Did you miss the “festivity” of June jazz concerts in major Manhattan venues — or did you find ways of coping without them? There’s so much fine music — jazz and beyond — in nearby festive settings, many of them out-of-doors, that the absence of a 38-year-old institution doesn’t seem to have made much stir. Perhaps you didn’t even notice?
- However on Sunday July 5 at Central Park Summerstage, free, 3 pm to 7 pm, women singers of Africa including Mali’s Oumou Sangare, the Paris-born Les Nubians and 25-year-old Nigerian Asa.
- And I enthusiastically recommend the “Steppin’ Off The Corner” take-off-on-Miles gig Wed. July 8 free, 7 to 9 pm — a River to River festival event at Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, 7 pm featuring Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Steve Gorn, bansuri flute; South Asian-American saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; Badal Roy, tablas; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Kenny Wessel, electric guitar and Mike Clark, drums and on the basis of having heard some of these folks wail on this material at Merkin Hall and Iridium in May. Free.
- (also that night, 7 pm to 10 pm at Summerstage, “electronic and danceable sounds from Argentina and Brazil, presented in association with the Latin Alternative Music Conference” — Juana Molina, Curumin and El G (ZZK). Free.)
- Saturday, July 11 from 3 pm to 7 pm, Central Park Summerstage: “internationally renowned, high-energy Argentine sensations Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, with opening support from alternative hip hop via Puerto Rico Eric Bobo.” Free.
- Thurs July 16, Wagner Park Battery Park City, 6 pm, free: Junior Mack, is a smooth voiced singer and well-informed guitarist with a large repertoire and a lot of heart, leads his Blues Band, seldom playing NYC outside of the Bleeker St. bar Terra Blues.
- July 18 is the can’t miss concert by King Sunny Ade at Prospect Park again (gates for seating open at 1 pm, music runs from 2 to 9 pm); the Nigerian ju-ju guitarist and smoothie headlines a day-long Africa fest with (from the pr) “South Africa’s Freshly Ground; The Mandingo Ambassadors, from NYC by way of Guinea, Senegalese drum troupe Cheikh M’Baye & Sing Sing, Brooklyn-born, Ghanaian vocalist Abena Koomson and whirling traditional Egyptian dancer Yasser Darwish.” Free.
- Next day, Sun July 19 Summerstage strikes back with Ivory Coast’s Alpha Blondy and political reggaeist Lee “Scratch” Perry, 3 to 7 pm, free.
- Thurs July 23, 5:30 pm, George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian (Bowling Green, Old Customs House) — The Bannaba Project, Kuna people of Panama (advertising: “pre-Columbia roots, Caribbean rhythms”), free (River-to-River fest event).
- Wed. July 29 7 pm, Wagner Park, Battery Place and West St. — Quimbombo, “groove-oriented Cuban son,” free (River-to-River fest).
- Thurs, July 30, 6:30 pm, Celebrate Brooklyn! Prospect Park — throaty reggae singer Burning Spear and Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, free.
- Monday, August 03, 2009, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm Central Park SummerStage — banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and kora master Toumani Diabaté perform, ” followed by a screening of the documentary tracing Fleck’s journey through Africa in search of the origins of the banjo.” Suggested donation $5.
- Sat., August 29 and Sunday, Aug 30 — both days starting at 3 p.m. — free — in Marcus Garvey Park (Harlem) and Tompkins Sq. Park (East Village, respectively — the Charlie Paker Jazz Festival. Swing-to-bop-modernist tenor saxophone-flutist Frank Wess, from-the-’60s alto saxist Gary Bartz and emerging pianist Aaron Parks are attractions in Harlem, post-bop pianist Cedar Walton, Papo Vasquez Pirates Troubadores — almost a boogaloo band — and unclassifiable singer Pyeng Threadgill star downtown.
pianist Dave Brubeck’s band and guest oudist Simon Shaheen on Wed., Aug 5 at Damrosch Park bandshell, 7:30 pm, free. A steal at that price.