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City Parks Foundation announces lineup for 2023 SummerStage series

Jason Moran
Courtesy of the artist

Today the City Parks Foundation in New York City announced the lineup for its renowned SummerStage series that brings 80 free and benefit shows to Central Park and 12 other neighborhood parks in the city. The concerts span nearly every genre of contemporary music, including hip-hop, reggae, Afrobeat, soul, pop, global, indie rock, classical and, yes, jazz. In addition to concerts headlined by Stanley Clarke (Jun. 24), Eddie Palmieri (Aug. 2) and Jason Moran and the Big Bandwagon (Aug. 18), the latter part of the season is highlighted by the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, an event well covered in the past by WBGO.

As in past years, the first two days of this year’s edition of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival takes place at Marcus Garvey Park. Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band featuring Dianne Reeves, as well as T.K. Blue headline on Friday, Aug. 25. Performing on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Marcus Garvey Park are The Cookers, Endea Owens and the Cookout, Nduduzo Makhathini Trio and Akua Allrich and The Tribe. The final day of the festival takes place at Tompkins Square Park on Sunday, Aug. 27 and will feature Charles McPherson with Terell Stafford, Something Else! Vincent Herring Septet, ERA featuring Chelsea Baratz and Andromeda Turre, and Michael Mayo. All of these events are free to the public.

“SummerStage is back for another exceptional year of free programming,” said Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, in a press release received by WBGO. “It's an honor to bring to the 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.”

A list of jazz or jazz-leaning concerts during the SummerStage series:

Sat, Jun 24 5:00 PM
Stanley Clarke N 4ever / Kenny Garrett /Brandee Younger / DJ Logic
(in association with Blue Note Jazz Festival)
Central Park

Wed, Aug 2 6:00 PM
Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra / Lulada Club / DJ JFuse
(in association with The Salsa Project)
Crotona Park

Fri, Aug 18 7:00 PM
Jason Moran and the Big Bandwagon: James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters: From the Dancehall to the Battlefield
(in association with Jazzmobile)
Marcus Garvey Park

Fri, Aug 25 7:00 PM
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band featuring Dianne Reeves / T.K. Blue
(in association with Jazzmobile)
Marcus Garvey Park

Sat, Aug 26 3:00 PM
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
The Cookers / Endea Owens and the Cookout / Nduduzo Makhathini Trio / Akua Allrich and The Tribe
Marcus Garvey Park

Sun, Aug 27 3:00 PM
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Charles McPherson with Terell Stafford / Something Else! Vincent Herring Septet / ERA featuring Chelsea Baratz and Andromeda Turre / Michael Mayo
Tompkins Square Park

NOTE: All of the above events are free to the public.

For over 27 years, Lee Mergner served as an editor and publisher of JazzTimes until his resignation in January 2018. Thereafter, Mergner continued to regularly contribute features, profiles and interviews to the publication as a contributing editor for the next 4+ years. JazzTimes, which has won numerous ASCAP-Deems Taylor awards for music journalism, was founded in 1970 and was described by the All Music Guide, as “arguably the finest jazz magazine in the world.”