In marking its 45th season, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival is once again offering music lovers plenty of great options to sup on. Best of all is that all this creative diversity is one of the city’s best bargains—it’s all completely and utterly free. Shows start at 7 p.m. and are being held at Damrosch Park. Below is a partial list of upcoming concerts.
The Mavericks & Orkesta Mendoza
Far more than a mere country singer, Mavericks frontman Raul Malo possesses the kind of range that can have him going from a Sinatra-flavored croon to an Orbison-flavored warble while easily moving from pop and soul to salsa. So it was no wonder that his decision to reunite with his old band in 2012 was met with great acclaim. One of the results was this year’s Mono, the group’s seventh studio album. More Los Lobos than Luke Bryan, the infusion of Tex-Mex and Cuban influences continued Malo and company’s penchant for putting a twist on mainstream country music. Helping out with the heavy lifting will be Orkestra Mendoza who’ll be doling out a mix of Mexican mambo, psychedelic cumbia, ranchero, merengue, rumba, jazz and indie-rock.
Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz
with Special Guests Arturo O’Farrill and Steven Bernstein
Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits
Forró in the Dark: The Music of John Zorn
Afro-Brazilian percussion in a big band format, Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz combine traditional African-based rhythms with sophisticated jazz harmonies. Making its U.S. debut at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the group will collaborate with critically acclaimed pianist Arturo O’Farrill and celebrated trumpeter Steven Bernstein, who are presenting original compositions to be arranged in the Rumpilezz style. Cyro Baptista reveals another imaginative layer of Afro-Brazilian jazz fusion by integrating instruments he designs himself into his performances. His mastery of Brazilian percussion and jazz experimentation produces an utterly unique, unapologetic sound. Forró in the Dark, a collective of New York-based Brazilian expats, presents a new take on the rural party music of Brazil’s northeastern states: forró. The Philadelphia Inquirer raves, “It’s polyrhythmic street-party music with a downtown edge.” It’s all being presented in association with Brasil Summerfest.
Full Band Electric Counterpoint + Dither and Friends
The electric guitar quartet Dither hosts an evening of music that encompasses minimalism, experimentalism, and rock and roll. The program will feature performances by Dither with renowned guitarist Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), a new collaboration with the indie band Yo La Tengo, compositions by Eve Beglarian and Joshua Lopes, plus Steve Reich’s iconic work Electric Counterpoint performed by Mark Stewart and a live ensemble of 13 electric guitars and basses. They will be joined by the adventuresome electronic duo Matmos, who skillfully create engaging musical beats from ordinary objects and knows how to give found sound pop appeal.
Boogaloo Celebration: Joe Bataan
& Ray Lugo
We Like It Like That! A Boogaloo Celebration
As stated in Mathew Ramirez Warren’s new documentary, We Like It Like That, Latin boogaloo is New York City—a colorful expression of ’60s Latino soul straight from the streets of El Barrio, the South Bronx, and Brooklyn. Boogaloo godfather Joe Bataan unites doo-wop charm and Latin sounds in his irresistible hits. Ray Lugo’s good-time, hip-swinging originals pay homage to the style’s greats, including his specials guests, legendary pianist Richie Ray, and in one of his first performances in 40 years, Pete Rodriguez. ABAKUÁ Afro-Latin Dance Company will perform some of its signature choreography. To get the party started, in-demand DJ Turmix will spin Boogaloo gems.
Rock My Soul: The Fairfield Four & The McCrary Sisters
Singing in the traditional African American a cappella gospel style
that they have been known for since the group’s inception almost 100 years ago, The Fairfield Four continues to perform original, tightly harmonized pieces and traditional favorites. Teaming up with The McCrary Sisters—frequent Bob Dylan collaborators and the daughters of Fairfield’s late leader—the two virtuosic groups show how the spirit-stirring sounds of gospel sparked the rock and R&B revolution.
Watkins Family Hour & Highway 61 Revisited
As part of the Annual Roots of American Music/Americanafest NYC, Americana music faves The Watkins Family will be paying homage to this Dylan classic. Highway 61 Revisited will performed in its entirety by the Watkins Family Hour house band, which features Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek along with special guests Shawn Colvin, Pokey LaFarge, Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, Fiona Apple, Justin Townes Earle and more.
An Evening With Lyle Lovett And His Large Band
Lyle Lovett has moved away from being a country-music singer-songwriter to more of a genre-hopping mad scientist along the lines of fellow Texan (and Western swing legend Bob Wills). His 14th and most recent album, 20012’s Release Me, signals the end of his relationship with Curb Records. As such, he’s recorded a hodgepodge of songs and while only two are Lovett originals, the alt-country icon does readings of songs penned by Townes Van Zandt, Chuck Berry, Jesse Winchester and Frank Loesser.