Photo Credit: Ryan Muir
Bryant Park Picnic Performances
Carnegie Hall Citywide Series
First-Come, First-Served Entry
All Bryant Park Picnic Performances Are FREE
Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America season of free, live performances this summer continues with Carnegie Hall Citywide series, five nights of genre-spanning music on each Friday in July. The series begins with Grammy-winning jazz collective Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (July 1); Grammy-nominated vocals-and-drums jazz duo The Baylor Project (July 8); American swing legends Squirrel Nut Zippers (July 15); renowned, all-women, 25-piece orchestra The Broadway Sinfonietta(July 22); and celebrated, chart-topping jazz ensemble The Hot Sardines featuring Nellie McKay (July 29).
“For more than four decades, Carnegie Hall has partnered with community organizations in all five boroughs, offering free performances by renowned mainstage artists and rising musical stars in New York City neighborhoods, bringing together local residents and people from all over to share in great music,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “As part of this commitment to community, we are thrilled to return to Bryant Park this summer, presenting five fantastic concerts, kicking off next season’s Carnegie Hall Citywide series.”
Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At most performances, attendees can purchase food from a rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required but Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.
The 2022 Picnic Performances season is possible due to the generous support of Bank of America. “Bank of America is a long-standing supporter of the arts because we believe that a thriving arts and cultural community benefits both society and the economy,” said José Tavarez, President, Bank of America New York City. “So we are thrilled to once again sponsor Picnic Performances and combine our commitment to the arts with our partnership with Bryant Park. Together we’re helping New York City’s iconic cultural scene to thrive, while promoting green spaces and providing free access to live New York City music, dance and theater.”
Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
The Grammy Award–winning Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (ALJE) is an octet of virtuosos with roots in Latin jazz traditions trailblazed by greats like Tito Puente and Mario Bauzá. With a keen ear for the music’s future, the ALJE performs a diverse repertoire that highlights the ensemble’s principal musicians, including one of its newest members, pianist Andrew Andron. Featuring Moroccan American singer Malika Zarra and composer Akua Dixon with her innovative string quartet Quartette Indigo, this performance is a perfect fit for this outdoor summer concert series, showcasing the sounds and amazing talent of New York City.
The Baylor Project
The Baylor Project represents one of today’s great musical marriages—a genre-crossing exploration led by vocalist Jean Baylor and drummer Marcus Baylor. Their most recent album, 2021’s Generations, earned the couple their first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album (Vocal), as well as its fourth Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Spanning jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and more, this project has sold out shows across the United States and taken the spotlight at large European festivals.
Squirrel Nut Zippers
The platinum-selling Squirrel Nut Zippers blend jazz, swing-revival playfulness, folk storytelling, and off- kilter musical wit for their powerhouse performances. Their latest album, Lost Songs of Doc Souchon, is “inspired by all of the mysterious characters from the history of New Orleans jazz music,” says bandleader Jimbo Mathus. Exploring this universally beloved music while embracing the personable figures who give it such character is, in a nutshell, what makes this ensemble such a vital force and ongoing audience favorite.
The Broadway Sinfonietta
The Broadway Sinfonietta is a highly acclaimed, all-women and majority-women-of-color orchestra making its anticipated full-orchestra debut under the musical direction of Macy Schmidt. The 25-piece ensemble brings a varied program to Bryant Park, including Sinfonietta signatures like “You’re Gonna Hear from Me,” hits from recent projects such as the TikTok musical Ratatouille, a preview of music from the orchestra’s upcoming debut album, and brand-new commissions and arrangements. Putting an orchestral spin on indie pop, classic Broadway, and contemporary musical theatre, the evening’s program explores the idea of finding one’s voice—and what to do with it once found. Led by a rotation of accomplished women guest conductors, the performance also features singers Krystina Alabado, Arielle Jacobs, and Solea Pfieffer with additional guest vocalists from Broadway to be announced.
The Hot Sardines Featuring Nellie McKay
Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, The Hot Sardines is making a name for itself as “one of the best jazz bands in New York today” (Forbes). The Hot Sardines have performed at the Newport and Montreal jazz festivals, sold out venues from Chicago to New York to London, and reached the top spot on the iTunes jazz chart. In this free performance in Bryant Park, they welcome guest vocalist Nellie McKay, a first-rate entertainer described as a “renegade songwriter with an ultra- flexible Great American Songbook sensibility. McKay finds modern resonances everywhere” (Rolling Stone).
Complete Bryant Park Picnic Performances
June 10: Contemporary Dance: EMERGE125 and Ayodele Casel
June 11: Contemporary Dance: Ballet Hispánico’s Social Latin Dance Class, Music From The Sole, and Dance Heginbotham
June 17: New York City Opera: Pride in the Park
June 24: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc: Benét, Dougie Poole, and Daneshevskaya
June 25: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc: 95 Bulls, Talia Goddess, Reyna Tropical
July 1: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
July 8: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Baylor Project
July 15: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Squirrel Nut Zippers
July 22: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Broadway Sinfonietta
July 23: Jazzmobile: Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
July 28: Performers TBA
July 29: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Hot Sardines Featuring Nellie McKay
August 5: Performers TBA
August 12: New York City Opera: La traviata
August 19: Asian American Arts Alliance: Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang
August 26: Habibi Festival: Esraa Warda & The Châab Lab, Firas Zreik, Yacine Boularès, and AJOYO
August 29: The Town Hall: Eighth Blackbird Celebrates John Cage
September 2: New York City Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
September 8: Steinway Artists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans
September 9: Classical Theatre of Harlem
September 16: Accordion Festival: Heart of Afghanistan and More
September 17: American Symphony Orchestra
About Bryant Park Corporation
Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions, and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security, sanitation, and horticultural services, BPC offers restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC’s website, bryantpark.org, offers more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.
Follow Bryant Park
Location and Subway Directions:
Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.