City Parks Foundation is excited to announce the 2023 season of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage and only a few minutes from Harlem.
Summerstage is New York City’s beloved outdoor performing arts festival, bringing 80 free and benefit shows to Central Park and 12 neighborhood parks across the five boroughs. Returning for its 37th year, the festival will once again showcase established and emerging artists from across the globe, presenting a multitude of genres including salsa, jazz, hip-hop, indie rock, reggae, Afrobeats, soul, pop, global, contemporary dance, and many more. This season will also shine a celebratory spotlight on the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and the genre’s influence globally, with a diverse, multi-faceted series of events showcasing all elements of hip-hop culture, from live performances and DJ sets to dance and graffiti displays across the five boroughs.
Here’s the official SummerStage 2023 full season brochure here.
Neighborhood parks and outdoor spaces hosting SummerStage this season include Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, Von King Park and The Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, Crotona Park in the Bronx, Stapleton Waterfront Park in Staten Island, and SummerStage’s flagship venue at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Performances will be free and open to the public, with the exception of some ticketed benefit concerts in Central Park. More information is available at www.SummerStage.org.
“SummerStage is back for another exceptional year of free programming,” said Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation’s Executive Director. “It’s an honor to bring to parks artists that are reflective of each neighborhood’s rich cultural fabric, whether these performers are familiar or completely new discoveries. Feeling the joy and wonder of live music with other New Yorkers is an experience that is unmatched and should not be underestimated. At a time when we are increasingly isolated, SummerStage uses our city’s parks — vital resources in every neighborhood — to connect audiences with each other in a very emotional and magical way and, ultimately, to create community.”
Continuing its legacy of creating lineups that champion diversity, SummerStage will present a season featuring artists from across the world bringing a multitude of genres and cultures to New York City. Opening the 2023 season on Saturday, June 10 in Central Park will be rollicking free performances by the acclaimed eight-piece soul band St. Paul and The Broken Bones, with opening sets by Brooklyn soul band Say She She, and Harlem-based jazz/soul/blues band Mwenso and The Shakes, with DJ sets by WFUV’s Alisa Ali.
The season’s free shows in Central Park will take audiences on a musical journey across the globe, spanning multiple genres. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene/Museum of Jewish Heritage will welcome New York Sings Yiddish! The Klezmatics and Special Guests on June 14. The AUSSIE BBQ will return on June 17 highlighting the sounds of Australia with a six artist bill ranging from art-rock to pop and rap. Blue Note Jazz Festival will present a free show on June 24 with two of the elder statesman of jazz, Stanley Clarke N 4Ever and Kenny Garrett, joined by the dynamic young jazz harpist Brandee Younger. Canada Day will bring together a showcase of singer-songwriters featuring Andy Shauf, Leith Ross and Yves Jarvis on July 1. Brazilian music fans will enjoy a rare free performance by the legendary singer and instrumentalist Marisa Monte on July 2, while Catalan Sounds on Tour will return to Central Park on July 8 with singer/songwriter Queralt Lahoz. The annual Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) will bring major star power to SummerStage on July 12 with Colombian music icon and multiple GRAMMY award-winner Juanes in his first-ever free festival show in NYC. Australian indie pop/folk singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin and Pacific Northwest indigenous indie rock singer/songwriter Black Belt Eagle Scout will perform on July 16. Taiwanese Waves returns for a day of contemporary music and hip-hop including Waa Wei and Dinosaur’s Head on July 23. The captivating Niger-born guitar virtuoso and songwriter Mdou Moctar and his band will perform their unique brand of modern rock music inspired by Tuareg guitar sounds on July 29. Electronica-jazz project and critically acclaimed The Comet is Coming, led by the electrifying Shabaka Hutchings, will take over SummerStage on August 2, along with Afro-Cuban/French electronic jazz duo Ibeyi. Show Dem Camp will make the U.S. debut of the Palmwine Music Festival on August 27, showcasing the best in Nigeria’s burgeoning alternative music scene. On September 3, acclaimed Brazilian hip-hop artist Emicida and Afro-Colombian star Goyo will perform as part of a special film screening event for the “AmarElo: It’s All For Yesterday.” Closing out our free Central Park season on September 14 is one of the reigning queens of country music and recent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Tanya Tucker.
The season will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, highlighting not only its history and significance to New York City but also the massive impact it has had on culture worldwide. SummerStage is bringing back seminal artists to recognize their contributions to the genre as well as showcasing some of hip-hop’s brightest young innovators with free shows across the five boroughs. MIKE will return to SummerStage with his Young World festival at Von King Park in Brooklyn on July 15, while the legendary Grandmaster Flash will mark the “Birth of a Culture” on August 2 with a hometown show in Crotona Park in the Bronx – the borough that started it all. A Hip-Hop 50 Special Edition Showcase will take over Coney Island on August 6 featuring artists Special Ed and more hosted by Ralph McDaniels. Frankie Cutlass and Black Sheep’s Dres will celebrate hip-hop on August 12 at Stapleton Waterfront Park in Staten Island, and DJ Funk Flex will bring his birthday celebration to Brooklyn’s Coney Island on August 13.
SummerStage will also feature artists from around the world that have taken the NYC genre and infused it with their own culture. Argentina’s TRUENO and Puerto Rico’s Villano Antillano will celebrate the Caribbean and reggaetón influence of hip-hop performing as part of the LAMC festival in Central Park on July 15. DJ Rekha will spin the fusion of Indian bhangra with hip-hop and dance beats they made famous at their Basement Bhangra parties in Queens at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on July 23, and Ghanafest-NY brings Stonebwoy – one of Accra’s biggest Afro-pop stars – to Crotona Park in the Bronx on August 5.
“We are thrilled to present another vibrant season filled with captivating artists from around the world and introduce music fans to their diverse sounds,” said Erika Elliott, Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop this year, we are excited to highlight the global impact that the genre has had on music and culture with an outstanding lineup of international artists and hometown heroes. SummerStage has been featuring hip-hop in our performances since the 90s and is dedicated to giving a platform to showcase this important culture, shining a light on the genre every season.”
Spotlighting New York City, the season will also feature acclaimed local artists returning to their NY roots. Brooklyn-based artist Nick Hakim will bring his soulful R&B sounds back to Brooklyn when he performs on July 14 in Von King Park, R&B legends Kool & The Gang will return to SummerStage on July 22 in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park, salsa legend Eddie Palmieri will have crowds dancing on August 14 in Crotona Park and fans of New York City’s Latin -infused freestyle sound will enjoy high-energy performances by DJ Frankie Cutlass and The Cover Girls on August 12 in Staten Island’s Stapleton Waterfront Park. Jazz virtuoso Jason Moran will bring his critically acclaimed music project, The Harlem Hellfighters, to Marcus Garvey Park on August 18 for its Harlem debut, presented in association with Jazzmobile.
As part of a season-long partnership, independent performing arts organization Works & Process will collaborate with SummerStage to showcase the art of dance in this year’s season with special performances. Dance shows will kick off with The Masterz at Work Dance Family with Courtney Washington, the Black trans femme choreographer who is a legend in the ballroom community on July 13 in Von King Park in Brooklyn. Central Park will host award-winning, New York-based tap dance company, Dorrance Dance on July 26. Additionally, Works and Process will feature a dance residency with Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective, the all-female intergenerational group that creates dance works illuminating the strength, power and diversity of women in hip-hop. These performances can be found at select shows throughout the season.
SummerStage is also thrilled to return for six free shows at The Coney Island Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn. These free performances will include Tuff Gang Takeover feat Skip Marley & Friends on July 9; Golden Oldies on the Boardwalk featuring The Duprees, The Coasters, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters with Jeff Hall, Bobby Wilson and many more on July 16; and Jose Alberto “El Canario” will perform with The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra including The Music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente on August 20. Additional shows will be announced at a later date.
The 2023 SummerStage festival will feature ticketed benefit shows in Central Park to help support City Parks Foundation’s free performances. Live Nation, this season’s official provider of benefit concerts, will present indie rock band Hippo Campus with Gus Dapperton on June 3; folk rock duo Indigo Girls on June 4; Hip-Hop Started Out In The Park – A Juneteenth Celebration of Hip-Hop presented by Google Pixel on June 19; DREAMLAND PRIDE will present German disco and house DJ Purple Disco Machine on June 25; alt-rockers Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Garbage will perform on July 10; Haitian electronic DJ Michael Brun presents BAYO on July 22; Mexican rock band Cafe Tacvba on July 24; indie pop singer Cavetown on August 3; alt-rock band Mt. Joy on August 9 and 10; a celebration of New York’s Dominican Day Parade with Orgullo Dominicano with Prince Royce, Vicente García, and YEИDRY on August 13; R&B and soul singer Cautious Clay on August 19; American rock bands Manchester Orchestra and Jimmy Eat World on August 23; singer-songwriter Regina Spektor on August 24; Australian indie folk singer Vance Joy on August 30; and British techno and dance DJ Carl Cox on September 30. In addition to these ticketed shows, Bowery Presents will produce two ticketed concerts this season including jazz rock singer Sammy Rae & The Friends on June 15 and musical band Michael Franti & Spearhead on June 28. Blue Note Jazz Festival will also present a ticketed show with jazz and blues icon Buddy Guy on June 18. More benefit shows will be announced throughout the season.
The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, New York City’s annual salute to the eponymous late saxophonist, will return in its 31st year for a three-day celebration of live jazz in the neighborhoods near where Parker worked and lived, including Harlem’s historic Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Each year, some of the finest jazz musicians in the world are assembled who reflect “the Bird’s” musical individuality and genius, to promote appreciation for this highly influential and world-renowned artist. Running August 25 to August 27, this year’s lineup will bring together storied, veteran players and the next generation of jazz artists including Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band featuring Dianne Reeves in association with Jazzmobile; groundbreaking jazz supergroup The Cookers; rising jazz bassist Endea Owens & The Cookout; legendary jazz saxophonist Charles McPherson; and the celebrated Vincent Herring Septet performing Something Else! among others. Additional jazz events will also be held across the city to celebrate the festival, with more details to be announced on www.SummerStage.org.
As a women-run festival with a mission of diversity and inclusion, since 2019 SummerStage has helped to transform the future of the music industry by participating in the PRS Foundation’s international Keychange pledge, presenting an annual lineup that features a 50:50 gender balance. SummerStage is one of the few local festivals that has achieved this goal. SummerStage is committed to gender and racial equity in its programming, and in 2022, 85% of artists identified as BIPOC, and 84% of groups presented were led by or included women.
“Capital One is committed to improving lives, championing diversity, and supporting our local communities,” said Andy Ramamoorthy, Commercial Banking Chief Product Officer and New York City Market President, Capital One. “Our sponsorship of SummerStage is a natural extension of that commitment. SummerStage has been a beloved summertime tradition for over three decades and we’re thrilled to support the power of the arts to bring people together, inspire creativity, and foster connections. We look forward to sharing in the excitement of SummerStage with New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.”
Capital One is the festival’s title sponsor (Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage) and its official bank and credit card. A presenting sponsor since 2015, Capital One has helped SummerStage bring hundreds of artists to nearly a million audience members in parks all around New York City.
Subaru will present the inaugural 2023 Subaru Music Series at SummerStage. This four show series will kick off on Sunday, June 4 with the Indigo Girls and continue on Saturday, June 10 with St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Wednesday, August 30 with Vance Joy and culminate on Thursday, September 14 with Tanya Tucker.
The artwork for this season was created by New York-based artist and illustrator, Lauren Martin, whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and more brands. Drawn in a unique, fanciful style, the art captures the vibrancy and energy of SummerStage.
The complete SummerStage schedule follows below. For the most up-to-date scheduling and lineup for all SummerStage programming, follow SummerStage via the social media handles below and visit www.SummerStage.org for all festival information.
Generous private support for SummerStage is provided by The Thompson Family Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Jaharis Family Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Shubert Organization, J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the NYU Community Fund. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the Consulate General of Brazil in New York. Capital One is the title sponsor of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage. Supporting Sponsors iStar, Subaru, Poppi, Bloomberg Philanthropies, National Grid, TF Cornerstone, Sixpoint, Fiddlehead, Wolffer Cider, Sunboy, Archer Roose, The Dermatology Specialists, United Airlines. Public support is also provided by the NYC Council under the leadership of Speaker Adams, including Council Member Gale Brewer, Council Member Kamillah Hanks, Council Member Chi Ossé, Council Member Keith Powers, and Council Member Carlina Rivera. Media partner support for the season is provided by iHeartMedia including Z100 New York, 106.7 Lite FM, Power 105.1, KTU, and Q104.3, Zoom Media | GymTV, ALL ARTS and The WNET Group, Telemundo, WBGO, WFUV, Relix, DoNYC, NME, and Big Screen Plaza.
In all of its programming and activities, City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities they serve.
City Parks Foundation
At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building and
education programs for all New Yorkers. Our programs — located in more than 300 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City — reach over 275,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: thriving parks mean thriving communities.
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is one of New York’s most beloved, broadly accessible, free outdoor performing arts festivals. SummerStage annually presents nearly 80 free and benefit performances in Central Park and neighborhood parks throughout the five boroughs to 217,000 fans. With performances in genres that represent the cultural fabric of New York City ranging from jazz, hip-hop, Latin, global, indie and contemporary dance, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage.