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Must-see acts at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Patti LaBelle, Liz Phair and a Marvin Gaye tribute are among our highlighted events for the fest, which opens this week at the Prospect Park Bandshell. 

Patti LaBelle is set to kick off the

Patti LaBelle is set to kick off the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival concert series Tuesday. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Leon Bennett

A revamped BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival opens this week, returning to the Prospect Park bandshell for its 41st iteration. Featuring a new sound system for the stage and a fresh food and drink program (with restaurants like Sweet Chick and Oyster Party), what’s not changing is the event’s commitment to present a diverse lineup of sights and sounds from around the world, with most of the shows being free of charge, too. Any night in the park checking out a show is sure to be a good one, but we’ve selected some of our favorites from the schedule that highlight the scope of performers and experiences available at one of Brooklyn’s quintessential summer events.

Patti LaBelle

The music legend, who turned 75 last month, has received all the awards (including two Grammys, several lifetime achievement awards, and honorary degrees from Berklee College of Music and Temple University). She’s sold all the records (50 million and counting). And she’s still touring, more than 50 years into her career, as if she’s got something to prove.

Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Father John Misty 

The singer-songwriter behind last year’s acclaimed “God’s Favorite Customer” goes on stage last in a loaded three-act bill: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, which has won Americana Grammys for song and album from both of its most recent releases, is the co-headliner. Jade Bird, who landed her first chart-topping adult alternative single last year at the age of 20, kicks off the evening. 

June 19, 6:30 p.m., $65 

Tank and the Bangas 

The band started in 2011 after meeting in New Orleans, but its biggest honor to date might be its victory in the 2017 NPR “Tiny Desk” Contest, chosen out of thousands of entrants to play a show for the popular web series. The group’s 2019 album, “Green Balloon,” has kept public radio’s interest, with an NPR review saying, “this stuff is serious fun!” The Funk Apostles, led by Brooklyn native Cory Henry, opens the evening. 

June 20, 7:30 p.m.

Protoje

The prolific Jamaican reggae star (he’s released five albums and three mixtapes in nine years) wraps up his June American tour in Brooklyn, but he’ll also return to the city in August, opening for Rebelution at The Rooftop at Pier 17. His 2018 album “A Matter of Time” received a Grammy nomination for best reggae album. Arrive early for dub singer Jah9, who will be leading a “Yoga on Dub” class, as well. 

June 27, 7:30 p.m. 

Liz Phair

The indie rock hero performs as a part of the American Express Women in Music Series, 25 years after the release of the Grammy-nominated “Whip-Smart” and 26 years after her debut, “Exile in Guyville.” Her debut memoir, “Horror Stories,” is scheduled for a late 2019 release. Ted Leo and Caroline Rose open the evening. 

June 29, 7 p.m.

Mick Jenkins/Leikeli47 

The former is a Chicago emcee whose 2018 album, “Pieces of a Man,” received rave reviews. The latter is Brooklyn’s own, who also released a well-received album last year, including placement on several Best of 2019 lists. Los Angeles and Baltimore are represented on the bill as well, with Leven Kali and Joy Postell opening. 

July 5, 7:30 p.m. 

Ailey II

It’s been 45 years since the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater developed a second company to showcase its younger performers and next generation of choreographers. They’ll return to a New York stage here after a successful international tour that included stops in Spain, France, and Germany. Four pieces are set to be performed on the evening. 

Aug. 8, 8 p.m.

“What’s Going On” Tribute 

Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic feels as relevant today as it was when he wrote it, both a tribute to Gaye’s talent and an indictment of society’s progress since. It will be performed in its entirety here, with guitarist and bandleader Felicia Collins (“The Late Show with David Letterman”) putting together a lineup of musicians and artists to pay tribute. 

Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.

BRIC Celebrate! Brooklyn

Tuesday — Aug. 10 | Prospect Park Bandshell | bricartsmedia.org

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