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Prospect Park 150: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

July 14, 2017

BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance are joining forces to present a free, celebratory Prospect Park 150th Anniversary concert on Friday, July 28, featuring classically inspired, whistling, violin-wielding songwriter Andrew Bird. The concert, which takes place at the Prospect Park Bandshell (9th St. & Prospect Park West) is free to the public (with a suggested $5 contribution at the gate) and begins at 7:30 pm with an opening performance by the mesmerizing Esperanza Spalding.

"We are so thankful to BRIC for joining us to celebrate the important milestone," said Sue Donoghue, Prospect Park Alliance President. "Both the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival and Prospect Park Alliance were founded at a time when the Park was in decline, and through a successful private-public partnership, today the Park is once again a cherished community haven. We are so thrilled to present a range of events this year that will bring the community together to celebrate this important milestone."  

Andrew Bird returns after his unforgettable opening night performance in 2011, with a new record, Are You Serious, in tow. In the words of Esquire, “he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock.” Since beginning his recording career in 1997, Bird has released 13 albums and performed several hundred concerts worldwide. He has recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, appeared as "Dr. Stringz" on Jack's Big Music Show, and headlined concerts at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, and festivals worldwide. Mojo Magazine declared him "simply incredible live”. In recent years he performed as the Whistling Caruso in Disney’s The Muppets movie, scored the FX series Baskets, and collaborated with inventor Ian Schneller on Sonic Arboretum, an installation that exhibited at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Boston’s ICA and the MCA Chicago.

Bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, whose music is “a sprawling collage of jazz fusion, Brazilian, and even a touch of hip-hop” (PopMatters) will round out the evening. Seven collaborative and five solo albums into her career at 31, Esperanza Spalding has always resolutely, intuitively, deftly expanded upon both her art and herself as a world-renowned genre- bending composer, bassist and vocalist. Spalding’s work, grounded in jazz traditions but never bound by them, has won her four GRAMMY Awards and brought her onstage at the Oscars, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the White House and with Prince and Herbie Hancock. When Spalding took home the GRAMMY for Best New Artist in 2011, she became the first-ever jazz artist to win the category.

For more festival information, please visit www.BRICartsmedia.org.