Mad. Sq. Music’s Oval Lawn Series Presents Free, Live Music in the Park

May 6, 2011 | Comments: 0

Mad. Sq. Music’s Oval Lawn Series Presents Free, Live Music in the Park

FREE, ECLECTIC, LIVE MUSIC ALL SUMMER IN THE PARK

Mad. Sq. Music Presents the Oval Lawn Series – Free Outdoor Concerts on Wednesday Evenings from June 22 to August 10

Madison Square Park Conservancy announces the lineup for its ninth-annual Mad. Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series, which presents award-winning performers in an eclectic range of genres, including folk, country, bluegrass, and jazz. A state-of-the-art sound system set against the backdrop of historic Madison Square Park makes for a magnificent setting to enjoy music typically found only in smaller NYC venues.

Concerts take place rain or shine at 6pm (for double bills) or 7pm (for single acts) each Wednesday from June 22 to August 10. Shows are appropriate for the whole family, and visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic (no chairs allowed). The Park is located at 23rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues.

The 2011 Lineup:
June 22 Tift Merritt
June 29 Dale Ann Bradley, The Steel Wheels
July 6 Lionel Loueke Trio, Edmar Castaneda Trio plus special guest Andrea Tierra
July 13  Christian McBride & Inside Straight
July 20 Red Horse with Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, and Lucy Kaplansky
July 27 David Wax Museum
August 3 Pedrito Martinez Group plus special guest Brian Lynch
August 10 Davell Crawford: Tribute to Ray Charles

More artist information below. Thanks to Mad. Sq. Music Oval Lawn Series sponsors: Kew Management, Zwicker Electric Co, Inc., WFUV, NYCulture, NYSCA, SIA Acoustics, Time Out New York, and Ace Hotel.

2011 Oval Lawn Performers:

June 22 Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt, along with her longtime band, kicks off the 2011 Mad. Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series with her beautiful vocals and moving songwriting. Her first record landed on the top ten lists of Time and The New Yorker magazines, and was called the “best debut of the year in any genre” by the Associated Press. Since then, Tift has built an impressive and critically acclaimed collection of sonic short stories. See You on the Moon, her latest release, is an “honest, personal album full of beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics” (MORE) and will be perfectly complemented by Madison Square Park’s outdoor stage.

June 29 Dale Ann Bradley, The Steel Wheels

Dale Ann Bradley was the 2007, 2008, and 2009 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year. She has been hailed by Alison Krauss as one of the greatest vocalists in country and bluegrass music. Her voice is “shimmering” (The Washington Post), “angelic” (Billboard), and “exceptional” (Bluegrass Unlimited), and her performances fill every venue with humor, grace, and integrity. Opening for Dale Ann Bradley are The Steel Wheels, an Americana band with musical styles that explore blues, bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes. The four-piece band respectfully blends the past with modern energy to create songs that “recall a more familiar time and yet sound fresh and creative” (Tina Owens, Acoustic Café).

July 6 Lionel Loueke Trio, Edmar Castaneda Trio plus special guest Andrea Tierra

Originally from the West African nation of Benin, guitarist Lionel Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several years. He was picked as top Rising Star guitarist in Down Beat magazine’s annual Critics Poll in 2008 and 2009. Loueke met bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummer Ferenc Nemeth at Berklee College of Music. Together they have released two albums on Blue Note Records and developed an incredible rapport. The trio “artfully integrates percussive, chiming harmonics, idiosyncratic tunings, and wondrously intricate time signatures” (SF Jazz). Opening act Edmar Castaneda, from Bogotá, Colombia, has taken New York and the world stage by storm with his virtuosic command of the Colombian harp. He has revolutionized the way audiences and critics alike consider the instrument. Soprano saxophonist Shlomi Cohen and drummer/percussionist Dave Silliman complete the Edmar Castaneda Trio. Singer/songwriter Andrea Tierra brings her rare contralto voice to this one-of-a-kind musical brew.

July 13 Christian McBride & Inside Straight

Bassist extraordinaire, composer, and educator, Christian McBride has been one of the most important and omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. He has played with and arranged for Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. Named “Hot Jazz Artist” of 1992 by Rolling Stone, McBride won Grammy Awards in 2006 and 2009 in the best jazz instrumental album, individual or group category. Christian has appeared on more than 250 albums, including five of his own releases, and has been hailed as “perhaps the most exciting jazz bass player since Ray Brown,” (All About Jazz). Christian is joined by saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Christian Sands, and drummer Ulysses Owens to form the jazz quintet, Christian McBride & Inside Straight.

July 20 Red Horse with Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, and Lucy Kaplansky

Eliza Gilkyson is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter, who has become one of the most respected musicians in roots, folk and Americana circles. The Grammy-nominated artist was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2003. Her most recent release Beautiful World was hailed as a masterpiece by All Music Guide and was called “one of the best folk albums of 2008” (Utne Reader). World-renowned singer-songwriter John Gorka’s songs have been recorded and performed by such notable artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith and Mary Black. His latest solo album, So Dark You See, features “Ignorance & Privilege,” highlighted as one of the top folk songs of 2009 (NPR Music). Lucy Kaplansky is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, a former clinical psychologist, and “a truly gifted performer with a bag full of enchanting songs” (The New Yorker). Two of her seven albums were awarded Best Pop Album of the Year by the Association for Independent Music. Lucy’s latest album, Over the Hills, received stellar reviews and was a return to her folk and country roots with luminous personal songs about love and loss.

July 27 David Wax Museum

Recently anointed as Boston’s Americana Artist of the Year, David Wax Museum has been called “one of Boston’s hottest new bands” (The Boston Globe).  It is no surprise that their acclaimed performance at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival was hailed as one of NPR’s All Songs Considered Highlights of the entire weekend. The Museum fuses traditional Mexican folk with country, folk and rock to create an utterly unique Mexo-Americana aesthetic. “This charming and exuberant must-see group mashes up country, rock, and Mexican folk sounds into a delectable roots music stew” (The Boston Globe) to generate its contemporary sound and its broad appeal. The band’s fiery and heart-wrenching shows have created an undeniable buzz and a devoted following. Combining Latin rhythms, call-and-response hollering, accordion pumping and donkey jawbone rattling, The Museum will electrify the Mad. Sq. Music stage.

August 3 Pedrito Martinez Group plus special guest Brian Lynch

Pedrito Martinez is a world-class conga player, singer, and bandleader. Originally from Cuba, Pedrito has settled in New York City and performed with dozens of top acts such as Paquito D’Rivera, Taj Mahal, John Scofield and more, and has been featured on more than 100 recordings. In 1994, Pedrito became part of an ensemble that would eventually become Pedrito Martinez Group: Pedrito Martinez on percussion/vocals, Axel Tosca Laugart on keyboard, Ariacne Trujillo on piano/vocals, Alvaro Benavides on electric bass, and Jhaire Sala on percussion. The group’s tight, soulful and passionate music has earned them a loyal fan base and growing popularity. Grammy Award winner Brian Lynch, who “ranks in the top ten of current trumpeters” (Cadence Magazine), adds his masterful, wide-ranging sound to the Group.

August 10 Davell Crawford: Tribute to Ray Charles

The critically acclaimed “Prince of New Orleans,” Davell Crawford is a major force in American Roots music. Grandson to 1950s R&B star James Crawford and godson of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Flack, Crawford developed his diverse musical talents at an early age and has become one of the most exciting live performers to come out of the CrescentCity in recent memory. Crawford actively tours, records, and teaches, spreading the sounds and styles of New Orleans music, traditional jazz, gospel, funk and R&B. With music drawing on many of the same sources as Ray Charles, Crawford’s unique style and infectious energy make him well suited to mount a tribute to “The Genius of Soul.”

About Madison Square Park Conservancy

The Madison Square Park Conservancy is the not-for-profit organization dedicated to keeping historic Madison Square Park a bright, beautiful and lively public park. The Conservancy works in partnership with the City of New York/Parks & Recreation to operate Madison Square Park and is responsible for raising all funds necessary to operate the park, including horticulture, park maintenance, sanitation, security and free cultural programs for park visitors of all ages. madisonsquarepark.org

###