Jon Bon Jovi and Idina Manzel Headline Central Park SummerStage Gala

On a perfect Summer Solstice evening in Central Park Jon Bon Jovi crooned “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and just about everybody in the crowd of benefit goers joined Peter Yarrow on “Blowin’ in the Wind.”  It was all to raise funds for SummerStage – and to honor legendary rock impresdario Ron Delsener and the amazing array of music he brought to Central Park starting in the ’60s, when seats were $1 thanks to sponsor Rheingold Beer.

“They threw me out of Central Park 35 years ago; I’m back tonight,” Delsener reminisced while accepting his award. He also shared anecdotes including a backstage conversation with Ray Charles, encountering a guy dressed in plastic on Madison Avenue, and a hot-dog vendor who made off with most of the hot dogs. In an accompanying video, he walked around the park and shared memories of the night George Harrison showed up when Tina Turner was playing, Led Zeppelin agreeing to play for almost nothing, the crowds that came out for Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John’s costume changes, and building a stage on Sheep Meadow for Barbra Streisand in 1967.

While New York’s parks department takes care of physical maintenance, the City Parks Foundation focuses on programming. In addition to concerts, the charity brings the parks recreational programs like tennis or track and field.

Delsener himself assembled the line-up for a concert that followed the family-style dinner set up on the grounds of SummerStage. Paul Shaffer was the band leader, saxophonist David Sanborn joined for two tunes, and Idina Menzel sang Radiohead’s “Creep” after telling the crowd how Delsener discovered her, and made a “Long Island Jewish girl’s dreams come true.”

Father Guido Sarducci, an ’80s fixture of “Saturday Night Live,” provided a comic interlude by introducing his invention — small food plates designed to rest on one’s shoulder, which he demonstrated over his robes. One possible use at a party, he said: a place to rest the appetizer you took a bite of and didn’t like, warning others not to try it.

Summerstage Gala 2014 – the Music of the Beatles!

On Tuesday, June 3, City Parks Foundation  presented the 2014 SummerStage Gala in Central Park. Honoring Andrew Tisch with the 2014 People and Parks Award, the evening  helped raise significant funds to support CPF’s year round free arts, sports, and education programs.  The clouds broke right on schedule and the crowd was treated to a brilliant rainbow to start the evenings festivities,  This year’s concert featured the music of  THE BEATLES.  An all star line up of GE Smith and his all star band, Jon Batiste, David Broza, Paula Cole, Marshall Crenshaw, Philip Bailey, Southside Johnny, Willie Nile & Teddy Thompson ripped through a fast paced set that immediately had the crowd on its feet dancing the entire evening.

GE Smith kicked off the show with a rocking version of 8 Days A Week and laid down the gauntlet for the rest of the following artists to bring their A game – and they did!  Highlights included downtown music legend Willie Nile‘s killer rendition of A Hard Days Night followed by Israeli singer-songwriter, David Broza’s igniting the crowd with Twist and Shout.   Paula Cole kept the party going with Get Back with Marshall Crenshaw‘s inspired version of a lesser known gem from the Yellow Submarine Album –  It’s All Too Much.  The first half of the show finished with Wille Nile joining Crenshaw on Some Other Guy. 

After GE got the second set started with She Said, She Said Louisiana prodigy Jon Batiste gave Blackbird a bluesy twist, which Teddy Thompson followed with a rocking version of Can’t Buy Me Love (See pic of airborne Teddy below).  Southside Johnny then brought the house down with a classically manic Helter Skelter.  Philip Bailey kept the crowd dancing with I Saw Her Standing There.  The show finished with the entire ensemble singing All You Need Is Love, ending the night way too soon for everyone.

A brilliant production, as always, by the City Parks Foundation, raising a record amount for the cause and kicking off what looks to be the best Summerstage season to date.

Full Set List –

GE Smith & his all star band
8 Days A Week
MARSHALL CRENSHAW
It’s All Too Much
Some Other Guy
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY
Helter Skelter
Drive My Car
WILLIE NILE
Hard Days Night
Revolution
GE Smith & his all star band
She Said She Said
PHILIP BAILEY
l Saw Her Standing There
Got to Get You Into My Life…
DAVID BROZA
In My Life
Twist and Shout
JON BATISTE
Blackbird
Paperback Writer
FINALE
All You Need Is Love
PAULA COLE
Get Back
She’s Leaving Home
TEDDY THOMPSON
And Your Bird Can Sing
Can’t Buy Me Love
Grand Finale

Grand Finale

SummerStage 2013 in New York’s Central Park

SummerStage presented by the City Parks Foundation brings over 100 performances to seventeen parks throughout the five boroughs. Performances range from pop, Latin and world music to dance, spoken word and theater. Check out the Calendar below for events in Central Park.

sinatra galaJUNE  11

City Parks Foundation Gala presented at SummerStage in Central Park

SINATRA IN THE PARK

Produced by Michael Dorf & City Winery

6.11.2013 | 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm 

On Tuesday, June 11, City Parks Foundation (CPF) will welcome guests to our Annual Gala presented at SummerStage. The evening will help raise significant funds to support CPF’s year round free arts, sports, and education programs. …

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AskMeAnother_logoJUNE 14

ASK ME ANOTHER FROM NPR AND WNYC

6.14.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Puzzlemaster Will Shortz and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal walk into a bar… No, it’s not the start of a joke. It’s the essence of NPR’s and WNYC’s Ask Me Another, a rambunctious show that blends brainteasers…

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Zombies Pic 4 JUN 15

THE ZOMBIES / DJANGO DJANGO / ADAM GREEN & BINKI SHAPIRO / DJ SETS BY MODEST P

6.15.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Hailing from St. Albans, and originating in 1961, The Zombies are a legendary English Rock band.  Led by Rod Argent on piano and Colin Blunstone on vocals, the band scored US hits in the mid and late 1960s with “She’s…

Forwords Panel Discussion

“THE BRITISH INVASION”

Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, from The Zombies & Jonathan Demme, filmmaker

6.15.2013 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

In addition to its impressive lineup, SummerStage is launching “Forewords” a panel discussion series before select SummerStage programs co-curated with The Strand Bookstore. Forewords is a great way to help support SummerStage’s free programming and to get an inside look…

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PRETA NOVA 2 DIVweb

JUN
16

11th Brazilian Film Festival of NY:

PRETA GIL / DJ SETS BY JUST MARCELO / SCREENING: “RIO 2096: ASTORY OF LOVE AND FURY”

6.16.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Brazilian cinema is celebrating the 11th edition of the Brazilian Film Festival of NY. This annual event honors the best and the brightest of Brazil’s innovative new cinema. As is tradition, the closing night film of the 11th Brazilian Film…

Joan Baez web crop

JUN
17

JOAN BAEZ / INDIGO GIRLS

6.17.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Proceeds from this concert help make possible over 100 free SummerStage programs…

Airborn Toxic Event

JUN
18

THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT FEATURING THE CALDER QUARTET WITH ORCHESTRA

6.18.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

The Airborne Toxic Event has gained a lot of attention for their lyrical arrangements, as well as their unique sound that can be described as a blend of Indie Rock music infused with a twist of classic orchestral arrangements. The…

IAM0508web

JUN
21

Fête De La Musique:

IAM WITH SPECIAL GUEST RAKIM

In association with The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Bureau Export, French Music Export Office

6.21.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Hailing from France and formed in 1988, IAM began its journey to fame in the city of Marseille. This French Hip-Hop group consisting of 5 members incorporates themes that include the sounds of Ancient Egypt, Africa, China, Japan, India and…

yanklesphotoweb

JUN
22

“Make a Joyful Noise” A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson Featuring:

JOSHUA NELSON, THE PRINCE OF KOSHER GOSPEL AND SPECIAL GUEST DELLA REESE / SCREENING: “MAHALIA JACKSON: THE POWER AND THE GLORY”

In association with ImageNation Cinema Foundation

6.22.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

To mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which called for civil and economic rights for African Americans, SummerStage honors the storied legacy of famed Gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson with an evening of music and film.…

Femi Pic 3

JUN
23

FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE / SINKANE / DJ SETS BY KING BRITT

In association with Okayafrica

6.23.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force have blended Funk, Jazz, and African Folk throughout their 27 year career to create a colorful and distinctive sound in the music world.  The records tell their story: After a short spell at Motown,…

JNPBNYasiinBey

JUN
24

Blue Note Jazz Festival:

YASIIN BEY (FKA MOS DEF) AND OPENERS TBD

Produced By Jill Newman Productions

6.24.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

One of the most versatile artists of his time, Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) has become an international sensation in theater, film, television, and the music industry.  Bey began his professional music career as Mos Def in 1994.  Since that…

Adam DeVine

JUN
26

“COMEDY CENTRAL Stars Under the Stars” hosted by Gabriel Iglesias and featuring performances by:

ADAM DEVINE / ANTHONY JESELNIK / NICK KROLL / JEFF ROSS / AMY SCHUMER

6.26.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Gabriel Iglesias has been described as a witty, electrifying, and talented performer who has the ability to consistently deliver a uniquely hilarious comedy experience.  His first two DVD specials, “Hot & Fluffy” and “I’m Not Fat…I’m Fluffy,” have sold well…

Plaskett Pic 3web

JUN
29

JOEL PLASKETT / SPIRIT OF THE WEST / BRASSTRONAUT

Presented by: Canada Day International in association with BlackBerry

6.29.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

SummerStage joins Canada Day International and BlackBerry in celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, presenting a free showcase of top Canadian talent. With countless awards to their credit, Joel Plaskett and his band The Emergency, have performed thousands of tour dates, and…

Big Star Third Picture 3

JUN
30

BIG STAR’S THIRD: AN ORCHESTRATED LIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE LEGENDARY ALBUM

Featuring Mike Mills, Jody Stephens, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Marshall Crenshaw, Pete Yorn, Reeve Carney and many more

6.30.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Big Star’s Third is a full performance of the iconic album by an astonishing who’s who of rock music featuring famed vocalists including Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Marshall Crenshaw, Pete Yorn,  Reeve Carney (Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark),  Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev)…

favorite 1 small

JUL
2

THE FREEDOM DANCE PARTY WITH SPECIAL GUEST CAMEO

7.2.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Join The Freedom Dance Party as they celebrate 10 years of weekly parties with a huge live performance with Funk and R&B legend, Cameo!   The Freedom Dance Party is the longest running, weekly, Friday-night party in NYC history. Winner of…

Nona Hendryx - Sekou Sundiata Tribute

JUL
3

BLINK YOUR EYES: SEKOU SUNDIATA REVISITED – LONGSTORYSHORT: REMIXED FEATURING: NONA HENDRYX / SANDRA ST. VICTOR / TOSHI REAGON AND BIGLOVELY / POETS: FAYBIENE MIRANDA / LENELLE MOISE

7.3.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a seven-month, citywide retrospective featuring theater, poetry, music concerts and humanities events curated and produced by MAPP International Productions through a major partnership of 17 cultural and educational institutions.  …

JUL
3

Forwords Panel Discussion

“A TRIBUTE TO SEKOU SUNDIATA”

Curated by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

7.3.2013 | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Central Park

In addition to its impressive lineup, SummerStage is launching “Forewords” a panel discussion series before select SummerStage programs co-curated with The Strand Bookstore. Forewords is a great way to help support SummerStage’s free programming and to get an inside look…

she  him web

JUL
6

Bowery Presents

SHE & HIM / CAMERA OBSCURA

7.6.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Proceeds from this concert help make possible over 100 free SummerStage programs…

JUL
7

Global Family Day Featuring:

THE CARPETBAG BRIGADE & NEMCATACOA TEATRO / ELIZABETH MITCHELL

Natural Expression Rhythm Band / ASE Dance Theater Collective / Ifetayo Youth Ensemble

7.7.2013 | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Central Park

SummerStage Kids presented by Disney presents Global Family Day, a day dedicated to engaging children and their families through engaging performances! This family affair will awaken the kid in all of us through interactive performances from around the world and…

she  him web

JUL
8

Bowery Presents

SHE & HIM / CAMERA OBSCURA

7.8.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

She & Him consists of the pairing of Zooey Deschanel and M.Ward.  For 6 years, She & Him have been taking the indie world by storm as they churn out hits for the world to hear. This unlikely pairing has…

 

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JUL
10

CUARTO PODER / LOS RAKAS AND OTHERS

In association with Latin Alternative Music Conference

7.10.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

**Note: Tego Calderón will not be performing on this date. Stay tuned for artist updates!** One of the biggest names in Latin American Hip-Hop, Cuarto Poder built a reputation in Venezuela as leading MCs before releasing their US debut album In Tha House, which features…

Lila Downs

JUL
11

LILA DOWNS / NATALIA CLAVIER / PAMELA RODRIGUEZ / RAUL CAMPOS

In association with Latin Alternative Music Conference

7.11.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Lila Downs embraces and highlights her origins in the U.S. and Mexico.  Downs’ roots have always been an important aspect of her music, as well as the topics of political and social justice, immigration, and transformation, all embedded…

Julieta Venegas

JUL
13

JULIETA VENEGAS / CARLA MORRISON / ALEX ANWANDTER

In association with Latin Alternative Music Conference

7.13.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Julieta Venegas is a renowned Mexican singer, instrumentalist and songwriter.  With over six released albums to date, Venegas has sold more than 9 million copies of her albums worldwide.  The Washington Post describes Venegas as a different sort of artist.…

Fanfare Ciocarlia

JUL
14

FANFARE CIOCARLIA / RED BARAAT / DJ SETS BY JORO-BORO

7.14.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Fanfare Ciocarlia is one of the world’s greatest live bands, their energy and ingenuity having won them fans from Melbourne to Memphis, Tokyo to Toulouse.  The National Geographic has said “the music of Fanfare Ciocarlia pulls not only from the…

JUL
14

Forwords Panel Discussion

“THE ASCENT OF GYPSY CULTURE IN AMERICA”

Costel Oprica Ivancea from Fanfare, Ciocarlia and Henry Ernst, Asphalt Tango Production / Moderated by Jakab Orsos, Director, Pen World Voices

7.14.2013 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Central Park

In addition to its impressive lineup, SummerStage is launching “Forewords” a panel discussion series before select SummerStage programs co-curated with The Strand Bookstore. Forewords is a great way to help support SummerStage’s free programming and to get an inside look…

Erin Morley

JUL
16

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA SUMMER RECITAL SERIES

7.16.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

An enchanting evening of favorite opera arias and duets featuring rising Metropolitan Opera stars Erin Morley (soprano), Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano), and Stephen Costello (tenor), accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore. Erin Morley was most recently heard at the Met as Sister…

planet hemp

JUL
20

PLANET HEMP / GABY AMARANTOS / EMICIDA / DJ SETS BY GREG CAZ

Presented in Association with Brasil Summerfest

7.20.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Planet Hemp first hit the scene in 1993 when Marcelo D2 and Skunk, founding members, joined together to become a rap duo in Brazil. Soon they were joined by musicians Rafael, Bacalhau and Formigão which fused the groups rap origin…

oliver mtukudzi

JUL
21

OLIVER MTUKUDZI AND THE BLACK SPIRITS / FATOUMATA DIAWARA / KRAR COLLECTIVE

DJ sets by DJ Sirak

7.21.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits, a revolutionary music group originating in Zimbabwe, have been performing since 1979. The Black Spirits members have changed over the years, consisting of over 50 members throughout its time, with Oliver Mtukudzi, both musician…

Trombone Shorty

JUL
22

Bowery Presents

TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE & SOULIVE

with Anders Osborne

7.22.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Since the release of their GRAMMY-nominated 2010 debut album, Backatown, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have grown creatively while winning hordes of new fans performing nonstop on five continents. Their latest album, For True, offers substantive proof of their explosive…

Martha Graham

JUL
23

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY

Special Guest: Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Contest Winner

7.23.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences.  As one of…

JUL
23

Forwords Panel Discussion

“THE LONG-LASTING INFLUENCE OF MARTHA GRAHAM”

7.23.2013 | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

In addition to its impressive lineup, SummerStage is launching “Forewords” a panel discussion series before select SummerStage programs co-curated with The Strand Bookstore. Forewords is a great way to help support SummerStage’s free programming and to get an inside look…

Martha Graham

JUL
24

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY

Special Guest: Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Contest Winner

7.24.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences.  As one of the most celebrated…

Lianne la Havas

JUL
27

LIANNE LA HAVAS / LP / QUADRON / DJ SETS BY DJ CENTER

7.27.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Lianne La Havas received her first keyboard at just 7 years old, and has been a growing talent ever since then. With popular neo-soul artists as inspiration, such as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, her style has traces of jazz,…

pete rock and CL smooth

JUL
28

Rock Steady Crew 36th Anniversary Concert Featuring:

PETE ROCK & C.L. SMOOTH AND SPECIAL GUESTS

7.28.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

The Rock Steady Crew celebrates its 36th anniversary of being a true Hip-Hop brand ambassador by bringing its annual free concert to SummerStage in Central Park for the first time.  In typical fashion, RSC will present the who’s who of…

Ben Howard

JUL
29

The Bowery Presents

BEN HOWARD / MICHAEL KIWANUKA

7.29.2013 | 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Central Park

Proceeds from this concert help make possible over 100 free SummerStage programs… …

RSC Logo

JUL
31

Rock Steady Crew Dance Celebration

WORLD PREMIERE OF “RSC GHETTO MADE”

7.31.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Originally founded in 1977 in the Bronx, by Jimmy D and Jimmy Lee, Rock Steady Crew has become one of the most well-known and recognizable B-Boy groups in the world.  These pioneers and creators of break-dancing used dance battles as…

Shirley Caesar

AUG
3

WLIB 6th Annual Gospel Explosion Featuring:

SHIRLEY CAESAR / DONALD LAWRENCE / JAMES FORTUNE & F.I.Y.A. / ERICA CAMPBELL / RICKY DILLARD

8.3.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Shirley Caesar is The Undisputed 1st Lady of Gospel Music. In a career that spans over 60 years, Caesar is arguably the most beloved and celebrated Gospel artist of our time. Caesar started out in the early 60’s singing with…

Raheem devaughn

AUG
4

WBLS 5th Annual R&B Fest Featuring:

RAHEEM DEVAUGHN / LYFE JENNINGS / DONELL JONES / ERICA CAMPBELL AND SPECIAL GUESTS

8.4.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Singer and songwriter Raheem DeVaughn has quickly burst onto the music scene.  His debut album, The Love Experience, was released in 2005 to much critical acclaim.  While reviewing The Love Experience, Allmusic said DeVaughn “is remarkably creative and talented and…

Alfred Preisser and Randy weiner

AUG
5

SummerStage Theater Presented By Time Warner

“KING KONG”

By Alfred Preisser & Randy Weiner / Directed By Alfred Preisser

8.5.2013 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Central Park

Acclaimed impresario of non-traditional theater Randy Weiner and director Alfred Preisser team up for a Hip-Hop themed theater remake of the classic story, “King Kong”, a totally original music/dance/comedy spectacle that radically subverts everything you thought you knew about one of…

Disclosure

AUG
6

The Bowery Presents

DISCLOSURE / TNGHT / JULIO BASHMORE

8.6.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Proceeds from this concert help make possible over 100 free SummerStage programs… …

Jimmy Eat World Press Shot web

AUG
7

Live Nation Presents

JIMMY EAT WORLD

8.7.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Proceeds from this concert help make possible over 100 free SummerStage programs…

kool herc

AUG
10

40th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Culture with

DJ KOOL HERC AND SPECIAL GUESTS

8.10.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

DJ Kool Herc is considered by many to be the “first hip-hop D.J”. In the early stages of hip hop music, DJ Kool Herc brought his sound system to block parties in the Bronx and began playing the brief rhythmic…

AUG
10

Forwords Panel Discussion

“HIP-HOP TURNS 40” DJ KOOL HERC AND CINDY CAMPBELL

Moderated by Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

8.10.2013 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Central Park

In addition to its impressive lineup, SummerStage is launching “Forewords” a panel discussion series before select SummerStage programs co-curated with The Strand Bookstore. Forewords is a great way to help support SummerStage’s free programming and to get an inside look…

Shuggie Otis small

AUG
11

SHUGGIE OTIS / JOSÉ JAMES / HIATUS KAIYOTE / DJ SETS BY OP! (I LOVE VINYL)

Presented in Association with Giant Step

8.11.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Shuggie Otis is a musician’s musician, a reclusive genius from Los Angeles whose name has been spoken in reverential tones by his peers for more than four decades.  After a long absence, Shuggie returns as a concert headliner with dates across North…

mando alvarado diablo love

AUG
16

SummerStage Theater Presented By Time Warner

DIABLO LOVE

By Mando Alvarado / Directed by Alfred Preisser / Music Direction & Composition by Tomás Doncker

8.16.2013 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Central Park

“Diablo Love” is a fantastical love story featuring live music that re-imagines songs made famous by American Blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, Howlin’ Wolf along with original compositions by Tomás Doncker. This production provides audiences with a masterful live soundtrack of Blues/Soul music and sets the…

Twin Shadow Album Pic - cropped

AUG
17

Built by meanred

TWIN SHADOW / AUTRE NE VEUT / ELLIPHANT / DJ SETS BY MANO

8.17.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Twin Shadow is the musical child of Dominican-born George Lewis Jr.  The alternative pop style of music that Lewis writes, sings, and produces has been on the rise since the inception of Twin Shadow in 2010.  His most recent album, Confess was released in…

AUG
18

LA MEGA 6TH ANNUAL TROPICAL FEST

8.18.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Details to come!

mando alvarado diablo love

AUG
19

SummerStage Theater Presented By Time Warner

DIABLO LOVE

By Mando Alvarado / Directed by Alfred Preisser / Music Direction & Composition by Tomás Doncker

8.19.2013 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Central Park

“Diablo Love” is a fantastical love story featuring live music that re-imagines songs made famous by American Blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, Howlin’ Wolf along with original compositions by Tomás Doncker. This production provides audiences with a masterful live soundtrack of Blues/Soul music and sets the…

bobby mcferrin

AUG
20

BOBBY MCFERRIN: SPIRITYOUALL

8.20.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

For decades Bobby McFerrin has broken all the rules. The 10-time Grammy winner has blurred the distinction between pop music and fine art, goofing around barefoot in the world’s finest concert halls, exploring uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new…

Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Black Keys Deliver on the Great Lawn in Central Park

NEW YORK , Central Park –  Neil Young and Crazy Horse did not disappoint, and neither did any of the big-name bands leading up to the rockers’ thunderous performance in a packed Central Park last Saturday Night.  Young, the Black Keys, the Foo Fighters, Band of Horses and K’Naan wowed the 60,000-plus fans who turned out Saturday night for a free concert in Central Park to call attention to extreme poverty.

Neil Young in New York's Central Park

Neil Young in New York’s Central Park

The Black Keys and Foo Fighters delivered raucous, loud, riff-heavy sets, and John Legend made a surprise appearance, playing “Imagine” at a piano on the Great Lawn stage, a short walk from where the song’s author, John Lennon, once lived, and died.

But it was Young, with his on-again off-again band Crazy Horse, that brought the night’s trancendent performance, starting with a 14-minute barrage of distortion and harmonies in the song “Love and Only Love” from the album “Ragged Glory,” and ending with the Young anthem “Keep on Rockin in the Free World,” backed by the night’s previous performers, all wide-eyed and smiles as they performed with a true musical legend still at the height of his uncanny powers.

The concert was scheduled around the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week and organizers used an innovative approach to ticket distribution so that many concert-goers were forced to learn about an array of global problems, such as polio, malaria, child mortality, and polluted drinking water, in order to get a ticket.

Anyone wanting free tickets had to register at globalcitizen.org, which then required users to watch videos or read information about poverty-related issues. Each time material was consumed, users could earn points toward a drawing for tickets. Points were also accumulated by sharing information by way of Twitter or Facebook.

“Our social media campaign has been off the charts,” said Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of the Global Poverty Project. The approach demonstrates a new model for harnessing digital tools that may be repeated for other big events with political or social messages.

Organizers said more than 71,000 people had signed up online, resulting in more than 3.5 million page views. On average, they spent just over six minutes consuming content or sharing information. Nearly 200,000 pieces of information were shared on Facebook, and just a bit more than that on Twitter. About 170,000 people signed petitions via the site, and there were 98,000 videos viewed to completion.

Evans said the project achieved its goals, set out last year, of getting more than 100,000 people to take action related to extreme poverty while telling a new story about the challenges. To that end, the site conveys information in detailed, documentary-like accounts and uses an array of video, graphics and stories that are friendly for mobile and digital consumption.

Financially, he said, the project also achieved its yearlong goal — working with an array of organizations like the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the Earth Institute and Rotary International — of garnering $500 million in commitments to help fight poverty.

So now what?

Evans said that he’s hoping the audience, built online and at the concert, will continue efforts by tweeting President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to halve extreme poverty by 2015, which is the key U.N. anti-poverty goal. And Evans is working on an announcement in October or November about “a major rock band” getting involved with the anti-poverty efforts.

 


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