Bryant Park Picnic Performances
Asian American Arts Alliance: Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang
First-Come, First-Served Entry
All Bryant Park Picnic Performances Are FREE
Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America continues on August 19 with Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang, with an event curated by Asian American Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring greater representation, equity, and opportunities for Asian American artists and cultural organizations through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. Bhatia is a thrilling guitarist, composer, and producer known for moving comfortably among different genres; Chang is a drummer/producer with an expert skill of imbuing his electronic music with human touch.
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.”
Asian American Arts Alliance:
Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang
The New York Times proclaims “Rafiq Bhatia is writing his own musical language,” heralding him as “one of the most intriguing figures in music today.” A guitarist, composer, producer, and sound artist “who refuses to be pinned to one genre, culture or instrument,” Bhatia “treats his guitar, synthesizers, drum machines and electronic effects as architectural elements,” the Times writes. “Sound becomes contour; music becomes something to step into rather than merely follow.” Bhatia’s 2018 album Breaking Englishfinds a visceral common ground between ecstatic avant-jazz, mournful soul, tangled strings and building-shaking electronics, resulting in a “stunningly focused new sound” (Chicago Tribune) that resembles “science fiction on a blockbuster scale” (The Washington Post). 2020’s Standards Vol. 1 (EP) renders repertoire from the American songbook “completely deconstructed, infused with brand new textures and electronic effects, dreamlike and beautiful” (BBC). Bhatia has presented his music live in dozens of performances across three continents. He has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, Cincinnati Symphony, Walker Art Center, Liquid Music, Newfields, The Jazz Gallery, Toledo Museum of Art, and more. Bhatia has collaborated with Arooj Aftab, Michael Cina, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer, Okkyung Lee, Billy Hart, Helado Negro, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Moses Sumney and many others. Bhatia is a Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow and adjunct faculty of the New School’s Performer-Composer Master of Music program. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Deemed “one of music’s greatest drummers” by NPR, Ian Chang brings electronic music to the physical realm, exploring the relationship between human and machine and exuding an intuitive physicality, while meshing off-kilter rhythmic ideas with hypnotic textures and exploring the edges of IDM, ambient, free jazz, and much more with futuristic creative abandon. City Slang Records released Chang’s debut full-length album 属 Belonging in 2020. In nine concise, largely instrumental pop songs, Chang conjures a personal cosmos: the listener feels as if we might reach out and touch 属 Belonging‘s jagged and tender aural sculptures. At every level, his music sings with earnest and deceptive simplicity. The album’s melodies are intimate, its rhythms rewarding, and yet, just beneath the surface glimmers innovation, as if the neurons firing in each melodic idea have become audible. When Chang describes his creative process, the phrase “third culture” keeps coming up. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chang was shaped by the city’s diversity and vibrancy. He moved to New York in 2007 to pursue music and spent a decade building an impressive roster of progressive pop collaborators such as Moses Sumney, CHVRCHES, Joan As Police Woman, and Matthew Dear, among others. Chang now lives in Dallas, Texas.
As members of the internationally renowned trio Son Lux alongside Ryan Lott, Bhatia and Chang have released three albums and numerous EPs, and given over 500 performances worldwide. Most recently, they scored the film Everything Everywhere All At Once for A24, collaborating with David Byrne, Mitski, Moses Sumney, Randy Newman, and more.
Complete Bryant Park Picnic Performances
July 28: Ailey II Performance and Ailey Extension Dance Class
July 29: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Hot Sardines Featuring Nellie McKay
August 5: Greenwich House Music School: Mireya and Alea
August 12: New York City Opera: La traviata
August 19: Asian American Arts Alliance: Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang
August 26: Habibi Festival: Firas Zreik Trio, Esraa Warda & The Châab Lab, & Yacine Boularès’ 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: Programming TBA
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.