Prospect Park Bandshell | Prospect Park | Park Slope
The rousing Brooklyn-based band Lake Street Dive will open the 39th annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, with a free concert, preceded by a gala honoring Brooklyn business empire owner Chris Sheehan on June 7 at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
BRIC has hosted an incredibly diverse array of musicians to open its beloved summer festival – including in recent years the electrifying Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings in one of her final concerts, “Queen of Funk” Chaka Khan, cultural luminary David Byrne, reggae icon Jimmy Cliff and pop sensation Janelle Monáe – and this year’s season opener sets the stage for another outstanding summer. Lake Street Dive are a fascinating blend of complex influences including jazz, soul, pop and rock; mixed with an alternative D.I.Y. sensibility and garage aesthetics.
Prior to the free concert, BRIC will host the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival Opening Night Gala, proudly honoring beer industry trailblazer Chris Sheehan of Union Beer Distributors and the Sheehan Family Companies. Chris passionately leads a proud family business spanning four generations which distributes over 500 beer brands through 19 distributorships in 13 states. Through Chris’s advocacy, Union Beer and Anheuser-Busch have been longtime sponsors of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival for 19 years. His commitment to giving back to the communities in which he does business is an inspiration. This year’s gala will feature a tribute to Chris and a delectable dinner with craft beer pairings throughout.
Gala tickets, starting at $500, can be purchased online at www.BRICartsmedia.org/cb. The proceeds provide vital funds that help keep BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival programming free and accessible to everyone. Following the concert, gala guests and Friends of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival (i.e., members) are invited to the Opening Night After-Party featuring a celebrity guest DJ to be announced.
Known for their exhilarating live performances, Lake Street Dive is comprised of singer Rachael Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney and trumpet-playing guitarist Mike "McDuck" Olson, who first met and formed at Boston's New England Conservatory. The initial idea was to be a kind of free jazz country band, playing country songs in an avant-garde style, but the group's natural pop instincts kicked in, and the sound the band came up with was a bright, fresh, charming, and exploratory version of jazzy pop/rock, full of hooks and plenty of R&B and soul flavors, with a big dose of the Beatles and British Invasion bands. The versatility involved in their music means Lake Street Dive are equally at home on an acoustic stage, at a summer festival, in a rock bar or in a jazz club. The band independently released In This Episode… in 2007 and Promises, Promises in 2008 before hooking up with Signature Records, who issued their self-titled effort in 2011. The EP Fun Machine followed in 2012 and featured five covers (such as Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl") along with one original song. The album Bad Self Portraits appeared in 2014 with its "selfie"-referencing title track, which was also released as a single. In 2016, Lake Street Dive released their fifth full-length album, the Dave Cobb-produced, Side Pony, on Nonesuch Records.
Since then, the band has been a tour de force, hitting some major career milestones. They were invited to play at the White House, sold out 42 shows in 2016 throughout the United States and were musical guests on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Today Show.” Lake Street Dive was featured on Chris Thile’s hosting debut of “A Prairie Home Companion,” among many other high points that include sold-out shows at the iconic venues like the Wang Theatre in Boston and Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, The New York Times writes, “Brooklyn’s best festival only grows stronger over the years.” Since it began in 1979 as a catalyst for a burgeoning Brooklyn performing arts scene, and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, the Festival was an early anchor in Brooklyn’s renaissance and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions. Winner of the Village Voice Readers’ Poll and Critics’ Picks for “Best Free Concert Series,” BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is New York City’s longest-running summer outdoor performance festival. Over its 38-year history, the Festival has presented more than 2,000 artists, drawing a diverse audience upwards of 200,000 each season. Gothamist named the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival #1 on their list of “100 Reasons Why Brooklyn Lives up to the Hype.” Billboard writes, “In the crowded summer festival season, Celebrate Brooklyn! stands apart... As Brooklyn’s cachet as a center of musical culture has grown, the reputation of Celebrate Brooklyn! has risen in turn.”
About BRIC and the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. The organization presents and incubates work by artists and media-makers that reflects the diversity of New York. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.
BRIC’s main venue, BRIC Arts | Media House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces.
Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, several path-breaking public access media initiatives, including BRIC TV, and a renowned contemporary art exhibition series. BRIC also offers education and other vital programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.
In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables BRIC to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is BRIC’s flagship performing arts program.
About Union Beer Distributors and the Sheehan Family Companies
Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Union Beer services New York City and Long Island with an extensive portfolio of craft and specialty brands, as well as the Anheuser-Busch portfolio in the borough of Brooklyn. Union Beer is committed to providing the highest level of service through industry-educated sales reps and to providing their customers with the most coveted brands available in New York City. Union Beer is the sole source for some of the best beers in the area. With a 118-year history, the Sheehan Family Companies is a proud family business spanning four generations which distributes over 500 beer brands through 19 distributorships in 13 states.