Free outdoor concerts featuring music, dance and poetry are taking over Queens parks

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/Noralanning

SummerStage, New York City’s largest free performing arts festival, is coming to three Queens parks this summer to provide residents with free music, poetry and fun for kids.

The first concert will take place on June 26 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. R&B singer Ginuwine, a multi-platinum artist who became popular in the late ’90s and early 2000s, will headline the Only in Queens Summer Festival along with singer Mack Wilds and ’90s hip-hop group Kid ‘N Play. The festival will begin at 5 p.m.

Socrates Sculpture Park will host several talented opera singers at the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring soprano Michelle Bradley, tenor Kang Wang, and baritone Yunpeng Wang. The concert will take place on July 11 at 7 p.m.

Musicians, dancers and poets will take over Queensbridge Park in Long Island City for five days starting July 26 at 7 p.m. Hip-hop groups Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun will perform hits from their debut albums Enta Da Stage and Dah Shinin, respectively.

On July 27, jazz vocalist and Grammy-award winner Dianne Reeves will perform a free show along with DJ Greg Caz, who has been spinning in venues around New York and the world since the ’90s.

R&B and soul singer Lyfe Jennings will take the stage on July 28 at 7 p.m. to sing hits from his sixth album “Tree of Lyfe.”

Former Queens Poet Laureates Paulo Javier and Maria Lisella will recite poetry on July 29 as part of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe starting at 7 p.m.

Choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland will put on a performance along with jazz band Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber on July 30. Karisma Jay, a graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and New York University, will teach a master class to attendees as well.

The five-day event will end with a performance by jazz pianist, producer and composer Marc Cary along with a performance by dancer Joseph Webb titled “Dancing Buddhas.”

Children will be treated to a WBGO Kids Jazz concert featuring Brianna Thomas and The Jazz Travelers who will take kids on a musical journey through the history of jazz in America.

“The SummerStage festival celebrates the rich cultural fabric of New York City,” said Erika Elliott, executive artistic director of City Parks Foundation. “This year, we’ll celebrate the 100th anniversary of jazz, with both emerging and master musicians, who will highlight the long legacy jazz has in the city and its continued impact on New Yorkers.”