Grace Jones’s performance at the Blue Note Jazz Festival will be a highlight of summer 2023.
The musical trailblazer and fashion icon hasn’t graced an NYC stage since 2019 when she played Pride Island (and before that in 2015 when she performed at the AFROPUNK Festival). But on May 31, she’ll be on stage at Hammerstein Ballroom to kick off the monthlong music series.
Jones will be followed by legends and trendsetters Pat Metheny, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge,) Robert Glasper, BJ The Chicago Kid and Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, and blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy across NYC venues including the Beacon Theatre, Sony Hall, Town Hall, SummerStage in Central Park, Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell and the Blue Note Jazz Club.
The festival will run from May 31 to June 27, offering New Yorkers a chance to catch several performances at some of the best venues in the city.
Below is the full Blue Note Jazz Festival lineup:
- Grace Jones: Hammerstein Ballroom on May 31
- Ghost-Note: Blue Note on June 1-4
- Mashina: Beacon Theatre on June 1
- Ms. Lisa Fischer: Sony Hall on June 2
- Avery Sunshine: Sony Hall on June 3
- Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers + John Scofield, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride: Town Hall on June 3
- Harlem Blues Project: Blue Note Brunch on June 4
- Talib Kweli and The Whiskey Boys: Blue Note on June 5-7
- Lettuce & Friends: Blue Note on June 8-11
- Manhattan Transfer: Sony Hall on June 9
- Cortex: Sony Hall on June 10
- Chucho Valdés & Paquito D’Rivera: Town Hall on June 10
- Harlem Gospel Choir: Blue Note Brunch on June 11, 18 and 25
- Talib Kweli and The Whiskey Boys—Blue Note on June 12-14
- Soulive: Blue Note on June 15-18
- Buddy Guy: SummerStage on June 18
- TAUK: Blue Note on June 19
- The Motet: Blue Note on June 20-21
- Meshell Ndegeocello: Sony Hall on June 21
- Ron Carter: Blue Note on June 22-25 and 27
- Omara Portuondo: Sony Hall on June 22
- Sergio Mendes: Sony Hall on June 23
- Pat Metheny Side-Eye: Beacon Theatre on June 24
- NxWorries, Robert Glasper with Lalah Hathaway & Bilal, BJ The Chicago Kid—Celebrate Brooklyn on June 24
- Julius Rodriquez: Blue Note on June 26
Jones, who hails from Jamaica and Syracuse, New York, is known for her androgynous style and incredible cheekbones, yes, but her eclectic music (said to draw on post-punk, pop and reggae) has played in clubs and concert venues since 1980. To see her in concert would be a big deal.
The Blue Note Jazz Festival started in 2011 and has become the largest jazz festival in NYC, even expanding to Napa Valley in 2022 with a three-day, multi-stage event in July. Blue Note has been in operation in Greenwich Village since 1981 regularly showcasing up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk artists, including Chick Corea, McCoy Tyler, Joe Lovano, John Scofield and Chris Botti.
“The Blue Note Jazz Festival is celebrating the pulse and culture of New York City, and there is no better way to do that than by experiencing iconic artists throughout iconic venues this summer,” Blue Note Director of Programming Alex Kurland said. “We’re proud to spotlight multi-generational, legendary artists who have had an extraordinary impact and influence on music and culture.”
Tickets to the Blue Note Jazz Festival can be purchased at bluenotejazz.com.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.