Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY 2016 Lineup

Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY returns with ANOHNI, Spike Lee, Eddie Palmieri and more.
Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY
Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY © Lauren Gesswein/Red Bull Content Pool
By Richard S. Chang

When Red Bull Music Academy brings its month-long festival back to New York City from April 29-May 22, a few bold face names will quickly get a lot of attention:

Director Spike Lee will engage in a conversation with journalist Nelson George on the iconic musical moments in his films; ANOHNI will bring her anticipated new album, "Hopelessness," to life for the first time in two spectacular shows at the Park Avenue Armony; Kamasi Washington, the virtuoso sax player, will perform with Pharoah Sanders and the Sun Ra Arkestra; Eddie Palmieri, the Latin soul pianist and bandleader, will revisit his classic album "Harlem River Drive;" and a trio of Atlanta’s celebrated hip-hop producers — 22-year-old Metro Boomin, 25-year-old Sonny Digital and Zaytoven — the elder statesman at age 36, will participate in Beatmakers Roundtable.

But the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York — now in its fourth year — brings more than just cutting edge music and artists to the city. Among its missions, the festival mines the diversity and heritage of New York’s musical and cultural landscape and reveals how those deep-running influences are continuously revisited and reinvented by contemporary musicians and artists in an endless morphing cycle and conversation.

Kamasi Washington at Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY
Kamasi Washington © Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool

Epitomizing that focus: the staging of three symphonies by the avant-garde composer Glenn Branca. In the early 1980s, Branca began writing booming compositions for an orchestra of guitars. Early performers included Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and Page Hamilton of Helmet, among others who would later go on to wider fame.

For Branca’s May 16 performance at Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY, he will be joined by an all-star ensemble of guitarists, old and young, at the Masonic Temple of Manhattan. It will be loud — and because of the logistics involved in bringing together such an acclaimed field of musicians in a suitable arena, the performance will be a truly rare opportunity to hear these pieces in concert.

Eddie Palmieri in Red Bull Studios NY
Eddie Palmieri in Red Bull Studios NY © Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool

Exploring the opposite end of the musical spectrum from Branca, two events in Brooklyn will revel in electronics. On May 7, the Bunker, the influential electronic music force, will collaborate with Dekmantel, the Amsterdam-based promoter, on a party at the Good Room. And May 14, Technopolis will put the focus on several exciting new artists coming out of Brooklyn. Untethered to Berlin or Detroit techno, these artists, such as Umfang, Volvox, Max McFerren, DUST and others, are busting through a new style of music that blends the past with future-forward vision.

Curated dance parties have also been a focus each year at the festival. This year, there will be two big ones. The first will be dedicated to freestyle, a sound that dominated airwaves in the 1980s, and will feature club legends Louie Vega and Jellybean Benitez with special guest vocalists. And the festival will close May 22 with a block party dedicated to the music of gospel house, exploring the deep connection between transcendent music and transportive messages. The entire calendar of events is listed below. 

Tickets go on sale March 24 at nyc.redbullmusicacademy.com.

Sonny Digital, Zaytoven and Metro Boomin
Sonny Digital, Zaytoven and Metro Boomin © Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY 2016 Lineup

April 29: KIKI - A Film by Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon (NYC premiere) with LSS performance and music by Qween Beat @ El Museo del Barrio

April 30: Beatmaker Roundtable: Trapped with Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and Zaytoven @ Red Bull Studios New York

April 30: Trapped: Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and Zaytoven take their productions to the club.

May 2: A Conversation with Spike Lee: the director talks to Nelson George about iconic musical moments in his films @ SVA Theatre

May 4: Experiments in Art and Technology Salon: Bell Labs engineers get together with NYC artists to capture the spirit of the fabled E.A.T. Salons of the '60s @ Red Bull Studios New York

May 6: Dizzee Rascal: "Boy in Da Corner" Live, the genre-defining grime album get performed in its entirety

May 7: The Bunker x Dekmantel with Juju & Jordash, Joey Anderson, Palms Trax, Antenes, Clay Wilson, Bryan Kasenic, and Dekmantel Soundsystem @ Good Room

Dizzee Rascal
Dizzee Rascal © Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool

May 8: Kamasi Washington, Pharoah Sanders & The Sun Ra Arkestra

May 10 & 12: Diamanda Galás @ 258 West 118th Street, Harlem

May 12–15: Mark Pritchard x Jonathan Zawada: The Album Under The Sun @ Red Bull Studios New York

May 13: Freestyle!!! with Jellybean Benitez, Louie Vega, and very special guests

May 14: Brooklyn Flea Record Fair @ Smorgasburg

May 14: Technopolis with Galcher Lustwerk, Anthony Naples, DUST, Aurora Halal, Ital, Via App, Umfang, Volvox, Max McFerren, Bookworms

May 16: Glenn Branca's Symphonies @ Masonic Hall NYC

May 18 & 19: RBMA & Park Avenue Armory Present ANOHNI: HOPELESSNESS @ Park Avenue Armory

May 20: RBMA & New Museum Present NON: Legacy Systems with Chino Amobi, Nkisi, Angel-Ho @ New Museum

May 20: Inter-Zone: NON vs N.A.A.F.I with N.A.A.F.I, Elysia Crampton, Rabit, Gaika, Scraaatch

May 21: Eddie Palmieri’s "Harlem River Drive" Revisited

May 22: Last Night a DJ Saved My Soul with Floorplan, DJ Pierre, Ann Nesby of Sounds of Blackness, Joubert Singers, Terrence Parker, Kenny Bobien, Slow To Speak, Budgie and more. UPDATE: Output, 74 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn.

Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York 2016 program
Red Bull Music Academy Festival NY 2016 program
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