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Best concerts and parties to hit up in NYC this Fourth of July

By Sarah Theeboom

Yes, Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but it’s still your patriotic duty to celebrate, dammit! Free yourself from the tyranny of the work week at these great gigs, all happening on July 4.

Blue Note Jazz Festival
This free concert at South Street Seaport commemorates that most American of art forms: jazz. The brass-heavy lineup includes saxophonist David Sanborn, trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble—a literal band of brothers consisting of trumpeter Phil Cohran’s eight sons. South Street Seaport, Fulton St at Front St ( 5:30–9pm; free.

Summer of Love at the Park
NYC underground staple Eli Escobar serves house and disco flavors at this good old-fashioned Independence Day BBQ. There’s sure to be a line to get into House of Yes’s free day party, so don your most over-the-top “patriotic AF” costume to skip straight to the front. How’s that for American exceptionalism? Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave, Queens ( 1–9pm; with R.S.V.P. free, at the door $10.

Midsummer Night Swing: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Satchmo always celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July, and Lincoln Center continues that tradition with this alfresco dance-athon dedicated to the trumpeter’s greatest hits. Like Armstrong said, your feet won’t keep still when they swing that music, so come early to learn some tucks and spins at a free dance lesson at 6:30pm. Damrosch Park (at Lincoln Center), W 62nd St between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves ( 7:30pm; $17–$25.

Get Summered Beach Party
No need to surreptitiously express your freedom by sneaking a six-pack onto the sand. Now that Brooklyn Bazaar has taken over Jacob Riis Park for the summer, there are food and drink vendors on the boardwalk and music on the beach, namely dance-music duo Love Taps and DJs Dirtyboogie and Josai. Jacob Riis Park Beach, 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens ( noon; with R.S.V.P free.

Tiësto + KSHMR + Cheat Codes + AAZAR
The Dutch master brings his big-room EDM outdoors, because some parties just can’t be contained (#murica). The Governors Island location puts one of the world’s biggest DJs in front of the world’s coolest skyline; add New York Harbor fireworks into the mix, and you have yourself one epic Independence Day spectacle. Governors Island ( 4pm–midnight; $49–$149.

The Real Fireworks
Celebrate Independence Day with an afternoon of progressively minded protest music. Catch maverick guitarist Marc Ribot, who’ll present a new project dubbed Songs of Resistance, and NYC’s M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, a self-identified immigrant band that combines traditional Colombian percussion, psych-rock licks, Caribbean grooves and funky synthesizers into a diverse concoction. Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens (347-915-5615, 3pm; $15–$18.

Rock of July: Stuyedeyed + Combo Chimbita + Holly Overton with Midnight People + The Mad Doctors + Flower Girl + Def.GRLS + Shining Mirrors
This Brooklyn DIY venue invites you to "exercise the your rights as delineated in the 420th amendment and blaze under the glorious American sun" at its afternoon rock & roll party. Partake in the music of local rockers Stuydeyed, funky Afro-Colombian group Combo Chimbita and more, as well as cornhole, dancing and a hot dog eating contest. Sunnyvale, 1031 Grand St, Brooklyn ( 2pm; $10.


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