NJPAC Expands Free Summer Concerts

NEWARK – This summer, NJPAC is busier than ever, kicking off with the previously announced hit NBC alternative series “America’s Got Talent” broadcasting live two nights a week beginning July 2.

With the nation’s spotlight on the Center, NJPAC offers more free events all week long, including the new concert series Friday Night Live and a star-laden lineup for the Newark summer tradition Sounds of the City. Both summer concert series are free and open to the public and feature musical genres that give audiences a taste of what’s coming to the Arts Center’s mainstage in the new season.

NJPAC’s Friday Night Live, a new series of four Friday night concerts (July 6, July 20, Aug. 3 and Aug. 17), features funk royalty The Family Stone with founding members Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson and Greg Errico, and “the greatest horn band ever,” Blood, Sweat & Tears, as well as two nights co-presented with TEMPO Networks, featuring some of the hottest names in Caribbean music, including New Jersey-born reggae songstress Alaine and roots reggae singer Luciano. Through Friday Night Live, NJPAC is able to offer additional free concerts to thousands in the community and the surrounding metro-area, further activating the Downtown Arts District.

Sounds of the City, NJPAC’s free, outdoor concert series, has been expanded and reimagined as a community event that gives attendees a taste of what they can expect to see on NJPAC’s mainstage in the upcoming season. With reggae, Latin music, hip hop, soul and R&B on the bill, Thursday evenings (5-10pm) at NJPAC between July 5 and Aug. 30 will showcase some of the hottest artists in various genres each week in Theater Square.

The always-popular Rhythm Revue Dance Party with Felix Hernandez jumpstarts Newark’s favorite festival on July 5, complete with a dance floor and all the grooves that listeners to Hernandez’ popular weekly radio show know and love. On July 12, The Wailers, the legendary reggae band that backed Bob Marley, headlines an evening of Jamaican sounds along with the return to NJPAC of Brooklyn-based soul reggae group Judah Tribe. Latin and Caribbean sounds are featured all summer long, with performances by Latin Jazz legend Ray Mantilla Space Station (July 19), Afro-Cuban producer/pianist Larry Harlow and the Latin Legends Band featuring Luisito Rosario, Alfredo de le Fe and Emo Luciano with special guests Bobby Sanabria and others (Aug 23), as well as two Sounds of the City nights co-sponsored with TEMPO Networks, the Pan-Caribbean media and entertainment company, featuring Kevin Lyttle, Kerwin Du Bois and others.

Also on the bill for the series are two nights of hip hop, headlined by industry pioneers Big Daddy Kane (Aug 2) and Rakim (Aug 16). The R&B/neo-soul husband and wife group Kindred the Family Soul (Aug 9) brings its smooth songs and celebration of family and love to the Theater Square as well. Each Sounds of the City concert features one or more bands and an extended DJ set from 8-10pm to keep the party going. Featured DJs include Rich Medina, DJ Rey-Mo, Selector Kay Gee, Tony Touch, and DJ Spinna, among others.

For the most up-to-date performance information on the two series, patrons may visit the NJPAC Web site at www.njpac.org.

Sounds of the City and Friday night Live are sponsored by Chase, Berkeley College, Richmond County Foundation, BD, Verizon Wireless, Remy, Heineken, Newark Downtown District, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Discover Jersey Arts. WBGO Jazz88.3 FM is a media partner for the July 5 and 19 concerts. TEMPO Networks co-presents four nights.

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