLESTIFF FAMILY CIRKUS. The Cirkus will bring its quirky mix of vaudeville, circus and sideshow to the Hearst Plaza with a variety of acts and performers, with performances alternating with amazing acrobats assembled by the Chinese American Arts Council, as part of their longstanding collaboration with Lincoln Center, FROM CHINATOWN WITH LOVE.
Re-visiting “Soul at the Center”
In the summers of 1972 and 1973 Lincoln Center, along with pioneering African-American TV producer Ellis Haizlip, presented “Soul at the Center,” two, two-week long gatherings of Black musicians, dancers, actors, and writers in an unprecedented, consciousness-raising experience for performers and audiences alike, based on his Channel Thirteen/WNET television series. This summer, artists who were there 40 years ago, NONA HENDRYX and SARAH DASH of Labelle (8/11), ABIODUN OYEWOLE of the Last Poets (8/11 & 8/12) and more to be announced in May, are joined by others of that era. Those include NILE RODGERS (7/25); Former Tower of Power vocalist and slow jam king, LENNY WILLIAMS (8/9); soul blues master OTIS CLAY (8/11); longtime Eddie Palmieri vocalist LALO RODRÍGUEZ (8/5); and SOULFUL SONGWRITERS CIRCLE’S DAN PENN and TEENIE ROGERS (8/12). Today’s artists, who continue to build on their legacy, are also represented: SIMPLY ROB of El Grito de Poetas (8/11 & 8/12), ALOE BLACC, (8/12); BLACK ROCK COALITION’S PARDON OUR ANALYSIS: AN ALL-STAR GATHERING FOR GIL SCOTT-HERON (8/12); CLEO PARKER ROBINSON DANCE ENSEMBLE (8/10) and more.
The ultimate soul crooner, Oakland native LENNY WILLIAMS has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music. His r&b and pop classics include the solo slow jam mega-hit “Cause I Love You,” (for which he later shared a BMI Songwriter’s Award with Kanye West, who sampled it for the song “Overnight Celebrity, recorded by rapper Twista) and “What is Hip?,” which he recorded as the lead singer of Tower of Power. Solo projects in the 1970s first with the Motown label, later with ABC (MCA) Records included the Paradise Garage anthem, “You Got Me Running.” Williams has collaborated with artists as varied as Kenny G, Aretha Franklin, Rick James, Bobby Womack, Al Green, and Usher. In an unusual pairing, Williams shares a bill with the jubilant dance-punk band !!! (preferred pronunciation Chk Chk Chk), who are currently in the studio with drummer/producer Jim Eno of Spoon. !!! specifically requested that Williams share the bill with them for their Lincoln Center debut, naming his Garage era dance floor hits as important influences on their sweat-drenched club music.
Denver-based CLEO PARKER ROBINSON DANCE ENSEMBLE was founded in the early 1970s, by choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson. The company’s work is inspired by the African-American experience and is deeply rooted in Black dance traditions. It is the only dance company authorized to preserve the work of legendary, pioneering African-American choreographer Katherine Dunham. Its repertory boasts works by Dunham, Donald Byrd, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare and Ronald K. Brown. The 12-member ensemble has appeared in noted venues throughout the U.S. (including previous engagements at Out of Doors) and toured to more than 20 countries. Highlighting the company’s Damrosch Park program is a revival of excerpts from the milestone 1984 work: Lush Life, a multi-media piece Robinson created with Maya Angelou that celebrates the enduring spirit of jazz through dance and spoken word, including poems by Langston Hughes and Ms. Angelou. The setting for Lush Life is Max Roach’s famed New York club. Also on the program, the premiere of Fusion, by acclaimed contemporary Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus of ayikodans; Arranged, a 2010 work by Milton Myers that pays tribute to original company member Marceline Freeman; and excerpts from Ms. Robinson’s signature Spiritual Suite, inspired by the choreographer’s youth growing up in a Gospel church in the 1950s.
Art Meets Sports
The modern Olympic Games have embraced arts and cultural exchange alongside sport, as key aspects of the Olympic ideal of creating international understanding. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London include an expanded eight week Cultural Olympiad festival across the U.K. Following its World Premiere appearance at the London 2012 Festival, LOS IRREALES DE ONDATRÓPICA, created by British ex-pat, Colombia-based Will Holland (aka Quantic) and Colombian musician Mario Galeano (of Frente Cumbiero), as a commission for the Cultural Olympiad, will make its U.S. debut at Out of Doors. The supergroup, which just completed a new CD at the legendary Discos Fuentes studios, showcases masters of Colombian music such as Michi Sarmiento and Alfredito Linares and rising stars of the next generation, as it draws from cumbia, salsa and the many sounds of Afro-Colombia.
August 3 – August 4
Sport and art also converge for the U.S. premiere of ACCORDION WRESTLING a multi-media dance theater piece featuring KIMMO POHJONEN, accordion experimentalist/composer ( “the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion”) and HELSINKI NELSON, a group of ten Finnish, Olympic-style wrestlers. Created by Pohjonen, it features both acoustic performance and electronics, with choreography by Ari Numminen. Accordion Wrestling was inspired by the late-19th, early 20th-century Finnish custom of accordion performances during wrestling tournaments—a practice that continued into the 1970s. Pohjonen, who has performed and recorded with such artists as Kronos Quartet, and Trey Gunn (of King Crimson) was trained at Finland’s innovative Sibelius Academy, and has made a name for his groundbreaking collaborations with ballet and butoh dancers, computer animation, and industrial farm equipment.
Boundary-breaking and genre-defying artists have been part of Out of Doors since its earliest days. And this year is no exception, with music and dance that challenges us to see and hear in new ways.
For ten years, THE BAD PLUS—Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and David King—have been breaking down the walls of jazz convention with original work that combines rock, and avant garde elements, while deconstructing pop, country and classical idioms. With their 2011 ON SACRED GROUND, they’ve taken on one of the masters of 20th-century compositon, Igor Stravinsky, by re-interpreting his groundbreaking (and riot-causing) The Rite of Spring. Commissioned by Duke University’s Duke Performances and co-commissioned by Lincoln Center Out of Doors, On Sacred Ground will have its New York premiere in Damrosch Park. Sharing the bill, is the German techno trio BRANDT BRAUER FRICK ENSEMBLE with the U.S. debut of its new-music chamber ensemble, a further evolution in the linkage of their classical and dance music pasts, with their techno present. BBFE draws inspiration from Kraftwerk, Steve Reich and John Cage alongside Detroit techno pioneer Jeff Mills, transposing their rhythmically sophisticated work to an orchestral sound palette through extended instrumental technique. The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble are presented with support from Goethe Institute.
HEIDI LATSKY DANCE’S GIMP challenges preconceptions and prejudices about beauty by performing compelling works with an integrated company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Choreographer for stage, theater and film Heidi Latsky, a former principal dancer for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, founded her company in 2001. It has toured extensively across the U.S. and Europe, appearing at preeminent venues and festival. GIMP, an on-going project Latsky began in 2008, examines the uncompromising ways we are often identified or defined by our physicality, and challenges the notion of beauty as having, one standard definition. The New Yorker said, “GIMP beautifully resets preconceptions about bodies and movement.” Dance Magazine commented, “GIMP is without a doubt a gleaming milestone in the progress of contemporary dance and theater, proving that the term ‘disabled dancer’ is an oxymoron.”
Contemporary performers re-interpreting music which helped shape the culture and continues to influence new generations are showcased in several concerts and special events at this summer’s Out of Doors.
With singer/songwriter JOE HURLEY (“One of NY’s most entertaining frontmen…the best singer of vowels in rock” The Village Voice) and in association with The Consulate General of Ireland, Out of Doors presents ‘OURLAND’: CELEBRATING IRISH CULTURE IN AMERICA! THE MUSIC, THE BARDS, THE MAGIC an all-day (2 pm–10 pm) extravaganza of music, spoken word, traditional arts and more exploring Irish and Irish-Americans continuing contribution to the American Songbook and American culture. Featuring stars of pop, rock, punk, folk, and from the worlds of theater, literature, and more, ‘OurLand’ takes place at multiple spaces on the Lincoln Center campus, culminating in Damrosch Park at the end of the night, with the All Star Irish Rock Revue!
Artistic Director for the ‘OurLand’ celebration, Irish-American New Yorker Joe Hurley has sung with artists ranging from The Chieftains to The Waco Brothers. He leads the NYC groups Rogue’s March and Joe Hurley & The Gents and has released a number of critically-acclaimed CDs. ‘OurLand’ is an outgrowth of the annual Irish Rock Revues that Hurley has organized around St. Patrick’s Day, held at various venues around New York, since 1999.
‘OurLand’ opens at 2 pm on Hearst Plaza Stage with GATHERING THE BARDS: FROM GALWAY TO ROCKAWAY. As poets and novelists read from their own works and Irish classics, a capella singers, actors, musicians and comics weave “The Importance of Being Irish.” Gathering features actress Cara Seymour (Gangs of New York; Hotel Rwanda), best-selling writer/actor/playwright Malachy McCourt, novelist/political historian Peter Quinn, theater/film actress Angelica Page (August: Osage County), Celtic-Cajun fiddler Gina Forsyth making her NY debut, and others tba.
At 5 pm, on Josie Robertson Plaza, re-christened, THE AULD TRIANGLE, buskers and poets hold forth, with lots of traditional music and dance plus sing-alongs. The buildup to the grand finale begins at 6 pm at the Damrosch Park Bandshell with A PARTING GLASS, celebrating the recent launch of the Association for Cultural Equity’s ACE Online Archive of folklorist/ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s landmark work from 1946-1991, collecting and analyzing traditional music from across and America and the many countries, including Ireland, that gave rise to it. Ireland's musical influence on American music, from folk, county, and bluegrass, to later jazz, rock and pop is the focus of A Parting Glass. Moderated by the Lomax Archives Director Don Fleming (musician/songwriter and producer—Sonic Youth, Hole, The Posies), the program features round-robin performances in the Americana-Irish world with very special guests tba.
A Parting Glass will be followed by JOE HURLEY & THE GENTS featuring Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan bandleader and bassist), Ken Margolis (Cracker), and James Mastro (Ian Hunter; Patti Smith), highlighted by a performance of Let The Great World Spin, Hurley’s song-cycle and CD created in collaboration with 2009 National Book Award winner Colum McCann.
To close out the grand day, the ALL STAR IRISH ROCK REVUE! co-hosted by Ed Rogers (Bedsit Poets, “The Beat Goes On”), with musical directors Chris Flynn and Jon Spurney (Passing Strange), celebrates Ireland’s contemporary music legacy with Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famers, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-Winners singing “The Great Irish Songbook,” including songs by Thin Lizzy, Declan MacManus, The Undertones, U2, Stiff Little Fingers, John Lydon, Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Chieftains, Dubliners and more. The line-up includes Willie Nile, Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris (currently starring in the Broadway revival of Evita), soul legend Tami Lynn, singer/actress Ellen Foley (Meat Loaf, Broadway), country star Laura Cantrell, members of The Mekons, Cracker, Alice Cooper Group, Bob Dylan Band, Blue Oyster Cult and more tba.
LAS CARAS LINDAS DE MI GENTE NEGRA - HOMENJA A TITE CURET ALONSO, a concert presented with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, pays tribute to the iconic Puerto-Rican salsa composer known for his “salsa with a conscience,” that celebrated the lives of his Afro-Caribbean countrymen. Tite Curet Alonso wrote his first song at age fifteen, and more than two thousand songs later, had amassed 200 well-known ones, and some 50 major salsa hits, performed by a pantheon of Latino artists including: Cheo Feliciano, Celia Cruz, La Lupe, Willie Colón, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, and Rubén Blades, to name only a few. Tito Matos, music director and percussionist and saxophonist Ricardo Pons lead the experimental bomba and plena band VIENTO DE AGUA, and special guest, singer Lalo Rodríguez (who collaborated with Eddie Palmieri and Machito in the 1970s/80s), and share the bill with GRUPO ESENCIA from Puerto Rico, making its New York debut.
At her posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April, Laura Nyro was called, “a songwriter’s songwriter who lit the way for others.” THE TRIPLE GODDESS TWILIGHT REVUE - CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF LAURA NYRO in Damrosch Park, part of this year’s “Roots of American Music” series at Out of Doors pays tribute to this great American artist with performances by musicians she worked with, including Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash of Labelle (who were collaborators on the 1971 album Gonna Take a Miracle), a very rare reunion of Desmond Child & Rouge, and more special guests to be announced. Nyro’s unconventional style embraced r&b, gospel, jazz, Brill Building pop and Broadway, with piano-driven songs that broke new ground in early albums such as Eli and the Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry. A “Who’s Who” of artists scored huge hits with her songs, including: The 5th Dimension (“Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Wedding Bell Blues”), Blood, Sweat and Tears (“And When I Die,” “He’s a Runner”), Three Dog Night (“Eli’s Comin’”) and Barbra Streisand (“Stony End”). She inspired artists as diverse as Rickie Lee Jones, Steely Dan, Alice Cooper, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello, Elton John, and musical theater composer Stephen Schwartz. The Bronx-born Nyro was a trailblazer in the strong feminist and environmental content of much of her later work. In her introduction at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Bette Midler called Nyro an artist for whom “love was the main thing.” The love is returned on August 11 when fellow artists and fans gather to salute a singular artist.
On the “Roots of American Music” evening bill at Damrosch Park on August 11, another celebration of an important legacy takes place with WILLIE MAE ROCK CAMP FOR GIRLS ALL-STARS: SISTER SONGWRITERS. A multi-generational super group including current students, recent grads, and teaching artists from the renowned music and mentoring program will play songs by influential female artists of color, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, and more in a musical journey that celebrates the important role African-American women musicians have had in giving rise to, and shaping 20th century American popular music.
This “Roots of American Music” evening, again curated in collaboration with New Orleans’ Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, also includes: deep soul, blues and gospel singer OTIS CLAY & THE PLATINUM BAND. Clay’s early career in gospel (singing with the Sensational Nightingales), was followed in the 1960s with a series of hit soul singles (“Trying to Live My Life Without You”). He continues to record, produce and tour across the U.S. and internationally, while keeping up a long-time commitment to community initiatives in his Chicago West Side neighborhood; and a SOULFUL SONGWRITERS CIRCLE, a moderated program with master songsmiths DAN PENN (“Do Right Woman”, “I’m Your Puppet”,) and the Hi Rhythm Section’s TEENIE HODGES (“Take Me To The River”, “Love and Happiness”) and additional songwriters to be announced, who will discuss and perform their own work and the artists who have influenced it.
The Roots of American Music Festival is presented in association with the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation.
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation (PSF) is a 501(c) (3), not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers, and preserving the history of American music & musicians. We work to ensure that the unsung heroes of American music are given their due: celebrated, included, and remembered, but most of all, heard – during their lifetimes. We provide both a voice and a stage to overlooked sidemen, session musicians and other influential pioneers whose contributions have shaped American culture for over 50 years.
Gil Scott-Heron’s jazz-inspired, message-infused, politically-charged spoken word performances of the late 1960s and recordings of the 1970s and 80s carved a path for socially-conscious rap embraced by major artists in America and around the globe. On August 12, the closing night of Out of Doors, PARDON OUR ANALYSIS: AN ALL-STAR GATHERING FOR GIL SCOTT-HERON performed by the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra & Guests under the artistic direction of poet LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, brings together an all-star group of poets, writers and musicians, including Scott-Heron’s longtime musical collaborator, flutist and keyboardist Brian Jackson, novelist Sapphire (Push), Native American soul singer Martha Redbone, The Last Poets’ Abiodun Oyewole, The Family Stand’s Sandra St. Victor, performance poet Carl Hancock Rux, A. Van Jordan, Gordon Voidwell, Hanifah Walidah, Willie Perdomo and more, to pay tribute to the legacy of the self-styled “bluesologist” who died last May.
Scott-Heron, who counted Langston Hughes, Oscar Brown Jr., Paul Robeson and The Last Poets as influences, insisted that music had to carry a message. From his “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (recorded on the 1971 album Pieces of a Man) to his last album made with British hip-hop artist Richard Russell (I’m New Here) featuring the wrenching “New York is Killing Me,” Scott-Heron’s work addressed issues such as racial discrimination, poverty and war, and personal ones—his struggles with drug addiction—with powerful words and a distinctive musical style. The Black Rock Coalition, formed in 1985 to develop, support and perform “Black alternative music” self-produced a version of this concert at Symphony Space this past January with the cooperation of the Gil Scott-Heron Estate and joins with the Poetry Society of America for this salute.
Music and Dance with a Message
Lincoln Center joins in celebrating the Woody Guthrie Centennial with performances by, and dedicated to, artists whose work embraces social issues of inequality, poverty, war, prejudice, immigration, political oppression and more, ranging from elder statesmen to teenagers, slam poets to social agitators. Many of these events will take place on the closing weekend of the festival as part of La Casita and the annual “Roots of American Music” mini-festival. Now in its 29th season, “Roots of American Music” is organized by consulting producer Spike Barkin.
August 11 (Lincoln Center) and August 12 (Teatro Pregones, Bronx)
LA CASITA, the annual celebration of community and the voices of the people—young and old, male and female, of diverse cultures—showcasing urban poetry, spoken word and music expressions representing traditional and contemporary culture, offers a new edition of its marathon program on the campus of Lincoln Center and at Teatro Pregones, in the Bronx. The MC for both is Simply Rob of El Grito de Poetas.
La Casita Spoken Word artists include: Elder statesman of the pioneering, radical Last Poets of the late 1960s/1970s Abiodun Oyewole; the duo of Deaf Israeli-American poet Aneta Brodski & non-Deaf Palestinian-American poet Tahani (subjects of the PBS documentary Deaf Jam); Briceida Cuevas, a Mayan poet from Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula; California-based Chinese-American folk story-teller and sometime banjo and guitar player Charlie Chin; Franny Choi, feminist slam poet who explores issues of race, class, gender and sexuality; Albanian-born Jonida Beqo aka Gypsee Yo, a performance artist and slam poet who addresses issues related to her native culture and her adopted home, Atlanta, Georgia; Intikana, national award-winning hip hop artist, educator and activist from the Bronx; Antiguan native Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, the “work-in-progress” painter, writer, poet, actor who wrote the controversial poem “9-11” to protest the War in Afghanistan; Peggy Robles–Alvarado a young Puerto-Rican/Dominican poet who writes verses related to identity, sensuality and spirituality; and one of the most respected poets in the spoken word community, 2009 Women of the World poetry slam champion Rachel McKibbens.
La Casita Musical performances will be highlighted by the U.S. debut of Amsterdam-based KiT (Kuenta I Tambú) which means “Stories and Drums” in the Dutch Antillean creole language Papiamentu. The powerhouse group combines traditional drum-based Afro-Caribbean tambú music of their native Curaçao, with Western electronica and dance; master folklorist, singer and guitarist Gerard Edery, exploring the songs of Atahualpa Yupanqui (1908-1992), considered to be one of the most influential Argentine folk musicians of the 20th century, and a major inspiration to the poetic nueva canción movement; Mireya Ramos & 809 Ladies Band an all-female Dominican and Caribbean Roots band specializing in merengue and bachata. Tulali the newest duo project of Native American singer Pura Fé, with her cousin Jennifer Kreisberg, also of the pioneering Native American Women’s trio, Ulali; and Said Damir master musician in the Sufi-based Gnawa tradition of Morocco.
La Casita, is sponsored by PepsiCo, produced by Claudia Norman, Claudia Norman Management, and is presented in association with National Geographic’s “Get Up Stand Up: Music and Social Change” project, spotlighting artists at the forefront of social change. Both August 11 and 12 performances will offer ASL interpretation for the Deaf and hard of hearing provided by the Lincoln Center’s Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities (PSPD).
Older and new generation, representing styles ranging from folk to Yiddish-punk, indie-rock to dazzlingly theatrical musical revue, the artists for the afternoon lineup of August 12th’s “Roots of American Music” program in Hearst Plaza are not shy about taking a stand and shaking things up whether they are making a direct call to action in their music, or in their lives offstage.
Indie-rock/ neo-folk, jazz singer/songwriter, ERIN MCKEOWN doesn’t accept labels for her life or her music. Her wide-ranging output includes lush ballads, covers of jazz songs from 1920s and 30s, and biting, anti-holiday song rants. Her queerness is who she is, but not a platform for her art. Over the past twelve years, while releasing eight albums, a concert film, a groundbreaking internet concert, making appearances on Conan O’Brien and NPR, touring with Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls and others, and performing 200+ concerts a year, she has spent time teaching and taking a stand about issues affecting artists, especially technology and copyright. She is a board member at the Future of Music Coalition and was appointed a 2011-12 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
The bedazzled Obie Award-winning playwright, actor, singer/songwriter and director (HERE Arts, Classic Stage, Dallas Theater) TAYLOR MAC embraces all labels: male/female, gay/straight, tragic/comic and more in his work which draws upon drag and cabaret traditions. But the subjects he is drawn to—the environment, nuclear disarmament, gender and civil rights—place him solidly in a long-line of artists committed to making the world a better place. He says, “I believe my job as a theater artist is to remind my audience of the range of their humanity…through art….I think of myself as a community activist: someone whose job it is to bring people together, give them a shared experience and remind them of what it means to be human.” What’s uniquely Mac is that all of this is accomplished with outrageous costumes, a “face painted like a Pucci print” (The New York Times) and send-ups of every genre of music ever composed, while thoroughly entertaining his audience. TAYLOR MAC: A HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC will offer a brief survey of his current project, a marathon examination of 200+ years of popular music in America, presented era-by-era, one in a series of concerts that will culminate in 2013 with a 24-hour long show.
Addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, de-crying the absurdities of modern culture and celebrating family, friends and community for over fifty years, songwriter/singer TOM PAXTON is a leading voice in the folk community who has influenced generations of musical artists. His songs have been sung and recorded by contemporaries (Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Joan Baez) and artists from Johnny Cash to Placido Domingo, Dion to The Pogues and The Move. His “What Did You Learn in School Today,” made popular by Pete Seeger in 1963, has been a touchstone for every protest movement since the 1960s. Starting in the 1990s, he has increasingly focused on composing for children and educational initiatives with his wife, Midge. But Paxton continues to be a voice of conscience. He has adapted many of his earlier songs to address issues of our time, taking his “I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler,” about the 1979 federal loan guarantee to the Chrysler Corporation, and re-writing it in 2009 as “I Am Changing My Name to Fannie Mae,” about the Federal Government’s bailout of the U.S. financial system.
Detroit-born actor, poet, playwright, composer, singer, DANIEL KAHN is a major force on the international Yiddish and klezmer scene in Berlin. His current band, THE PAINTED BIRD, which includes rising stars in new-klezmer, mixes klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk-folk, with Kahn’s original material, to tell stories of class struggle, workers’ rights and discrimination, and the Holocaust, through outrageous incidents that are often tragically humorous and politically incorrect. The group has been called “The Yiddish Pogues,” for their, “in-your-face” concert presentations. And they have described themselves as “Punk Cabaret + Radical Yiddish Song + Gothic American Folk + Klezmer Danse Macabre.” Along with new work, material for the August 12 concert will come from Kahn’s third album Lost Causes.
Born in New York to a Puerto-Rican father and a Native-American mother descended from the Tuscarora Nation, PURA FÉ, a founding member of the internationally renowned Native woman’s a capella trio Ulali, has created and championed a new Native-contemporary sound. International tours to prestigious venues and festivals, appearances on The Tonight Show, collaborations with American Ballet Theatre and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra, have been coupled with work with Native-American youth and women, and national advocacy. Pura Fé’s soulful voice and acoustic lap steel slide guitar carry the ancestral message of the “Indigenous World” and the missing history that unified and separated the blood ties of Black and Indian people of the South. With a fresh, new take, the PURA FÉ TRIO, featuring Peter Knudson and Cary Morin resurrects and elegantly states the common bond and the indigenous influence on the “birth of the Blues."
On the closing night of Out of Doors (and the wind up of “Roots of American Music),” sharing the bill with Pardon Our Analysis: An All-Star Gathering for Gil Scott-Heron, are artists of two different generations who have distinctive ways of “getting out the message”—Swamp Dogg, who has embodied a unique brand of soul and r&b with a strong activist streak for six decades; and Aloe Blacc, who began as a rapper in the mid-1990s and shot to international prominence in 2010 with the hit single, “I Need a Dollar”—success he is using as a platform for continuing social-activism in his neo-soul/jazz music and off-stage.
“My purpose for music is positive social change,” says Orange County, CA, first-generation Panamanian American ALOE BLACC the singer/
songwriter about his 2010 album Good Things. The lead single, “I Need a Dollar,” is a song that has been called an anthem for our time for the way it encapsulates the economic woes being felt by individuals and countries, alike. Writing from his own and friends’ personal experiences of being down-sized from their jobs in the early 2000s, and inspired by a CD of chain gang workers singing field songs, he started work on the song in 2005. He continued to create different versions as the economy worsened, and was commissioned by HBO to record it as the theme music for the 2010 series How to Make it in America, from where it went global and viral. Crediting influences as diverse as Thoreau, Emerson, Cornel West, and Oprah, Blacc crafts lyrics that are thoughtful and thought-provoking, about poverty, homelessness, and inequality, delivering his message with a modern soul sound that references Al Green, Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye. In songs such as “Politicians,” “Life So Hard” and his cover of Sam Cooke’s “Change is Gonna Come,” Blacc represents the new generation in a long line of soul singers speaking as the voice of the people. His Out of Doors set follows his participation in Lincoln Center Festival’s presentation in July, “Here But I’m Gone,” a 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield. Off-stage, Blacc is actively involved with a number of health and humanitarian causes, as he carries on determined “to use music to expose what needs exposing.” (Telegraph.co.uk.)
Entertainment Weekly called soul/r&b singer/songwriter SWAMP DOGG “a one of a kind musical genius.” He’s also been called a misfit, eccentric and a “rowdy outsider” of soul. (Washington Post). In a career spanning nearly 60 years, and more than 30 albums (many self-produced) Swamp Dogg has focused on songs about the life and struggles of the little guy, in pointed, often humorous, reflections on the ills of society. He cut his first singles as “Little Jerry Williams” in the mid-1950s and by the 1960s recorded his breakthrough hit, “You’re My Everything.” By the late-60s/early-70s as Jerry Williams, he was an in-demand songwriter/ producer for a wide range of artists including Gene Pitney, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, The Drifters, Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles, and was the first African-American staff producer to be hired by Atlantic Records. But he decided to follow his own path and Swamp Dogg was born, writing, what the Washington Post called, “Ragged, politically charged protest funk that matched the roughest edges of Sly and the Family Stone and early Parliament-Funkadelic.” Swamp Dogg’s first album of his own material, Total Destruction to Your Mind, included an early anti-consumerist statement, “Synthetic World.” He continued to work with a host of artists from many genres. His “She’s All I Got” written with Bonds was a chart-topping country hit for Johnny Paycheck. In recent years, his work has been sampled by Talib Kweli & Hi Tek, Kid Rock, and others. In a completely new departure, his latest, 2009 album, Give ‘Em As Little As You Can..As Often As You Have To…Or…A Tribute to Rock ‘n’ Roll consists almost entirely of soul, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll classics. Because, according to Swamp Dogg it was time to reclaim rock ‘n’ roll as African-American music.
The World Gathers at Lincoln Center
This summer, Lincoln Center Out of Doors will feature artists from more than 25 countries (including American regional styles), drawing from their musical roots in traditional, new and hybrid expressions, featuring innovative projects and exciting premieres and debuts.
Transatlantic Brass connections will be made when the double-bill of Serbia’s G.R.U.B.B making its U.S. debut and New Orleans’ STOOGES BRASS BAND crisscross the plazas of Lincoln Center before taking the stage at Damrosch Park. G.R.U.B.B. (Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats) is a collective of young Roma teenage artists, who join Roma (Gypsy) roots music with hip-hop, dance and pop music, to highlight issues of poverty and discrimination that Roma face in their country and beyond. The 25 musicians, rappers, dancers, singers and visual artists, ages 13-18, crank things up with set, video and lighting elements to deliver an exciting theatrical stage show. Stooges Brass Band, led by founder Walter Ramsey (on sousaphone; grandson of a member of Dirty Dozen Brass Band) is one of New Orleans’ premier brass bands, blending traditional sounds of jazz and blues with contemporary urban beat, adding comedy and group dancing to create a second line second to none.
The double-bill with Los Irreales de Ondatrópica will be shared with WIL-DOG EL GAVACHILLO FEATURING BANDA SOL DE SANTA CRUZ, the New York debut of the newest project of Wil-Dog Abers, bassist of Los Angles based, culture-mashing, social-activist band Ozomatli. With the 15-piece brass band Banda Sol, Wil-Dog’s alter-ego el Gavachillo serves up Mexican-style banda with large infusions of classic punk. Ozomatli recently appeared on the Lincoln Center American Songbook series.
Now in its fourth New York season, and making its Lincoln Center debut, Istanbulive, celebrates the rich music of that Euro-Asian capital. It brings three exciting artists to the Damrosch Park Bandshell, highlighted by the U.S. debut of Turkish folk, psych and protest music singer SELDA BAGCAN whose work has been sampled by Mos Def and draws fans like Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons). Also on the bill ILHAN ERSAHIN'S WONDERLAND featuring HÜSNÜ SENLENDIRICI. Known for his left-field jazz, improv and electronic projects such as Wax Poetics and Istanbul Sessions, and his club Nublu, Ersahin's Wonderland combines traditional instruments—kanun and darbuka—with a jazz trio of sax, bass, and drums, joined by a clarinet maestro who adds a Gypsy touch. Opening the evening is THE SECRET TRIO—Ara Dinkjian, composer/oud; and the NY Gypsy All-Stars’ Ismail Lumanovski, clarinet; and Tamer Pinarbasi, kanun—who draw on their separate Armenian, Turkish, and Macedonian Roma roots music for a new, percussive sound.
YEMEN BLUES, organized by charismatic Israeli-Yemenite singer Ravid Kahalani and composer/bass player Omer Avital, is a super group of top musicians form New York, Israel and Uruguay which creates the ultimate African groove, by combining West African soul and American blues and jazz with the traditional music and chants of Kahalani’s Yemenite roots. Mentored by Ali Farka Touré, Malian singer KHAIRA ARBY draws on rhythms of various regions of Mali, and sings in several languages about life and love, with praise songs and songs voicing social concern. With her band (a mix of western and African instruments) she creates a complex sound that fuses desert blues with funk, psychedelic rock and reggae. France-based “Ethiopian Crunch” band UkanDanZ on its first U.S. tour this summer, makes its New York debut at Lincoln Center. Lead singer Ethiopian-born Asnake Guebreyes fronts a Western quartet (tenor sax, keyboards, guitar, drums) to create a sound between rock, jazz, noise, and dance, extending the cross-cultural Ethiopian collaborations Out of Doors has presented in previous seasons with Gétatchèw Mèkurya and The Ex, Mahmoud Ahmed and Alèmayèhu Eshèté and Either/Orchestra and Debo Band with Fendika.
Making their US debut, CHIO-TIAN FOLK DRUMS AND ARTS GROUP is a traditional Taiwanese folk drum troupe founded in 1995 to engage youth in crisis to participate in the Chinese music and dance street performances and parades held for temple festivals. It has since become one of Taiwan’s leading traditional troupes of its kind and performed at the Taiwanese president’s inauguration ceremony in 2008. The troupe is the subject of the 2012 box-office hit film Din Tao: Leader of the Parade.
On this year’s "Heritage Sunday," with long-time collaborating partner the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Out of Doors celebrates AYITI RASANBLE! with a stellar lineup of bands: Kongo, Peniel Guerrier, Le Troupe Makandal, and Raram. As the first Black nation to liberate itself from slavery and achieve independence in 1804, the small island republic of Haiti (Ayiti) is best known for its resilient people and unique cultural retention. From the lilting sounds of twoubadou to the raucous horns of rara to the enigmatic drumming of vodun, Haiti offers some of the richest cultural traditions in the New World and Haiti is one of the few places in the African Diaspora where West African practice and tradition resides in its most authentic forms. In Haitian kreyol, rasanble means, “to come together” this will be an assemblage of a diverse array of artists showcasing a vibrant convergence of Haitian performing arts. Presented in conjunction with CTMD’s New York Haitian Community Cultural Initiative, Ayiti Rasanble! will also include a very special tribute to Haitian master drummer and NEA National Heritage Fellow, Frisner Augustin, who died this March, and had been Artistic Director of Le Troupe Makandal since 1981.
DR. L. SUBRAMANIAM – GLOBAL FUSION, the classical Indian Carnatic violin master is joined by his wife, celebrated singer and Bollywood star, Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam; son, rising violin virtuoso, Ambi Subramaniam; Larry Coryell; Corky Siegel and Bindu Subramaniam for this Damrosch Park concert. Dr. Subramaniam is also a composer of renown in both the Indian and western classical repertory, whose work has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande and at the Berlin Opera. The Subramaniam’s will be joined by American blues harmonica master Corky Siegel, acclaimed composer, blues pianist, singer and songwriter. Sharing the bill in its New York debut is the ALAEV FAMILY, a Bukharin groove band from Israel with deep roots in the music of Tajikistan and Jewish Bukhara. Allo Alaev is a master percussionist of the doyra (a frame drum with metal rings inside). Playing as many as nine drums, Allo leads the family ensemble—two sons, and four grandchildren. The group, whose recent album is produced by Out of Doors alum Balkan Beat Box’s drummer Tamir Muskat, has made numerous appearances on Israeli TV.
ABOUT LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS
Inaugurated in 1971 under director of community programming Leonard DePaur, Out of Doors began as a small festival of street theater in collaboration with Everyman Theater (co-founded by actress Geraldine Fitzgerald.) Former Lincoln Center President John Mazzola’s vision was “to bring the community to Lincoln Center and bring Lincoln Center to the community.” Gradually expanding to include music and dance performances, the re-christened Lincoln Center Out of Doors has grown into one of the largest free performance festivals in the U.S. Over its 41-year history, Out of Doors has commissioned some 95 works from composers and choreographers and presented hundreds of major dance companies, renowned world-music artists, and legendary jazz, folk, gospel, blues and rock musicians. It has highlighted the rich cultural diversity of New York City with its annual “La Casita” project which offers poetry and spoken word, along with music and dance performances. Out of Doors has partnered with dozens of community and cultural organizations including the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Bronx Council on the Arts, Center for Traditional Music and Dance, the Chinese American Arts Council, Americas Society, and Dancing in the Streets. Since 2008 the festival has been produced by Lincoln Center’s director of public programming, Bill Bragin, with associate producer Jill Sternheimer.
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE and take place on the Lincoln Center campus.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2012 is sponsored by Bloomberg and PepsiCo.
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