Kool & The Gang and other big artists to perform at Queens parks for free this summer

Photo via Flickr/ Anirudh Koul

CityParks Foundation has just announced its SummerStage 2018 lineup where more than 100 performances will take place throughout public parkland, including many in Queens.

Queens residents will be treated to indie-rock, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, R&B, salsa, opera, contemporary dance and spoken word performances in June and July.  SummerStage will also focus on bringing international artists to neighborhoods where immigrant communities from the musician’s home live.

In collaboration with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Queens residents will also be able to participate in free and open to all levels dance workshops from Ailey instructors. They will teach participants choreography from the company’s signature work.

VOICES, a non-profit arts, education and social justice organization founded by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, will invite contemporary artists and authors to discuss “rebels,dissenters and visionaries” from the past and present to “educate and inspire a new generation working for social justice,” according to a press release.

“At CityParks Foundation our mission is to invigorate communities through high-quality, dynamic programming in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, and this year’s SummerStage lineup is most certainly that,”said Erika Elliott, executive artistic director of City Parks Foundation. “This season’s lineup brings together an immensely talented and diverse mix of performers who are representative of the cultural mosaic that is New York City, and whose artistry will turn the city’s neighborhood parks into places of community conversation and celebration all summer long.”

The first performance will take place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of the Only in Queens SummerStage Concert. Kool & The Gang, a New Jersey-based band that formed in 1964, will kick off the slate of events in Queens this summer. Some of their most popular songs include “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.”

On June 29, members of the Metropolitan Opera will perform a summer recital at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City at 7 p.m.  Members who will perform include Gerard Schneider, Gabriella Reyes de Ramírez and hyAdrian Timpau.

Springfield Park in Springfield Gardens will host three shows on July 5, 6, 7 and 8. On Thursday, SummerStage will collaborate with the Afro-Latino Festival to bring RAM, Paul Beauburn and DJ Hard Hittin Harry at 7 p.m.

On Friday, The Legendary Ladies of Skyy will perform after a dance party hosted by Rhythm Revue and Felix Hernandez warms up the crowd. On Saturday at 4 p.m., Kranium, Federation Sound and DJ Polish will perform and on Sunday, EPMD and DJ Syllk will close out the four-day event.

In Queensbridge Park, SummerStage will partner with the Latin Alternative Music Conference to bring Systema Solar and Very Be Careful to the park in Long Island City starting at 7 p.m. on July 12.

The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company will perform at the park on July 13 at 7 p.m. while a show at the park on July 15 at 4 p.m. will be jam packed with hip-hop legends Jungle Brothers, O.C., Kool DJ Red Alert, DJ Kool Flash and more.

Workshops at Queens parks will begin in July with a freestyle dance workshop taking place at Queensbridge Park on July 6 at 6 p.m. at Springfield Park.

The CityParks Puppet Mobile will perform “The Big Good Wolf” at Springfield Park on July 7 at 4 p.m. They will perform the same play at Queensbridge Park on July 14 at 4 p.m.

Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Celebration Community Workshop will take place at Queensbridge Park on July 13 at 7 p.m.

Voices Of A People’s History featuring Dres, a rapper who grew up in the Astoria Houses, will take place at Queensbridge Park on July 15 at 4 p.m.

For a full list of events, visit the CityParks Foundation website.