Free things to do in NYC: Live music

Find free concerts of every musical genre in NYC.

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Sunset on the Hudson

  • Free

Little ones can join in on a riverside drumming circle led by masters of the art. Kids will learn traditional drumming patterns and African, Latin and Caribbean rhythms. Instruments provided.

  1. Hudson River Park at Pier 45 West St at W 10th St
  2. Fri Aug 1
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Snowmine + The Casket Girls

  • Free

Brooklyn quintet Snowmine showcases its shimmering, swirling psychedelic pop, as heard on recent sophomore effort Dialects. Hazy Georgia shoegaze types the Casket Girls open.

  1. South Street Seaport 19 Fulton St, at Front St
  2. Fri Aug 1
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Jimmy Bosch y Su Estrellas + Pedrito Martinez Group with Ariacne Trujillo

  • Free

Trombonist and bandleader Jimmy Bosch (known as “El Trombón Criollo”) heads a top-flight salsa ensemble. Afro-Cuban singer and percussionist Pedrito Martinez, formerly of Yerba Buena, brings his good-time grooves, bolstered by vocalist Ariacne Trujillo.

  1. Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Prospect Park West, at 9th St
  2. Fri Aug 1
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Drowners + Spires + Mainland + The Can't Tells + Little Racer

  • Free

Drowners, fronted by Welsh cheeky chappy ex-model Matt Hitt, deliver energetic, jangly Britpop-meets-LES tunes in support of their self-titled debut LP.

  1. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 165 Banker St, at Norman Ave, 11222
  2. Fri Aug 1
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Jessica Pratt

  • Free

The work of Jessica Pratt suggests Joanna Newsom songs filtered through Stevie Nicks. The Cali indie-folkie plays as part of Union Pool's free matinee series, Summer Thunder.

  1. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, at Meeker Ave, 11211
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Dr. John and the Night Trippers + Hurray for the Riff Raff

  • Critics choice
  • Free

New Orleans R&B shaman Dr. John has been on a roll in recent years, teaming up with Dan Auerbach on a fun-as-hell 2012 set, Locked Down, and covering his NOLA idol Louis Armstrong on the new Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit of Satch (due Aug 19). Expect an amiable, career-spanning set here, as ol' Mac Rebennack cobills with Hurray for the Riff Raff, the edgy blues-folk collective led by the Bronx's own Alynda Lee Segarra.

  1. Central Park SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Sinkane + Takuya Kuroda

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Sudan-born multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab—alias Sinkane—has toured with Caribou, Of Montreal and Yeasayer, and specializes in hooky extravaganzas, anthemic choruses and Afrobeat flourishes. We can attest that Sinkane’s live sets are soul-rocking, body-moving and not to be missed. Here, he kicks off a new concert series at the Lot LIC, with trumpeter-composer and recent Blue Note signee Takuya Kuroda serving up funky electrojazz in the opening slot.

  1. The Lot LIC 43-15 Crescent St, between 43rd Ave and 44th Rd, 11101
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Kes the Band + Kuenta i Tambu + DJ Dr Wax + Steel Sensations

  • Free

Expect plenty of rump-shaking, as preeminent soca outfit Kes the Band brings world influences, clubby beats and dirty lyrics to this dance-ready Celebrate Brooklyn! show.

  1. Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Prospect Park West, at 9th St
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Luluc + Secret Someones + The Prettiots + Poor Remy

  • Free

Boy-girl duo Luluc are Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett specialize in a super-mellow strain of folk—all gently plucked guitars, softly brushed drums and Randell's creamy, melancholic tones. The pair plays behind a new album, Passerby, which was produced by the National's Aaron Dessner.

  1. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 165 Banker St, at Norman Ave, 11222
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Echoes of the Divine: Arts of the Turko-Persian Diaspora

  • Free

Delve into the music and dance of Persian and Turkic cultures with performances by Ottoman Turkish singer Ahmet Erdogdular, Uzbekistani and Tajik ensemble Shashmaqam, rubab (lute) player Quraishi, and the New York Crimean Tatar Ensemble.

  1. Hearst Plaza (at Lincoln Center) W 65th St, at Columbus Ave
  2. Sun Aug 3
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