Special to the Eagle
SummerStage has a handful of incredible shows coming up in Queens this month at Springfield and Queensbridge parks.
Before he became the “Calypso King of the World” or even the Mighty Sparrow, Slinger Francisco was first dubbed “Little Sparrow” on account of his wildly energetic performance on stage. Ever since his first hits “Jean and Dinah” (1956) and “Carnival Boycott” (1957), the Grenada-born Trinidadian calypso vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist has balanced both romance and politics, carrying the torch for Trinidadian Calypso for more than 60 years. He has been recognized by songwriters including Bob Dylan and Van Dyke Parks for his genius as a political and romantic wordsmith.
“Uncle” Ralph McDaniels is a hip-hop mainstay with more than 400 credits as a music video director to his name (Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell”, Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.”, and Black Moon’s “Who Got The Props”, among others), but he’s likely best known as the longtime host of Video Music Box. McDaniels created the long-running music video program in 1983, and for the past three decades he’s documented New York’s hip-hop scene with the wisdom and reverence of a hip-hop lifer who’s seen it all.
Tabou Combo was founded in Petion-Ville by the Chancy brothers in late-1960s Haiti, but the self-proclaimed “ambassadors of konpa” have taken their style of Haitian dance music around the world since their move to Brooklyn in 1971. The orchestra, whom are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, borrows the repetition and breaks of Afro-American gospel, while incorporating African soukous and American funk with French colonial kontradans and quadrilles.
Aterciopelados (“the velvety ones”) is one of Colombia’s first rock bands. Their music fuses rock with a variety of Colombian and Latin American musical traditions.They are joined by newcomers the bluesy Bogotá-based rock band Diamante Eléctrico, who hold a pair of Latin Grammys for Best Rock Album and the honor of opening the Rolling Stones’ first-ever show in Colombia. Dayansita will be spinning music all evening.
A celebration of Argentinian music in collaboration with Cosquin Rock festival, the Latin Alternative Music Conference brings a mix of the classic and the contemporary to Queensbridge. The socially conscious singer Leon Geico is one of Argentina’s most famous folk rock musicians, sometimes called the “Bob Dylan of Argentina,” he sojourned to the states in the late 70s under intense pressure from a government that tired of his criticism.
Former church pianist and musical director is an immense vocal talent, showcasing her soulful, jazzy songs of praise and worship. Denise Nicole White, better known by her stage name Avery*Sunshine, has brought audiences together for years through her optimistic anthems and stellar stage performances.