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BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
Photograph: Courtesy David Andrako BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

The best acts at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival 2016

The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival might be half-over, but there’s still plenty of great shows yet to come

By Ro S and Andrew Frisicano
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The summer’s halfway done, but there's still tons of great artists to catch at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park’s scenic tree-lined amphitheater: indie-rock bands, classic jazz legends and some of the best hip-hop artists around. If you haven’t made it out to the Prospect Park Bandshell yet—or if you’re making your umpteenth return—here are the best upcoming acts not to miss.

RECOMMENDED: Complete guide to Celebrate Brooklyn!

Best upcoming Celebrate Brooklyn! shows

Jon Batiste
Photograph: Courtesy Peter Lueders

Jon Batiste and Stay Human

Music Jazz

Louisiana pianist-singer Jon Batiste has an extensive resume: a master's degree from Julliard, he's served as artistic director at Harlem's National Jazz Museum and even acted in HBO's Emmy-nominated Treme. Add to that list, "Late Night" stardom, as he recently started a new role as the bandleader for Late Night With Stephen Colbert. Here, he leads his band Stay Human through their catchy, easygoing blend of NOLA jazz, modern funk and retro soul. Free.

Femi Kuti
Photograph: Julien Mignot

Femi Kuti + Bombino

Music Latin and world

Son of the late, great Fela, Afrobeat standard-bearer Femi Kuti rode the world-music wave that swept our shores in the early part of the aughts, collaborating with neosoul singers and Native Tongues rappers. Expect a dancetastic celebration at this Prospect Park show. Free.

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case/lang/veirs
Photograph: Courtesy Jason Quigley

Case/Lang/Veirs + Andy Shauf

Music Rock and indie

This supergroup features three phenomenal voices: avant-rock icon Neko Case, musical nomad k.d. lang and indie folk star Laura Veirs. Fans of each will find something to enjoy here, though Case's powerful vocals often carry the Americana-soaked songs. $44–$110.

Gregory Porter
Photograph: Shawn Peters

Gregory Porter + Marcus Strickland & Twi-Life

Music Jazz

California soul-jazz singer Gregory Porter always promises a toe-tapping, finger-snapping good time. Here he's joined by tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, a widely admired interpreter of old-school postbop who serves up hip-hop-infused funk with his hard-hitting crew Twi-Life. Free.

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Digable Planets + Camp Lo

Music Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Considered a one-hit wonder by some, thanks to its briefly inescapable 1992 jazz-rap smash, “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” this trio’s commercially underperforming 1994 follow-up, Blowout Comb,has belatedly but deservedly become part of the canon of rap’s golden age. Free.

Beirut
Photograph: Courtesy the artist

Beirut + Fabiano do Nascimento

Music Rock and indie

Beirut band chief Zach Condon, a multitasker who performs vocals, trumpet and ukulele, mines sounds from foreign lands, giving color to his Morrissey-like vocals and Magnetic Fields–like songs. Expect to hear early-album classics ("Postcards from Italy," "Elephant Gun") and new tunes from the outfit's latest, 2015's No No No$39.50.

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The Lumineers
Photograph: Michael J. Chen

The Lumineers

Music Folk, country and blues

The Denver-based Lumineers hit the road behind a second album, Cleopatra, of Mumfordesque, rootsy indie folk. On it, the band harmonizes through destiny-driven stilted chants, with Neyla Pekarek’s melancholy cello weeping alongside Wesley Schultz’s lovelorn lyrics. In its songs and trajectory, the young trio has melded assurance and catchiness to surge, ever so swiftly, to the top. $39.50.

Morgan Heritage
Photograph: Courtesy BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Morgan Heritage

Music Reggae and dancehall

Seasoned, silky Jamaican reggae crew Morgan Heritage slides onto the Celebrate Brooklyn stage behind its latest LP, Strictly Roots, an album that features Stephen Marley's son Jo Mersa Marley—that's right, the Marley grandsons are stepping up to the reggae throne. Feel old yet? Free.

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Donny McCaslin
Photograph: Nick Chao

Labryrinth / Donny McCaslin Group

Music Jazz

For more than two decades, protean saxist and composer Donny McCaslin has relentlessly expanded his musical purview in a variety of ensemble settings: as a sideman, as the pilot of his own diverse groups and, more recently, as a collaborator on the late Bowie's final album, Blackstar. That newfound investment in genres outside of jazz is visible on the tenorist’s 2015 album, Fast Future, as well, which draws from electronica composers like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Venetian Snares. Here, McCaslin and the bandmembers on that disc—pianist Jason Lindner, drummer Mark Guiliana and bassist Tim Lefebvre—perform with a screening of the film Labyrinth. Free.

Herbie Hancock
Photograph: Courtesy Douglas Kirkland

Herbie Hancock + The Robert Glasper Experiment + BADBADNOTGOOD

Music Jazz

Few jazz pianists have had as wide an impact on American popular culture as Herbie Hancock. He scored hits with songs such as "Watermelon Man" and "Chameleon" in the ’70s, blew up MTV with "Rockit" in the ’80s, and provided fodder for hip-hop heads to bite into with "Cantaloupe Island" and "Maiden Voyage"—and that's not even taking into account his epochal playing with Miles Davis. He's joined by two jazz–hip-hop crossover stars: Glasper, whose playing was recently featured on Kendrick Lamar's gritty masterpiece, To Pimp A Butterfly, and young Toronto electrojazzers BADBADNOTGOOD, known for their groove-based collabs with cutting-edge hip-hop stars. $49.50–$97.50.

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Dr. Dog
Photograph: Courtesy Gene Smirnov Photography LLC

Dr. Dog + The Knights

Music Rock and indie

Oddball Philly psych-pop faves Dr. Dog recently came out with their ninth studio album, The Psychedelic Swamp, a typically jangly collection of earnest and upbeat songs that will seamlessly carry over to the group's joyful live shows. Free.

Check to see who played at BRIC 2016

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