Summer Stage at Central Park (near E72 and Fifth) is hosting several fantastic upcoming shows:
On Saturday, June 26th, from 3 to 6 PM, three eclectic international bands will play. I'm excited about Omar Souleyman, who has been on the frontline of the dance-folk-pop scene in Syria since 1994. Tinariwen, the pied pipers of social conscience in the southern Sahara, will also be performing. Toubab Krewe, a fusion band from North Carolina, will blend West African music with rock.
On July 3rd, Istanbulive II will go down. Five hours of Turkey's most contemporary sounds, starting at 2 PM. Not quite as traditional as I would've liked, but an intriguing language to hear in song nonetheless. On July 11th, Jimmy Cliff, one of Jamaica's reggae legends, but more importantly (and on the same day): Victor Deme. He's from Burkina Faso and his voice, guitar, and humility are profound!
On August 22nd at 3 PM, The Specials will be playing at that same stage in Central Park. In case you're not two-toned and rude, this British band helped revive Jamaican Ska music in the late 70s and early 80s. Speaking of the 80s, Public Enemy will be on stage August 15th. And on September 26th is the Black Sea Roma Festival. I love 'Gypsy' music!
In addition to Central Park, there are free concerts occurring at several other parks:
Brand Nubian will perform at Crotona Park in the Bronx on June 23rd at 7 PM.
Brooklyn Bandshell in Prospect Park:
July 2nd, at 730 PM, The Fab 5 and Uzalo
July 9th, at 7 PM, Ozomatli/ Fidel Nadal/ Toy Selectah
The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 28th at 3 PM at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, and the 29th at Tompkins Square Park in the Village.
There are many more performances, but these are the once I've highlighted, according to my tastes.