From August 7-24, Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park and South Plaza will be filled with three weeks of free performances by exciting international, U.S. and local artists for Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2008. This 38th annual edition of the summer festival that has become a summer institution in New York presents a schedule of varied musical events, World and U.S. premieres, special Lincoln Center commissioned works, as well as artists making their New York debuts.
Opening this season’s Out of Doors are performances by the incomparable Soledad Barrio with the noted Spanish flamenco company Noche Flamenca and French “gypsy jam” guitarist Stephane Wrembel on August 7. Closing Out of Doors on August 23 and 24 is the 25th Annual Roots Of American Music Festival, which includes a Battle of the Brass Bands, Music Maker Blues Revue from New Orleans, performances by Irma Thomas, “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” the debut of bassist Charlie Haden’s new all-star traditional country project and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith.
This summer’s Out of Doors slate is the first under the leadership of Bill Bragin, who joined Lincoln Center in January as the Director of Public Programming, a newly created position which includes curating both Out of Doors and Midsummer Night Swing. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Bragin served as Director of Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, where he presented more than 3,000 concerts, introduced the “Joe’s Pub In The Park” concert series at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and developed ongoing contemporary dance and family programming.
Music presentations at Out of Doors include: a program of debuts and premieres in collaboration with Wordless Music, (August 15), a feast of minimalist music ranging from 13th century chant to a contemporary work featuring 200 electric guitars to influential electronic club music Nina Simone’s daughter Simone with the Rob Stoneback Big Band on a bill with Regina Carter (August 10) Keep a Light in the Window: An Homage to Joel Dorn with an all-star lineup of artists, including Dr. John, Roberta Flack, Jane Monheit, who worked with the famed producer, assembled by Hal Willner and Dorn’s son Adam Dorn aka Mocean Worker (August 13) the East Village Opera Company with rocked out versions of well-known opera arias, sharing the bill with chamber group the Ahn Trio (August 14) a 93rd birthday tribute to the First Lady of Latin Jazz, Graciela Perez-Grillo (August 17) the New York premiere of Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown (August 22) directed by Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley with guest artists Cheikh Lô and Vieux Farka Touré the return of La Casita, two days of music, dance, poetry and spoken word featuring more than two dozen artists (August 9-10) and an evening featuring some of Africa’s most celebrated musicians in collaboration with western Jazz and Rock artists: Extra Golden, Mahmoud Ahmed and Alèmayèhu Eshèté with The Either/Orchestra, and saxophonist Gétatchèw Mèkurya in his New York debut with Dutch band The Ex.
Family Programs Highlights:
Specially-designed programs for family audiences are once again part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors. An exciting line-up is pl