This year’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors (LCOOD), three weeks of free music and dance on the plazas of Lincoln Center, will run from August 5 through August 23. The 39th annual edition of the festival will present a wide range of music and dance events by dozens of international, U.S. and local artists, highlighted by New York, U.S. and world premieres and debuts and special commissions.
Out of Doors opens Wednesday, August 5 with the worldwide debut of the Asphalt Orchestra, a new marching band developed by Bang on a Can, premiering works commissioned for Lincoln Center’s 50th Anniversary from Goran Bregovic, Tyondai Braxton (of Battles), and Stew and Heidi Rodewald. The band will also perform original arrangements of iconoclastic rock, jazz, and classical material—all to movement created by MacArthur Fellowship winning choreographer Susan Marshall.
Asphalt Orchestra will kick-off the first five consecutive nights of Out of Doors at 7 p.m., performing in different locations across Lincoln Center’s campus, with a varying playlist each night. The opening night concert at the Damrosch Park Bandshell at 7:30 is a double-bill with Out of Doors alum The Dave Brubeck Quartet (marking the 50th Anniversary of the landmark album Time Out) with guest soloist, oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen, and Iraqi-American jazz trumpeter Amir ElSaffar leading the New York debut of his Two Rivers Large Ensemble.
Among the other roots music highlights of this year’s Out of Doors, the second festival under the direction of Bill Bragin, Lincoln Center’s Director of Public Programming, are:
An evening of string virtuosos: The Derek Trucks Band featuring the band’s namesake slide guitar prodigy and Allman Brothers scion, ukulele innovator Jake Shimabukuro, and North Indian classical and jazz double-neck mandolinist Snehasish Mozumder (August 13, Damrosch Park Bandshell)
Tony Award-winner Stew and his long-time collaborator Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem and Passing Strange deconstructing some of their favorite Broadway show tunes—and performing some of their own—in Stew and Heidi present The Broadway Problem on a surprising shared bill with post-modern Inuit throat-singer Tanya Tagaq. (August 19, Damrosch Park Bandshell)
Building on Out of Doors roots as a street theater festival, starting with Asphalt Orchestra (August 5 through 9), street bands of all types and stripes will be on the march from 7 to 7:30 p.m., taking over the plazas of Lincoln Center on many evenings throughout the festival, and gathering exuberant crowds in their wake. In addition to Broadway Plaza (the new lower plaza in front of Alice Tully Hall), bands will visit and perform at a number of locations recently renovated as part of Lincoln Center’s on-going Redevelopment Project, including the re-designed Revson Fountain on Josie Robertson Plaza and the new Barclays Capital Grove, the elegant, raised, seating area on the Hearst Plaza (formerly the North Plaza).
Scheduled to be on the march are: Red Baraat Festival! a Brooklyn-based brass and Indian wedding-style band (August 12); Slavic Soul Party!, New York’s Balkan meets gypsy meets jazz extravaganza (August 14); Harlem Samba (August 20) with its driving all-percussion bateria made up of young musicians from Frederick Douglass Academy who bring the wild exuberance of Rio’s carnival bands to New York’s streets; and Frevo Bombastico (August 21) a group of New York’s finest salsa, Latin and jazz players performing frevo, the super-charged carnival music of Recife in Northeastern Brazil.
Out of Doors closing weekend, August 22 and 23: 26th Annual Roots of American Music mini-festival, celebrates legendary folk-singer/activist Odetta and cultural creolization, in performances on Hearst Plaza and the Damrosch Park Bandshell. August 22, In the Spirit of Odetta, includes artists: Lizz Wright, The Holmes Brothers with special guest Marie Knight, Tommy Sands, Calypso Rose, and additional headliners to be announced.
August 23 focuses on musical hybrids and includes: the BRC Orchestra’s Four Women: A Tribute to Odetta, Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Eartha Kitt, presented in collaboration with the Black Rock Coalition; Tex-Mex pioneers Texas Tornados paying tribute to Doug Sahm; and The Louisiana Renegades, a coming-together of Creole and Cajun musicians featuring members from Balfa Toujours along with collaborators from the Zydeco scene, building on last year’s music video Presidential campaign sensation “Oui, On Peut! (Yes, We Can!)”. Closing things out for the season is Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos: The Lost World of Latin-Jewish Sound, featuring The Arturo O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Sextet with special guests Irving Fields (Bagels and Bongos), Fania legend Larry Harlow (“El Judio Maravilloso”) and others, recreating the legendary 1961 jazz label Riverside Records release, an album of “Yiddish favorites in a Latin tempo.” The concert is presented in collaboration with the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation and Reboot.
This year’s Out of Doors will also include: a pairing of Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré with Raul Midón (August 7); an evening exploring music of the Indian sub-continent in diaspora, with Susheela Raman and Brooklyn Qawwali Party (August 12); a double bill of Eastern European rockers Plastic People of the Universe, the Prague-rock band that was a lighting rod for Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution,” sharing the stage with Russian art-rockers Auktyon with bassist Vladimir Volkov and jazz-jam keyboardist John Medeski (August 14); and some of the major architects of Recife, Brazil’s influential mangue-beat scene including Otto, and Blind Date, the worldwide debut collaboration between DJ Dolores and rabeca (fiddle) player Siba (of Mestre Ambrosio and Siba & the Fuloresta) (August 21).
All events are free and take place on the Lincoln Center campus—Damrosch Park, North Plaza, South Plaza, Josie Robertson Plaza and Broadway Plaza–located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, West 65th Street to West 62nd Street.