We are thrilled to share the 2023 lineup for Bryant Park’s summer performing arts series, Bryant Park Picnic Performances, which is presented by Bank of America. All shows are free to the public (no tickets required). There will be more than five hundred picnic blankets to borrow and ample chairs available. Last summer more than 75,000 people attended the series (us included!), and nearly half a million watched the free performance livestreams. Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. There will also be a rotating line-up of local artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair.
Bryant Park Picnic Performances:
- June 01 – New York City Opera: La Bohème – 7pm
- New York City Opera opens the 2023 season of Picnic Performances with a star-studded La Bohème. Puccini’s unmatched gift for melody adds remarkable poignancy to the simple joys and heartbreaking sorrows of a group of young Parisians in this universally popular classic. Conducted by Maestro Joseph Rescigno and accompanied by members of the New York City Opera Orchestra, this world-class production, offered free of charge in Bryant Park, is not to be missed.
- June 02 – Jazzmobile: Steve Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra- 7pm
- Band leader and principal arranger, trumpeter Steve Oquendo honors the legacy of his predecessors with a swinging vitality in every set. He has performed on stage and in the studio alongside Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, and Eddie Palmieri, and his 19-piece ensemble evolves sounds and patterns from classic Palladium-era Afro-Cuban, salsa, and mambo repertoire. Teeming with spontaneity, this four-night event celebrates two master figures who transformed American music, legendary artists Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, spotlighting the impact of Puerto Rican influence and providing a sonic portal between past and present.
- June 08 – Contemporary Dance: Robin Dunn with Buddha Stretch and Mr. Wiggles with Additional Artists TBA – 7pm
- Dance artists celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary on the Bryant Park stage
- June 09 – Contemporary Dance: Contemporary Dance with Dance Heginbotham and more TBA – 7pm
- June 15 – Contemporary Dance: Terk Lewis + Kayla Farrish- 7pm
- Two rising stars in contemporary dance
- June 16 – Contemporary Dance: Soles of Duende + Josh Johnson – 7pm
- A night featuring two of New York’s extraordinary percussive dance artists, Soles of Duende and Josh Johnson
- June 23 – Emerging Music Festival: THUS LOVE, Psymon Spine, Katy Kirby – 7pm
- Bound by circumstance, identity, and creative spirit, three trans multi-instrumentalists founded THUS LOVE in 2018 in Brattleboro, Vermont. But the shared experience of Echo Marshall (she/her), Lu Racine (he/they), and Nathaniel van Osdol (they/them) runs much deeper, tracing its roots to poor, rural towns where it was difficult to find communities to call their own. That feeling of loss and solitary longing has also, paradoxically, cemented their powerfully close connection in THUS LOVE. The band lived together in a one-bedroom apartment above downtown Brattleboro during the entire recording process of their debut album, Memorial, with Marshall cordoning off a room to build a studio from scratch. Musically, THUS LOVE combines their love of post-punk with a loose, eclectic experimental streak that owes as much to van Osdol’s jazz collection as it does to Marshall’s classical training as a cellist. The band is unafraid to tackle weighty themes with startling intimacy and vulnerability — and with a goal of amplifying the voices of those who continue to struggle. Says Marshall: “What I hope we’re able to accomplish with THUS LOVE is to redirect opportunities to those who haven’t had them and to create communities in the kinds of places where we grew
- up. We want them to know they’re not alone.”
- June 24 – Emerging Music Festival: Ky Vöss, Seramic, Miss Grit, Dead T00th – 5pm
- Ky Vöss is an NYC-based American producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. By use of stark contrasting lyrics, striking visuals, and synthesized melodies Vöss walks the line between otherworldly and deeply human in a playful concoction of carbonated synth-pop and nostalgic soundscapes.
- June 30 – Jalopy Theatre: Michael Daves Quartet ft. Tony Trischka, Yacouba Sissoko, Terrell King – 7pm
- Heralded as “a leading light of the New York bluegrass scene” by The New York Times, Georgia-born guitarist/singer Michael Daves has garnered attention for his work with Tony Trischka, Steve Martin, and Chris Thile, with whom he shares a Grammy nomination for their 2011 album Sleep With One Eye Open. Daves’ unruly interpretations of American roots music standards have won him a place of almost fanatical admiration as a “renegade traditionalist.” His most recent project is the double album Orchids and Violence, which renders identical track lists in contrasting bluegrass and experimental electric styles. Tony Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument. He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy award, at both the 40th and 50th annual Grammy ceremonies. He won three awards at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association gathering, including Recorded Event of the Year and Banjo Player of the Year. The quartet will be rounded out with mandolin phenom Jacob Jolliff (Bela Fleck, Yonder Mountain String Band) and bassist Erik Alvar.
- July 07 – Carnegie Hall Citywide: Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra – 7pm
- July 14 – Carnegie Hall Citywide: Tessa Lark + Michael Thurber – 7pm
- July 21 – Carnegie Hall Citywide: Magos Herrera featuring The Knights – 7pm
- July 28 – Carnegie Hall Citywide: Champe-Soukous Collective – 7pm
- August 03 – Ailey Moves NYC: Ailey II – 7pm
- August 04 – Carnegie Hall Citywide: Ndlovu Youth Choir – 7pm
- August 11 – Joe’s Pub: Shaina Taub – 7PM
- Renowned performer and songwriter Shaina Taub leads a special night of music.
- August 18 – New York City Opera: The Barber of Seville – 7pm
- New York City Opera’s Bryant Park summer series continues with a family favorite The Barber of Seville. Gioachino Rossini’s sparkling music animates the hijinks of Figaro, opera’s most famous barber. This crowd-pleasing production is fully staged and will feature members of the New York City Opera Orchestra.
- August 19 – New York City Opera: Alessandro Lora in Concert – 7pm
- Tenor Alessandro Lora joins the New York City Opera Orchestra for a special concert of Italian favorites in Bryant Park on August 19, free and open to the public. Conducted by Maestro Diego Basso.
- August 25 – Accordions Around the World: Diana Burco, Suistamon Sähkö, Ragini Ensemble – 7pm
- August 26 – Roulette Intermedium: 75 Dollar Bill, Ka Baird, Additional Artist TBA – 7pm
- September 01 – Classical Theatre of Harlem: Langston in Harlem – 7pm
- September 07 – American Symphony Orchestra: American Expressions – 7pm
- September 08 – New York City Opera: Romeo and Juliet – 7pm
- City Opera’s 2023 Bryant Park series concludes with Romeo and Juliet. Gounod’s perennial favorite opera brings Shakespeare’s play to life through some of the most beautiful music in the French repertoire. Accompanied by members of the City Opera Orchestra, Ekaterina Siurina and tenor Won Whi Choi will star along with City Opera Music Director Maestro Constantine Orbelian at the helm.
- September 09 – Drom: Gaye Su Akyol (U.S. Debut) – 7pm
- September 14 – Harlem Stage: 40th Anniversary Celebration – 7pm
“Bryant Park Picnic Performances is an uncommonly collaborative project that is meant to showcase the best of the arts in New York City,” says Dan Fishman, Vice President of Public Events at Bryant Park Corporation. “I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate New York than to provide a platform in partnership with the many cultural institutions – large and small – that make this city great.”
Bryant Park Corporation’s President Dan Biederman says, “Thanks to Bank of America’s support, Picnic Performances has become an established venue for major cultural events. There is no easier way to experience NYC’s extraordinary music, theater, and dance: just come to Bryant Park, grab a free blanket or chair, and enjoy.”
“Bryant Park Picnic Performances are a staple of the New York City summer and cultural scenes,” says José Tavarez, the President of Bank of America New York City. “We believe that the arts are a unifying force that promote cultural understanding, and are proud to continue our support of one of the most iconic green spaces in the city.”
“We are delighted to return as a part of Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America for the 7th consecutive season,” says Michael Capasso, the General Director of New York City Opera. “Our increasingly elaborate productions have drawn thousands of New Yorkers and tourists for free. It is truly ‘The People’s Opera’.”
Alison + Delia