Janelle Monáe

Music , Funk, soul and disco Central Park, SummerStage , Central Park Thursday September 29 2016
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Janelle Monáe
Photograph: Baptiste Monáe
Janelle Monáe

Chalk up the meteoric ascent of Kansas City, KS, spitfire Janelle Monáe to the tenacity and focus of the supremely ambitious and genuinely driven. The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe's 2013 sophomore LP, continued the loosely knit saga of Cindi Mayweather, an android cast in messianic terms. It was grandiose science fiction, sure; still, you couldn't miss tense undercurrents of isolation, discrimination and persecution. Following in the African-American escapist footsteps of Sun Ra and George Clinton, Monáe couched messages of deliverance in trappings so fantastical that they disarmed opposition—but what you noticed most, hearing her go toe-to-toe with Prince, Miguel, Erykah Badu and Solange on The Electric Lady, is how easy she made it all seem. Here, the mothership touches down in Central Park for the SummerStage series with a gratis gig.

Venue name: Central Park, SummerStage
Address: at Rumsey Playfield
New York
Cross street: enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
Transport: Subway: 6 to 68th St–Hunter College
Price: free

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