Sinatra Drive between Fourth & Fifth Sts., Hoboken
Thursday, July 24, free, 7:00
At the May 2012 Thanks Jimi Festival in Wrocław, Poland, 7,273 guitarists set the world record for most people playing the same song, Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” On July 24 at 7:00, Hoboken’s Guitar Bar will attempt to set a new high when they bring together instrumentalists of all skill levels in Sinatra Park to play Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” The world record attempt will be led by the Guitar Bar All Stars, teachers and staff of the popular Guitar Bar and the nearby Guitar Bar Jr. The setlist will also feature some combination of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” Patti Smith’s “Gloria,” Outkast’s “Hey Ya!,” Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson,” Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya,” the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” and “Jersey Girl.” Feel free to just show up with whatever instrument you want; you can get a song tutorial here.
Things are liable to get even hotter when Tyler Ashley premieres his latest work, Kidnap Me, at the twenty-third annual HOT! Festival: The NYC Celebration of Queer Culture. Last summer, the Brooklyn-based choreographer and dancer shed his clothes for Swadhisthana: The Event at NYPAC; the multidisciplinary genderqueer artist has also presented pieces on the High Line and Times Square while also dancing with STREB, Walter Dundervill, and others. His first evening-length work, the ninety-minute Kidnap Me, is a durational performance, inspired by Béla Tarr’s 2011 film The Turin Horse and the music of the late African American composer and performer Julius Eastman, that examines hunger, family, and stardom, focusing on the creative process. In his artist statement for New York Live Arts, Ashley explains, “I conduct experiments in desire, endurance, vulnerability, and determination by creating image-based dances inspired by sport, nightlife, physical labor, and excessiveness. . . . I work to push myself closer to the audience, challenging what they may expect and unsettling the performance space. I exploit the chaos present in the search for resolution.” Kidnap Me premieres July 21 at Dixon Place and will be performed by Ashley, Aranzazu Araujo, Sarah McSherry, Diego Montoya, Shane O’Neill, Rakia Seaborn, and Gillian Walsh. HOT! continues at Dixon Place through August 5 with such other programs as Lucas Brooks’s Cootie Catcher, Vincent Caruso’s Clueless, Joe Castle Baker’s Just Let Go, Anna/Kate’s Fear City / Fun City, Jack Feldstein’s Three Months with Pook, and J. Stephen Brantley’s Chicken-Fried Ciccone: A Twangy True Tale of Transformation.
A MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR PETE AND TOSHI SEEGER / NEW SONGS OF JUSTICE: AN EVENING HONORING PETE SEEGER
A MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR PETE AND TOSHI SEEGER
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Damrosch Park Bandshell
Sunday, July 20, free, 4:00
NEW SONGS OF JUSTICE: AN EVENING HONORING PETE SEEGER
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Monday, July 21, free, 6:00
Five years ago, more than fifty musicians paid tribute to Pete Seeger on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday at an all-star concert at Madison Square Garden, highlighted by several appearances by Pete along with some of his family members; the setlist featured such classic folk songs as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” “Goodnight Irene,” “Bring ’em Home,” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Last July, his wife of nearly seventy years, filmmaker and activist Toshi Seeger, passed away at the age of ninety-one. Six months later, Pete died at ninety-four. Over the next few days, their legacies will be celebrated in a pair of free concerts in Manhattan. On Sunday, July 20, Lincoln Center Out of Doors is presenting “A Memorial Concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger,” beginning at 4:00 at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. The impressive lineup that will be singing the praises of the longtime couple includes Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow, Holly Near, the Paul Winter Consort, Martha Redbone, Dar Williams & Dan Zanes, Guy Davis, Tom Chapin & the Chapin Sisters, David Amram with Adira & Alana Amram, Mike + Ruthy with Penny Bossom-Seeger, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, the Hudson River Sloop Singers, and others, along with such speakers as Harry Belafonte, George Wein, and Michael Moore; the show will be hosted by Pete and Toshi’s grandson Kitama Cahill-Jackson. (If you can’t make it to the show, you can watch the live stream here.) On Monday, July 21, SummerStage and WFUV are honoring the legendary folksinger and activist with “New Songs of Justice: An Evening Honoring Pete Seeger” at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park at 6:00, hosted by Gina Belafonte and Cahill-Jackson. Scheduled to perform are Steve Earle, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, James Maddock, Anti-Flag, Toni Blackman, the Chapin Sisters, Rebel Diaz, Elizabeth Mitchell & Dan Zanes, Mike + Ruthy, Nyraine, the Tony Lee Thomas Band, and Amanda Palmer, with DJ sets by Kool Herc. Pete loved sing-alongs, so be sure to come with your best voice for these two very special programs.
SUMMER OF MUSIC: BROTHERS HYPNOTIC (Reuben Atlas, 2013)
Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell
148th St. & Bradhurst Ave.
Thursday, July 17, free, music 7:45, film 8:45
A real family affair, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble includes eight sons of jazz musician Kelan Phil Cohran, a trumpeter who played with such legends as Jay McShann and Sun Ra, cofounded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and started the Affro-Arts Theatre in Chicago. HBE’s compelling story is told in Reuben Atlas’s spirited feature documentary debut, Brothers Hypnotic. Atlas followed the band for four years, from its hometown of Chicago to Amsterdam, from Ireland to London, and to numerous spots in New York City, a kind of second home for the group, which consists of siblings Gabriel “Hudah” Hubert on trumpet, Saiph “Cid” Graves on tenor trombone, Amal “Baji” Hubert on trumpet, Tycho “L.T.” Cohran on bass/sousaphone, Jafar “Yosh” Graves on trumpet, Uttama “Rocco” Hubert on euphonium, Seba “Clef” Graves on bass trombone, and Tarik “Smoove” Graves on trumpet (in addition to Christopher Anderson on drums). Atlas shows the band playing its unique blend of funk, jazz, and hip-hop at major festivals, in clubs, on the street, in the subway, and in the studio. Their music comes together organically, as evidenced onstage and on such albums as Flipside, Bulletproof Brass, and The Brothas, highlighted by such original songs as “War,” “Balicky Bon,” “Touch the Sky,” “Black Boy,” and “Party Started.” The members of HBE talk about what it was like being raised by two mothers on Chicago’s South Side (the eight brothers come from three different women; their father has nearly two dozen children total) and a father who would get them up at six in the morning to start rehearsing in what became the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble. They discuss their father’s legacy and their career strategies, in particular an offer from Atlantic Records; meet with managers Knox Robinson and Mark Murphy; and, later, hang with Blur frontman Damon Albarn, who runs the independent label Honest Jon’s. Along the way, they get to play with Yasin Bey (Mos Def) and Prince while striving to maintain their artistic integrity and high moral values. It’s a feel-good tale that turns poignant when they reconvene with their father near the end of the film. Brothers Hypnotic is screening for free in Jackie Robinson Park on July 17 at 8:45 as part of the Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival, in conjunction with Maysles Cinema’s Summer of Music series, and will be preceded by a “Horn Section” DJ set with DJ Laylo. The Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival continues July 23 in St. Nicholas Park with The Night James Brown Saved Boston.
With predictions of sunny skies and mid-80s temperatures, Saturday’s free 4Knots Music Festival at the South Street Seaport is looking better and better. Although Re-TROS had to cancel and won’t be coming from Beijing as scheduled, the rest of the lineup — Mac DeMarco, Those Darlins, Speedy Ortiz, Radkey, Nude Beach, Dead Stars, Crazy Pills, the Viet Cong, and headliners Dinosaur Jr. — is set to fill two stages with sounds ranging from raucous punk to sensitive singer-songwriter guitar pop to a whole lot in between from 1:00 till 8:00. During that time, you can grab eats in the 4Knots Food Truck Courtyard, where you will find Papaya King, the Crepes Truck, Softee Xpress, Shanghai Sogo, Nuchas, twi-ny fave Uncle Gussy’s, and Yankee Doodle Dandy’s. If you feel like turning the beat around and are still ready to party as the sun sets, head to Webster Hall on Eleventh St. for the joint Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival/4Knots After-Party. The Village Voice cohosts this combined affair as well, featuring California rapper Ab-Soul and two special guests, newcomers Jarren Benton and YC the Cynic, in addition to online music curators DJ Meka and Low Key. Although the 4Knots Music Festival is free, the after-party isn’t: Tickets will run you thirty bucks.
4KNOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL SET TIMES
1:00 — Dead Stars, Front/Row Stage
1:30 — Radkey, Pier 16
2:00 — Crazy Pills, Front/Row Stage
2:30 — Speedy Ortiz, Pier 16
3:00 — Juan Wauters, Front/Row Stage
3:30 — Viet Cong, Pier 16
4:00 — Nude Beach, Front/Row Stage
4:30 — Those Darlins, Pier 16
5:30 — Mac DeMarco, Pier 16
7:00 — Dinosaur Jr., Pier 16
Coming to the free 4Knots Music Festival at the South Street Seaport from Queens, just across the waters of the East River, is Juan Wauters. Fresh from his role as leader of the Beets, a wild and delightful guitar-pop band, singer-songwriter Wauters released his debut solo album, N.A.P. North American Poetry (Captured Tracks), this past February. He may have sold out the vinyl 7" of his charming, upbeat pop single “Sanity or Not,” but you can still check out if he’s sane or not here. Meanwhile, his above multilingual performance of the quiet, modest trilogy of “Nena,” “Water,” and “Ay Ay Ay” should give a taste of what to expect from Wauters, who’s been compared to Daniel Johnston for his weird and wonderful lyrics and guitar work. Wauters’s recent appearances have been marked by a more personal note, and his always engaging presence should lend a quirky edge to the 4Knots lineup, which includes Radkey, Dead Stars, Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Those Darlins, Viet Cong, Crazy Pills, Nude Beach, and, most massively, Dinosaur Jr. (You can hear a sampler of songs by all the groups here. Please note that Re-TROS has canceled their scheduled appearance.)