By Victoria Merlino
SummerStage is back for another year, and the free, outdoor performing arts festival promises to bring some serious heat to Queens.
Top acts include the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series, which will perform at Socrates Sculpture Park; Prince protege Sheila E. with R&B crooner Musiq Soulchild at the Only In Queens Festival; and singer and songwriter Avery*Sunshine at Queensbridge Park.
A total of nine acts will perform across a variety of parks in the borough over the summer.
For classical music fans, the Queens Symphony Orchestra will continue its highly successful free summer concert series for a fifth year. The orchestra will be playing the select nights below:
Monday, May 6 - 7:30 p.m. (Patriotic)
Rockaway Artist Alliance Gallery T-7, Fort Tilden
Monday, May 20 - 7:30 p.m. (Baroque Bass)
All Saints Episcopal Church
85-45 96th Street, Woodhaven
Monday, June 10 - 7:00 p.m. (A Festival of Winds)
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
101-41 91st Street, Ozone Park
Wednesday, June 26 - 7:00 p.m. (Opera)
Russo's On The Bay
162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, NY 11414
The classical concerts are funded by Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “When I fund these concerts, I want to make sure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to see them. Many people cannot afford to attend shows like these, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra concert series gives them the opportunity to experience high-quality music at no cost,” he said in a statement. To RSVP, as space is limited, call Ulrich’s office at (718) 738-1083.
In addition to these performances, SummerStage will recognize the 40th anniversary of the Queens-based, women-run reggae label VP Records at its main stage in Central Park, with the label alumni Elephant Man, Junior Reid, Grammy-winning “American Boy” singer Estelle and Grammy-nominated band Raging Fyah all coming out to perform. VP Records was founded by Vincent and Patricia Chin in Jamaica, Queens, and has come to be known for its notable influence on the reggae and dancehall scenes.
For the full schedule for SummerStage, visit cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage.