Empire State Plaza Announces Summer Concert Series
The Empire State Plaza in Albany has announced its Summer at the Plaza season of free concerts, festivals and more. The Capital Concert Series features four concerts, ranging from reggae to rock, from classic indie rock to sublime soul music.
New this year is a pair of Jazz Nights in September, sponsored by Cornerstone and featuring Local 518 favorites.
Here’s the complete list of 2017 live summer events at the Empire State Plaza:
Wednesday, June 28, 5pm
It’s Reggae Night! The internationally acclaimed Grammy-nominated singer has helped to shape reggae music with his conscious lyrics and Philly-soul style for more than 50 years. Equally adept as a romantic crooner or as an emissary of strong cultural messaging, his undeniable vocal ability boasts hits such as “Push Come to Shove,” “Africa Here I Come,” “I Was Born a Winner,” “Guantanamera,” “Big Ship, Lock Dem’ Down” and “Bangarang.”
NEW YORK STATE’S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Featuring the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band
Tuesday, July 4, 3pm
Presented by Price Chopper & Market 32, Greater Nippertown’s biggest Fourth of July celebration features one of the original Army Air Corps bands with a rich history of inspiring hearts and minds, building and sustaining American patriotism and enhancing esprit do corps in the U.S. Air Force. For over 75 years, the band has represented the Air Force with musical and military distinction, making lasting impressions with their audiences through the universal language of music.
THE SAM ROBERTS BAND
Wednesday, July 12, 5pm
According to bandleader Sam Roberts, the key to the Montreal-based rock band’s longevity is their steadfast enthusiasm for sticking to their artistic guns and consistently working to make a better album each time. Released in 2016, the band’s sixth album, Terraform, features the lead single, “If You Want It.”
Featuring PJ Masks
With Pete the Cat
Saturday, July 15, 12noon
The big kid-centric outdoor event of the summer features the Two by Two Zoo, Touch a Truck, face painting, bounce rides, puppet shows, arts and crafts, balloons and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet PJ Masks, everyone’s favorite mystery-solving heroes as they pose with children and families for photos and give super hugs. On the main stage, catch one of today’s most popular characters, Pete the Cat, in a fun, high-energy, interactive live performance.
Wednesday, July 19, 5pm
The Minneapolis-band indie-rock veterans Soul Asylum have been inspiring fans since 1981 with their raucous live shows. The band’s 1992 album Grave Dancers Union, featured the international hits “Black Gold” and “Runaway Train,” which won the 1994 Grammy Award as Best Rock Song. Making music for a quarter of a century, Cracker’s hit songs “Low,” “Euro-Trash Girl,” “Get Off This,” and “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” have earned them a worldwide fan base that continues to grow each year.
CHARLES BRADLEY & HIS EXTRAORDINAIRES
Wednesday, July 26, 5pm
Superb soul singer Charles Bradley’s star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album No Time for Dreaming. Bradley has made a name for himself as a riveting live performer and taken his show to venues and festivals across the globe, including Coachella, Glastonbury Festival and Primavera Sound.
BLACK ARTS & CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Featuring Jody Watley & Shalamar Reloaded
Saturday, August 5, 2pm
With her multi-platinum selling catalog of more than 10 albums, Jody Watley serves up a rich, soulful concert experience. Since her days as the original female lead vocalist of the R&B trio Shalamar, Watley emerged as always ahead of the pop culture curve and has been at the forefront of some of the most groundbreaking trends and movements in modern pop culture, serving as the style template for today’s women in contemporary music. In addition to an exciting line-up of music and dance on the main stage, the festival will feature a kids zone with family-friendly activities.
THE NEW YORK STATE FOOD FESTIVAL
Featuring the Charlie Daniels Band
Wednesday, August 9, 11am
With nearly 100 food vendors to choose from, 15,000 people annually flock to the Food Fest for lunch, dinner or both. They come for the food and stay for a day of live musical entertainment. From his Dove Award-winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 80, Daniels has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career.
JAZZ NIGHT I
Featuring Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra
Wednesday, September 13, 5:30pm
The Jazz Series is a new addition to the Summer at the Plaza concert series featuring performances audiences can watch from Cornerstone at the Plaza’s patio. Alex Torres is a Bronx-born bassist who formed his Latin orchestra in Amsterdam in 1980. They perform an original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms such as salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bomba, plena and Latin jazz at hundreds of festivals and other events annually.
JAZZ NIGHT II
Featuring the Hot Club of Saratoga
Wednesday, September 20, 5:30pm
Hot Club of Saratoga is Greater Nippertown’s premier Gypsy swing ensemble. Playing a repertoire that reflects the spirit and style originated in the 1930s and kept alive through a long line of Gypsy jazz artists since that time. The driving rhythms under dynamic soloing give the Hot Club of Saratoga’s music a life and vibrancy sure to bring a smile and often and irresistible desire to move.
MORE OF TODAY’S NEW CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENTS
Alive at Five Just Got Funkier: Two More New Concerts Announced
FEST: WILDWOODstock @ the Parting Glass
MORE OF NIPPERTOWN’S UPCOMING FREE CONCERT EVENTS
FREEDOM FESTIVAL @ Freedom Square, Troy, June 3
ART ON LARK @ Lark Street, Albany, June 10
DADFEST @ Washington Park, Albany, June 18
SCHENECTADY COUNTY SUMMERNIGHT @ Broadway, Schenectady, July 14
JAZZ AT THE LAKE @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 16 & 17
MADE IN THE SHADE OF THE EGG @ the Empire State Plaza at The Egg, Albany, 12noon, June 7-August 30
ROCKIN’ ON THE RIVER @ Riverfront Park, Troy, 5pm, June 7-August 9
FREEDOM PARK CONCERT SERIES @ Freedom Park, Scotia, 7pm, June 21-August 23
JAZZ ON JAY @ Jay Street, Schenectady, 12noon, June 1-August 31
ALIVE AT FIVE @ Corning Preserve’s Jennings Landing, Albany, 5pm, June 8-August 3
BROWN’S SUMMER SESSIONS @ Brown’s Brewing Co., Troy, 5pm, June 1-July 13
ROCK THE BLOCK @ Remsen Square, Cohoes, 6:30pm, June 8-August 10
UPBEAT ON THE ROOF @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, 7pm, July 13-August 24
FREEDOM PARK CONCERT SERIES @ Freedom Park, Scotia, 7pm, June 24-August 26
CAFFE LENA @ SPAC @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center Gazebo, Saratoga Springs, 12noon, June 11, July 9 & August 27
MUSIC HAVEN CONCERT SERIES @ Central Park’s Music Haven, Schenectady, 7pm
FREEDOM PARK CONCERT SERIES @ Freedom Park, Scotia, 7pm, June 25-August 20