Among our picks for this weekend’s best eating, drinking, and merrymaking events are opera outdoors, a blues and BBQ festival, and a celebration of jazz great Charlie Parker, some of them free, all of them fun. Read on for details. By Jessica Allen.
2014 Summer HD Festival
Enjoy your opera with a big old dose of starry sky at the Metropolitan Opera’s annual Summer HD Festival. Huge screens will be set up in Lincoln Center Plaza, broadcasting performances from the Met Live in HD simulcast series and giving you the chance to get close to your favorite divas. This year’s festival kicks off with a screening of Moonstruck. Arrive super early to snag a seat. Friday, August 22, through Monday, September 1, performances begin at 8 pm, free.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Celebrate the late, great Charlie Parker at the annual jazz festival named in his honor, part of SummerStage, the city’s largest free performing arts festival which seeks to “enrich the lives of New Yorkers.” Among the scheduled performers are vocalists, pianists, and maestros of the horn, including Kris Bowers, Kenny Baron, the Wallace Roney Orchestra, Melissa Aldana, and Lionel Loueke. Friday, August 22, through Wednesday, August 27, see schedule for details, free.
Arthur Ashe Day
The US Open begins on Monday, August 25. Get that party started by taking the young folks in your life to Arthur Ashe Day — the self-proclaimed “largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world.” At this celebration of both the tennis deity and the sport, you can watch pros practice, learn to juggle, get your hair braided or your face painted, perfect your serve at a tennis clinic, and listen to live music. (Note: some of the activities cost money and require tickets.) Saturday, August 23, 9 am to 5 pm, free.
The AFROPUNK Festival celebrates its tenth year with two days of music and art across four stages in Brooklyn. This festival sees itself as “synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming and unconventional, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.” Scheduled performers include Trash Talk, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lianne La Havas, and D’Angelo. Saturday, August 23, and Sunday, August 24, 12 to 9 pm, $40 for guaranteed admission fast pass, tickets required.
Blues BBQ Festival
Now in its 15th year, the Blues BBQ Festival pairs some of the best roots and blues performers in the scene today, including Samantha Fish, the Slide Brothers, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation, with grub from three of New York’s best barbecue restaurants: Dinosaur Bar B-Que, Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue, and Delaney Barbecue. It’s a feast of food and tunes, of happy crowds and lovely views. Saturday, August 23, 2 to 9 pm, free, rain or shine.