One of the best things about summer in NYC is the hundreds of free summer concerts that take place in city parks each year, a large chunk of which are hosted by the City Parks Foundation as part of the SummerStage series. The organization has just announced its 2013 lineup, which lives up to the excellent billings of past years.
From 100-plus performances on tap, some bigger names include '60s pop act the Zombies, U.K. indie band Django Django, Afropop group Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, hip-hop ambassador Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), a tribute act for underappreciated power-poppers Big Star, rejuvenated soul singer Shuggie Otis, jazzy crooner José James, vocal acrobat Bobby McFerrin and jangle-pop songwriter Mac DeMarco. The series will also celebrate the 40th birthday of hip-hop with special shows that bring together rap legends (Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Kool Herc, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, dead prez and lots more) with young guns such as Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers. Comedy, spoken word, theater and dance performances, lectures and films round out the schedule.
In addition to the free shows, the series hosts paid concerts to raise money for the parks. This year, those three gigs veer toward the folky, with Joan Baez/Indigo Girls, She & Him/Camera Obscura and Ben Howard/Michael Kiwanuka.
You can find the full schedule at the SummerStage site or via the widget below. SummerStage runs from June 4 to August 29.