When it comes to free events, you can't get much better than summer at Lincoln Center, with three weeks of world-class outdoor music, dance, and spoken word on the plazas of Lincoln Center joining the year-round all-star lineup of events at the David Rubenstein Atrium. See the calendar for a list of all upcoming events.
France Rocks Festival: Melissa Laveaux + Delgres at the David Rubenstein Atrium
For this soulful double-bill filled with Creole spirit, singer-songwriter and guitarist Melissa Laveaux will fill the Atrium with her sunny, melody-driven music at the intersection of folk, indie pop, electro, and blues. Born in Canada to Haitian parents and now based in France, her critically acclaimed new album, Radio Siwèl, explores her Creole ancestry as well as Haiti's history and folklore. Haitian kompa guitar, calypso, and soca add a definitive—and delectable—Caribbean twist to her sophisticated roots music and masterful storytelling.
For the second part of the evening, Delgres, a French trio with Caribbean roots that travels the old route between Guadeloupe and New Orleans, takes the stage. Led by guitarist and vocalist Pascal Danae, who has performed alongside artists like Harry Belafonte, Neneh Cherry, Peter Gabriel, Gilberto Gil, Youssou N'Dour, and Ayo, Delgres gets people moving with their intoxicating blend of Creole music, West African rhythms, rock, and Delta blues.
Presented in collaboration with The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Bureau Export, and the France Rocks Festival
Gato Preto at the David Rubenstein Atrium
Based in Germany with roots in Mozambique, Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, producer Lee Bass and MC Gata Misteriosa have been lighting up the global bass scene with their Afro-Futurist, masked mystique since 2013. Using synths and effects processors side-by-side with live Djembe rhythms and dancers, all underlaid by supersonic bass and breakbeats, Gato Preto blends the favela funk of Rio, Township grooves from South Africa, and kuduro-techno hybrid of Angola into an irresistible mix. Having played at clubs and festivals around the world, including the African Futures Festival in South Africa, Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Festival, and South by Southwest this past March, Gato Preto ("Black Cat" in Portuguese) casts their spell over the Atrium in a rare NYC appearance.
Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto at the David Rubenstein Atrium
Masters of the gaita and traditional cumbia music of Colombia's Caribbean region, Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto has been the driving force behind bringing this traditional music to larger audiences across the world since the group's first tour in the mid-1950s. Featuring the gaita, the oldest Caribbean flute, the music is a mixture of the indigenous Colombian, Spanish, and Afro-Colombian heritages. They bring this essential musical legacy to Lincoln Center for a free performance.
Alika at the David Rubenstein Atrium
With music that blends roots, reggae, hip-hop, and socially engaged lyrics, the pioneering Argentinian artist Alika is a pillar of the Latin American dancehall scene and a champion of the fight against injustice and violence in the barrios of her country. She began her career as one half of the duo Actitud María Marta, one of the first female rap groups in Latin America, and has gone on to lead a solo career as one of the most influential Spanish-speaking dancehall artists. On stage she is a force to behold, delivering her messages with breathtaking energy and endless charisma.
RZA: Live from The 36th Chamber of Shaolin in Damrosch Park
Wu-Tang Clan founder, composer, and filmmaker RZA kicks off the season with an epic audiovisual film experience—a re-score of the Shaw Brothers' 1978 martial arts classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. With its themes of perseverance, transcendence, and brotherhood, the film was a formative influence on Wu-Tang’s aesthetic. Now, weaving together instrumentals and beats from the Wu-Tang discography (and beyond), RZA performs his thrilling new score live, amplifying the film’s powerful narrative and astonishing action from opening sequence to closing credit. After touring this project to sold-out venues in 12 cities, RZA returns to New York City with a special edition crafted specially for his hometown fans.
Tamar-kali: PsychoChamber Ensemble in Damrosch Park
Since his early days with the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! and throughout his three-decade career collaborating with artists like Solange, D'Angelo, and The Roots, Grammy-winning musician, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq has kept the flames of old-school R&B burning brightly. For this special show, he takes his rightful place center stage to play treasures old and new from his deep catalog. Sharing the bill is Brooklyn's own Tamar-kali, recently nominated (like Saadiq) for an Oscar for her musical work on the film Mudbound. For this show, she and her strings/vocal ensemble explore the intersection of classical music and post-punk sensibility.
Selena for Sanctuary in Damrosch Park
The queen of Tejano music and an idol to an entire generation of young artists, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is the inspiration for this evening of music and community. Join an exciting lineup of genre-defying Latinx musicians, including Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte; SoCal "DIY dream pop" wunderkind Cuco (Red Bull); fierce, magnetic vocalist and musician Nina Diaz; soulful, alternative R&B artist Omar Apollo; and accomplished songwriter/filmmaker August Eve as they bring their own spirit to Selena's famous melodies under the starry Manhattan sky. Ecuadorian-Lithuanian DJ and cultural activist Riobamba cues up the evening from the turntables.
Hall Willner's Amarcord Nino Rota in Damrosch Park
Legendary music producer Hal Willner brings together an eclectic array of musicians for an imaginative musical tribute to Italian composer Nino Rota, known for his iconic scores to Federico Fellini's films including La Dolce Vita, 8½, and Juliet of the Spirits. The night opens with music from two other famous Rota scores—the first two Godfather movies—before digging into the Fellini music with a live performance of the seminal 1981 tribute album that launched Willner's storied career, Amarcord Nino Rota (I Remember Nino Rota).
Family Day: 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Dance with Mark Morris Dance Group on Hearst Plaza
Learn to dance with one of the world's most celebrated contemporary dance companies. For this special all-ages, all-abilities class, participants will have the chance to dance steps from Mark Morris's Love Song Waltzes, which will be performed in August at the Mostly Mozart Festival.
Marching Cobras on Josie Robertson Plaza
They've performed at the Super Bowl, in an Oscar-winning movie (Birdman), and as part of the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, and now this 60-member drumline and dance team brings its high-energy artistry to Josie Robertson Plaza.
Soul Science Lab on Hearst Plaza
Dancing and singing are encouraged at this interactive performance by dynamic duo Chen Lo and Asante Amin. Together with an MC, a DJ, horns, and vocalists, Lo and Amin chronicle the joys of travel and cultural exploration using their signature blend of hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul, and Afrobeat rhythms.
Faramarz Aslani accompanied by Babak Amini
Habibi in Damrosch Park
Persian music is refracted across generations in this exceptional triple bill anchored by legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Faramarz Aslani. Beloved for setting classical Persian poetry and original lyrics to pop grooves, Aslani has been one of the most respected Iranian artists since the release of his 1977 hit song "Ageh Ye Rooz" (If One Day). He shares the evening with KIOSK, the popular rock band that emerged from the Tehran underground in the early 2000s, and Brooklyn-based Habibi, whose lauded new EP, Cardamom Garden, blends Iranian rock from the '70s with girl-group harmonies and surf guitar.