The Lincoln Center
has something to offer almost every day on its summer slate. The Midsummer Night Swing fiesta welcomes dance instructors to demonstrate their skills alongside bands like Johnny Colon & His Orchestra, Orquesta Broadway and Crytzer's Blue Rhythm Band. Lincoln Center's free Out of Doors hasperformances from the Stooges Brass Band and Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats, the OurLand celebration of Irish culture with members of the Mekons and Cracker, the Bad Plus's New York premiere of its new work, “On Sacred Ground”, and the 29th annual Roots of American Music Festival with Nona Hendryx, Aloe Blacc and more. On July 20, artists from the rock, hip-hop and jazz spheres (including Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Mavis Staples and Dr. Lonnie Smith) join the Impressions to honor the 70th birthday of the late R&B poet Curtis Mayfield.
Come for the Shake Shack burgers, stay for the excellent folk and jazz. The Madison Square
Music Series supplies a serene oasis in the Flatiron district with free performances on Wednesday evenings. The 2012 schedule includes cabaret,; jazz, jazz-folk not to mention soul singer.
The free, bimonthly RiverRocks festival is a wonderful experience along the Hudson, steps from the great food offerings of the West Side and with headliners timed for sunset. Its roster highlights several independent artists: the Baltimore electronic scrabbler Dan Deacon, the lo-fi rock artist Oberhofer and the byzantine electro-pop chanteuse Grimes.