Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage opening night is set to take place on Saturday, June 1st at the newly upgraded flagship venue in Central Park. The night will feature New York City native, the soulful R&B singer songwriter Emily King, along with developing artists and deep soul revival band Durand Jones & the Indications, Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Madison McFerrin, and DJ Reborn. The first guests of the night will receive a special limited-edition commemorative giveaways.
Long time Lower East Side resident Emily King, a child of musicians, dropped out of school at 16 and cut her teeth at local haunts CBGB and The Bitter End. In the fifteen years since she signed her first record deal with Clive Davis' J Records, her distinct brand of soulful R&B has been nominated for a Grammy and led to collaborations and performances with Nas, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu. Her most recent album Scenery was released earlier this year, and was dubbed a "sweeping coming-of-age tale" by NPR.
She's joined by Durand Jones and the Indications, a soul group with a throwback sound that channels the likes of Jackie Wilson and Curtis Mayfield. Earlier this year they released the critically-acclaimed American Love Call, and made a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Brooklyn singer-songwriter, Madison McFerrin, daughter of jazz legend Bobby McFerrin and sister to SummerStage alum Taylor McFerrin, will provide an opening set of what Questlove has dubbed "Soulappella." Her unique a cappella take on soul music led Pitchfork to delcare she's "making a cappella cool again. DJ Reborn will be spinning throughout the night in addition to a special performance by Spice Steppers, a step team from the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development's Step It Up NYC competition.
Leading up to opening night, we will be offering limited preview tours of the newly refurbished SummerStage in Central Park to press on Wednesday, May 29th. If you're interested in attending, please submit your information for consideration here: http://bit.ly/SummerStageCentralParkPreview.
CityParks SummerStage is New York City's largest, free outdoor performing arts festival, taking place in Central Park and in 17 neighborhood parks around the city, from June-October, presenting approximately 100 performances - the majority of which are free of charge - for 250,000+ audiences annually.
"This is a very big year for SummerStage. Not only are we reopening our storied Central Park venue, modernizing it for its next 30 years, but we are also partnering with our new title sponsor and looking to the future by launching the season with young musicians representing the next generation," said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. "Of course, throughout the summer, we will present a line-up that is reflective of our city's population, focusing not only on gender equality, but also on the huge diversity of cultures and backgrounds that make New York so special and exciting."
As a women-run festival with a mission of diversity and inclusion, SummerStage is helping to transform the future of the music industry by participating in the PRS Foundation's international Keychange pledge and presenting a lineup this season that features a 50:50 gender balance. SummerStage is one of the few local festivals that has achieved this goal.
SummerStage's flagship venue in Central Park will reopen after undergoing a major, $5.5 million transformation that includes a new stage and sound system, enhanced lighting, new and raised seating areas, and improved dressing rooms and production spaces. In collaboration with
West Elm, the Brooklyn-based global design company known for its original, modern designs, select areas of the venue will be expertly outfitted with furniture and décor from the brand's new summer assortment. Concert-goers and performers will enjoy the highest standard of sustainably sourced products all summer long.
A full lineup for this season can be found 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.
Capital One is the Title Sponsor of the 2019 SummerStage festival. iStar, Subaru, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Bell's Brewery, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Archer Roose Wines, AARP, Disney, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Snapple, Icelandic Provisions Skyr and West Elm are all official SummerStage sponsors.
Generous private support is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Shubert Organization, the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. SummerStage is also supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NYC Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature; and the NYC Council under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson, including Council Members Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Diana Ayala, Bill Perkins, Keith Powers, Donovan Richards, Carlina Rivera, Debi Rose, Helen Rosenthal, and Rafael Salamanca. The Only in Queens SummerStage Concert is presented by Borough President Melinda Katz with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and NYC Parks.
Additional support is generously provided by our dedicated festival audience and SummerStage Members.
The refurbishment of SummerStage in Central Park is supported by the NYC Council under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson, The Thompson Family Foundation, the Jaharis Family Foundation, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Peter Shapiro & Dayglo Presents, the Troubh family, the Goodman Family Foundation, Alexander Durst, and many generous donors who have purchased seat plaques.
Premier Radio Sponsor: iHeart Radio featuring Lite FM, Power 105.1, 103.5 KTU, Q104.3, and Z100.
Media partners include: Zoom Media & Marketing, WNYC, WNET and All Arts, Telemundo, WBGO, WFUV, Relix, DoNYC, Time Out New York, Futuro Media Group 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.
SummerStage Social Media
Facebook: SummerStage NYC
Official Hashtag: #SummerStage