After Dark Archives - Central Park

Fête de la Musique: Wax Tailor / Her / Ayo / Ala.Ni at SummerStage

An evening of French contemporary talent and genres ranging from hip-hop to soul and pop
June 21 @ 5:00 pm10:00 pm
Free

Wax Tailor

It’s rare to meet a turntablist DJ who so values the sound and aesthetic of classic-era Hollywood. A favorite in his home country of France (and, frankly, all over Europe), Wax Tailor’s decidedly cool, anachronistic mixing of long-lost soundtracks of the silver screen and current hip-hop & Euro-synth beats is unlike that of any DJ working today. Tailor (whose given name is Jean-Christophe Le Saoût) is most cherished for his live performances, which transcend the regular DJ fare of mere mixing tracks, and provide electrified international crowds with old school overlaying and scratching, live musical acts (including stirring instrumentalists and vocalists) and kaleidoscopic, compelling video projections. From renown festivals in Glastonbury to Montreal, Tailor has sold-out shows all around the globe. His latest (5th) album, 2016’s By Any Beats Necessary, showcases his storytelling skills, as he leads listeners on an aural roller coaster; an electro swing pilgrimage through the southern states of America. This perfect storm of blues, psychedelic rock, soul funk, trip & hip-hop are a testament to his ability to move crowds in an entirely personal, funky and super fly way.

Her

When two male performers out of the French Scene decided to name their band Her, they knew they’d turn a few inquisitive heads. A tribute to the women who have inspired and shaped them, and a commentary on the nature of duality, the band’s name sums up their sensibilities and philosophies on art, as well as life. Vacillating between the masculine and the feminine, their sound is both sensuous and fortified. With a post-modern electro-rock feel of buzzing guitars and hauntingly ethereal vocals, Her definitely crafts their own rare style.  Members Victor Solf and Simon Carpentier are often mistaken for being Brits, as they only sing in English and their sound faintly echoes that of the English new wave. Citing a vast array of diverse influences from indie to soul, such as Kendrick Lamar, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alabama Shakes, Jungle, Al Green, Shuggie Otis, James Blake, Jamie XX, FKA Twigs, their wispily affecting sound truly defies categorization. With five LPs out, including Gold, Revolution and E’ tutto così, Her’s studio tracks are phenomenally produced. Their stage shows are marvelous too, as they bring three additional musicians along for the acoustically sumptuous ride.

Ayo

The German-born singer/songwriter/actress Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin has a lineage as remarkably unique as her sound. With a Nigerian father and Romanian mother, she grew up in Africa and Europe, and was already learning to play the piano, violin and guitar at the age of six. Her stage name is the Yoruba translation of the word for “joy,” her first name, and this adjective couldn’t be more applicable for describing her music. At twenty-two, she moved to London and then Paris, and as she toured with soul singers, her fan base widened and her sound matured. She released her first solo studio album in 2006, the EBBA Award-winning Joyful, featuring the plaintively heartfelt “Down on My Knees,” launching her career as she toured Germany, the US and Canada. Her second record, 2008’s Gravity at Last, contained jazzy dancehall jams like “I Am Not Afraid” and the soulful, steel drum-backed rock single “Slow Slow (Run Run).” Three years later she released Billie-Eve (named after her daughter), featuring a captivating cover of the celebrated Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back,” and then 2013’s Ticket to the World, with the politically inspired “Fire.” Voted the ‘Best Female Singer’ of the Globes de Cristal Award, Ay? thrives on the live stage, her voice elevated to delectable heights of elation. With a dedication to helping educate children across the world, this light-giving artist was named a patron of UNICEF France.

Ala.Ni

British-born, Paris-based vocalist Ala.Ni defies categorization. Each song on her debut YOU & I sounds like a forgotten gem – instantly familiar but eerily difficult to pin down. All of her songs are highly original, written and produced by the artist, and have a haunting David Lynch-ian quality to them. Ala.Ni stopped many people dead in their tracks when she appeared on “Later…with Jools Holland” late last year, performing a Disney-gone-noir vocal, as compulsively anachronistic as the sensibility of the track itself. Ala.Ni arrived with a voice that seems to take in the cadences of musical history, and an idiosyncratic creative approach to conveying her music, including spooky, self-produced Super 8 videos, 19th century photo techniques for album packaging and release formats that include wax cylinder recordings and even a miniature music box. Her vocal stylings have been compared to Billie Holiday, Minnie Ripperton, Lena Horne, Judy Garland or Julee Cruise, but this is no nostalgia trip and to make these simple comparisons would be, as Glamour noted “a disservice because the thing about this West London-born singer is that she is totally unique.”

Details

Date:
June 21
Time:
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Time(s):
Doors 5pm / Show 6pm
Cost:
Free
Venue
SummerStage, Central Park
Rumsey Playfield
New York, NY
Map:

Laura Mvula / Taylor McFerrin & Marcus Gilmore at SummerStage

Laura Mvula / Taylor McFerrin & Marcus Gilmore in association with Jill Newman Productions and The Blue Note Jazz Festival

June 17 @ 6:00 pm10:00 pm  Free

Pioneering British vocalist, composer of contemporary orchestral funk and two new projects of groundbreaking futuristic jazz, soul and hip-hop.

Laura Mvula

Since bursting onto the cultural landscape in 2013, Laura Mvula has become one of the U.K.’s finest exports. From her Mercury Prize nominations and Mobo Award wins to her Brit Awards and Ivo Novello nods, she has found herself at the forefront of the current funk and soul revival. With effortless originality and a molasses-rich voice that contains echoes of Nina Simone, Ms. Mvula invites listeners into a glowing, poetic world. Last summer she released The Dreaming Room, the follow-up to her 2013 debut album, Sing to the Moon. Prince was an outspoken fan of Sing to the Moon and listened to it before shows. Ms. Mvula’s second album often resembles pop music, but with episodic, unusual song structures. There are off-center drums and explosions of vocal harmonies; “Angel” shifts from a cappella to a countryish guitar figure and then to a Baroque harpsichord backing in the space of three minutes. The Dreaming Room never feels self-conscious or jarring; it’s less the work of an artist showily disregarding the rules than one who didn’t wish to learn them in the first place. Laura Mvula was featured at the AFROPUNK Festival 2016, and recently in American Songbook 2017, at Lincoln Center, where she performed an amazing, sold-out concert.

Taylor McFerrin & Marcus Gilmore

Taylor McFerrin is a jazz/soul/electronic musician and producer whose eclectic sound has been described by The Times as “a sliver of intricate, sun-dappled, jazz-soaked electronica.” His first recorded appearance was as a background singer on “Jubilee,” a song included on his music-legend father Bobby McFerrin’s 1982 debut album. Moving on three decades, following a series of singles and EPs, Taylor released his amazing debut record Early Riser in 2014. The album featured guest appearances from Naipalm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Thundercat, Robert Glasper, Cesar Mariano, Marcus Gilmore and, returning a favor from thirty-two years prior, Bobby McFerrin. Taylor continues to tour worldwide supporting the release of his album both as a solo act, and as a duo featuring jazz drummer prodigy Marcus Gilmore. In addition to headline shows around North America, he has performed alongside artists such as Erykah Badu, The Roots, Nas, Robert Glasper and Talib Kweli. NPR has lauded McFerrin’s music stylings as “unpredictable frolicks between ethereal singing and stream-of-consciousness scatting; and of dark-tinged corners of production that burst into shimmering light when you least expect it.”

 

Details

Date:
June 17
Time:
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Time(s):
Doors 6pm / Show 7pm
Cost:
Free

Venue

SummerStage, Central Park
Rumsey Playfield
New York, NY
Map:

Elvis Costello at SummerStage 2017

Elvis Costello & The Imposters

June 15th

Elvis Costello is nothing short of legendary. With one of the most prolific careers in music today, he has his sublimely talented fingers in more musical pots and genres than one can count. His breakout on to the British pub scene of the ‘70s quickly saw him become a pioneer of the punk and new-wave movements. With his critically acclaimed 1977 debut album My Aim Is True in the bag, Costello assembled The Attractions as his backers. Over the years, Costello has collaborated with Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, and jazz-pianist Diana Krall (his wife), and penned songs for Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, No Doubt and James Brown – all showcasing his stunning diversity in varying styles. With a Grammy win, Oscar nom, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and inclusion on tons of Rolling Stone ‘best’ lists, Costello is a premier name in the business. He now tours with The Imposters, as he continues to reimagine and reinvent musical forms.

 

SummerStage – The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital in Central Park

Stars from the Metropolitan Opera entertained a packed SummerStage on a warm, but otherwise perfect night in Central Park.  It was an amazing evening of arias & duets from some of opera’s most beloved works.  The evening featured performances by soprano Susanna Phillipsmezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, and tenor Petr Nekoranec, joined by pianist Dan Saunders.

Susanna Phillips

Recipient of the 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, soprano Susanna Phillips frequently appears at the Metropolitan Opera, this past season starring as Clémence in Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin and Musetta in La Bohème, a role she will reprise next season. Other performances with the company include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, among others. She has sung with the Zurich Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Oper Frankfurt, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Music of the Baroque, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and she has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Operalia, the MacAllister Awards, and the George London Foundation. She is a co-founder of Twickenham Fest in Huntsville, Alabama, and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School.

Elizabeth DeShong

Since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2009 as Suzy in La Rondine, mezzo- soprano Elizabeth DeShong has appeared with the company in more than 50 performances, including Hermia in The Enchanted Island and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and the Wardrobe Mistress/Schoolboy/Page in Lulu, among others. She appears regularly at the Glyndebourne Festival, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, English National Opera, Opera National de Bordeaux, Canadian Opera Company, and Aix-en- Provence Festival, as well as with the Baltimore Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Cincinnati Symphony. She received Washington National Opera’s “Artist of the Year” award in 2010 and next season will return to the Met as Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide, which will be broadcast Live in HD.

Petr Nekoranec

Tenor Petr Nekoranec recently completed his first year in the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He spent two seasons as a member of the opera studio at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, where he sang the title roles of Albert Herring and Le Comte Ory and Fabrizio in Martin?’s Mirandolina. He was also heard on the main stage as Parpignol in La Bohème, Albazar in Il Turco in Italia, the Animal Vendor in Der Rosenkavalier, and the Officer in Ariadne auf Naxos. Previously, he sang Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri at the Teatro Nuovo in Torino and Vašek in The Bartered Bride at Prague’s National Theater. His concert repertoire includes Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass. Mr. Nekoranec earned his Diploma in Classical Voice from the Pardubice Conservatory, Czech Republic.

Dan Saunders 

Dan Saunders has performed in recital with Jessye Norman, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, Marilyn Horne, Tatiana Troyanos, and Thomas Allen; and with violinist Eugen Fodor. More recently, has appeared with Danielle de Niese, Isabel Leonard, Nathan Gunn, and Gerald Finley. He has also performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Paris’s Bastille Opera, San Francisco Opera, and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as at the Salzburg, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Santa Fe festivals. He joined the Met’s music staff in 1985 and has been heard on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center and as a pianist on the Met’s international radio broadcasts and web streams.


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