Norah — and more! The ‘Celebrate Brooklyn’ sked is out

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Your summer is set — the schedule for Celebrate Brooklyn is here.

The annual festival of free music, film and dance at the Prospect Park bandshell kicks off on June 9 with a show by Grammy Award-winner Norah Jones.

The Cobble Hill resident has a tough act to follow; last year’s opener with David Bryne drew roughly 27,000 people — the largest audience in the history of the outdoor series.

“That was unprecedented and absolutely fantastic on every level,” said Jack Walsh, festival producer and the director of performing arts programs for BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, the outstanding arts group with the badly typeset name that runs Celebrate Brooklyn.

“How do you top that? We’ve thought about that, and the thing is not to try. Norah Jones’s opening for us this season is going to be a different show. She has great new material, as well as some old hits.”

Walsh tried to get Jones to play the festival before she made it big with 2002’s “Come Away with Me,” without any luck. When he approached her about doing a free show as a gift to the community that she lives in, “She immediately said yes,” said Walsh.

Other highlights of the three-month festival come from other big names like Sonic Youth (July 31), lesser-known acts such as Meta & the Cornerstones (July 17), a Brooklyn-based reggae group, and rising Brooklyn soul stars Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Aug. 7).

As in previous years, the festival will also feature film screenings paired with live music, including the classic horror film “House of Usher” (Aug. 6), which is getting a new score from Prospect Heights-based indie jazz pianist Marco Benevento. The eclectic mix will also featurecomedy from the always irreverent Eugene Mirman (June 17) and dance from choreographer Zvi Gotheiner (July 1).

“We really try to create a mix that has something for everyone,” said Walsh. “This is the granddaddy of this type of thing. It’s what’s great about living in Brooklyn in the summer.”

And, of course, Celebrate Brooklyn needs to pay some bills, so there are four ticketed concerts throughout the summer, including Passion Pit (June 29 — sold out), Rufus Wainwright (July 20), The National and Beach House (July 27 — sold out), and The Dead Weather (Aug. 3).

Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park bandshell [Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (718) 855-7882]. For info, visit

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Reader Feedback

Pooter from Brooklyn Heights says:
OMG - Norah Summers! I love you! I love the nightlife - on a disco niiiiiggghhht! oh yeah.

Bring us back with your funky beats of the 70s!
May 5, 2010, 9:58 am

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