Come out and enjoy SummerStage this summer. All are part of this year’s SummerStage programming, which will run through September 23 and include over 800 free performances, featuring over 200 artists, not only in Central Park but also in 15 neighborhood parks throughout the city’s five boroughs. SummerStage is New York’s largest free performing arts festival.
Established in 1985 and operated by the City Parks Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization, SummerStage this year is honoring a distinctly New York musical form, jazz, showcasing artists from around the globe and celebrating the centennials of the birth of jazz musicians like Billie Holiday and Billy Strayhorn. These artists will include Terence Blanchard, who, in Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park, will perform a work, Breathless, based on the final words of borough native Eric Garner. Soul jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves will perform in Queensborough Park, while the annual, three-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will feature performances by Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet, DeJohnette-Moran-Holland and others. Folk rock duo Indigo Girls and former Haitian president and musician Sweet Micky also will perform in Central Park.
Events are held in Central Park come rain or shine; the only time they are canceled is if there is a lightning threat. Programs in other venues are held weather permitting. Events are canceled at showtime, no sooner, with SummerStage’s website and social media platforms providing updates.