SummerStage This Week

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7:00PM
Tye Tribbett
Herbert Von King Park

Presented in Association with Globe Star Media and WLIB.

Although Tye Tribbett has toured and performed with some of the biggest artists in the secular world, including Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Elton John and Jill Scott, this Grammy nominated artist’s musical talents lie in the realm of Gospel music. Tribbett passionately spreads the goodness of God through his music. His musical ministry’s songs use the “buildups of rock power ballads, the slow strut of P-Funk and churchy, organ-driven call-and-response” to touch the hearts of many, according to The New York Times. With his solo debut at #1 on the Billboard Gospel chart, his album Fresh positions Tribbett to step forth boldly with a new message of renewal. According to the Washington Post, this “wondrous album” highlights Tribbett’s songwriting skills as he wrote or co-wrote each song, showcasing a variety of powerful music, including the first single “Fresh.” Tribbett’s previous chart-topping albums, Victory Live! and Stand Out! featured his former musical ensemble and gospel choir, Greater Anointing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7:00PM
Nice and Smooth / The Awesome 2
Herbert Von King Park

East coast hip-hop duo Greg Nice & Smooth B are famed for writing smart, tongue-in-cheek rhymes that ride bangin’ hooks.

Released in the late 1980’s and early to mid ‘90’s, Nice & Smooth’s albums, including Nice and Smooth and Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed, are acknowledged hip-hop essentials. Their biggest hit, ‘Sometimes I Rhyme Slow…’, is fondly remembered for its moderately somber rhyme with introspective lines about poverty, AIDS, and drugs that was set to the guitar loop of Tracy Chapman’s hit single, “Fast Car.” Known for their humorous rhymes and catchy hooks, they often appeared as guest emcees on albums by the Beatnuts, Gang Starr, and Tony Touch among many others.

Teddy Tedd and Special K, better known as the legendary DJ duo, The Awesome 2 are regarded as power players in hip-hop’s radio and DJ scene with shows on such famed stations such as 105.9 in NYC and on Sirius and AOL. Regulars on the international party scene for over twenty years, they have played all over the world, establishing themselves as hip-hop tastemakers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 7:00PM
Jon B / Olivia
Herbert Von King Park

Presented in Association with Globe Star Media and WBLS.

Jon B is an accomplished musician, noted songwriter and producer who combined 1970s soul with hip-hop influences in his debut album, Bonafide. A soulful album that highlighted his dulcet tenor, it earned him both critical and commercial success, especially with the Grammy-nominated song “Someone to Love” featuring Babyface. Jon B’s success continued with his platinum album Cool Relax, fueled by the success of “They Don’t Know,” which topped the R&B charts. In the album Stronger Everyday, Jon experimented with sounds and textures to accompany his vocals that gave his music a deeper, mature vibe. Hopeless Romantic, showcased his songwriting skills, featuring the single “Ooh So Sexy” with Paul Wall. In 2011, Jon B will release Comfortable Swagg, which celebrates Jon’s journey as a family man.

Olivia is not only a singer but also a composer, producer and arranger that was brought on by super-producer Dr. Dre and rap icon 50 Cent as the First Lady of G-Unit. Hits with G-Unit like “Candy Shop” and “Best Friend” brought her sultry voice to radio stations around the world. Since then Olivia has pursued numerous projects including finishing her newest album, Show The World which showcases her harmonious vocal and writing talents include collaborations with Missy Elliott, Neyo and many more.

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 7:00PM
“ISTANBULIVE III: Sounds of Civilizations” Zulfu Livaneli / maNga and special guests
Central Park – Mainstage

Presented by Serdar Ilhan & Mehmet Dede and supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism.

Nestled in the cradle of civilization where East meets West lies Istanbul, a Euro-Asian capital with a rich musical history. Istanbulive will celebrate its third year at SummerStage with the extraordinary virtuosity and diversity found in Turkish pop, folk and rock music today.

Acclaimed and multi-talented writer, politician, film director and musician Zülfü Livaneli has been a mainstay in Turkish culture for decades – in fact, he is celebrating 40 years in the arts in 2011. While his book “Bliss” has been published in the US and became a bestseller across the world, he is best known in the world of music for his fusion of Turkish traditional songs with contemporary stylings. Livaneli has composed hundred of songs, won numerous international accolades and performed with U2, Joan Baez, Haris Alexiou, Jocelyn B. Smith, George Dalaras, Zubin Mehta, Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Farantouri, among many others.

maNga’s fusion of Anatolian melodies, rock and hip-hop with electronic elements is internationally recognized as evidenced by their Best European Act award at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards. Additionally, their pan-European hit, “We Could Be the Same” came in second at the 2010 Eurovision Song contest. Named after the globally popular Japanese comic books, maNga strives to create a similarly universally accessible sound. Performing before Zülfü Livaneli, the SummerStage performance will mark maNga’s US debut.

For more information go to

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 8:00PM
“Indomitable: James Brown” featuring Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber / Brandon Victor Dixon
Herbert Von King Park

Indomitable: James Brown is a testament to the musical, political and entrepreneurial impact of James Brown’s indomitable spirit, creativity and business wiles on American culture from the 1950s to the present.

The format of the show, moving from hard hitting and precise musical homage to direct testimony to innovative remixes of his biggest hits, provides for a spectacular experience that is dramatically riveting, visually stunning, highly danceable and searing.

Burnt Sugar’s full complement of male and female vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers allows the show to deftly portray those aspects of Brown’s life and lifestyle that provoked his variations on the battle of the sexes.

Featuring Brandon Victor Dixon as James Brown, Dixon’s stellar possession of Brown as a performer and complex human being, will leave audiences in awe.

Director Patricia McGregor’s brilliant shaping of dramatic elements including music, dance, and video projection set against a back drop of critical historical moments creates a vibrant, fast-paced, deeply moving, and unforgettable concert event.

Burnt Sugar Freaks the James Brown Songbook (An Opera in Progress) was originally presented as part of the Apollo Theater Salon Series. The original music was commissioned as part of a national series of works from Meet the Composer/National Commissioning Network program.