Bryant Park’s summer season is reaching bigger and better heights in 2022.
On May 2, Bryant Park Corporation announced the line-up for the park’s summer performing arts series, Bryant Park Picnic Performances. Presented by Bank of America, 26 live events will take place in the park between May and September, encompassing live music, theater and dance events.
The 2021 season of Picnic Performances solidified the series’ role as a vital outdoor platform for New York City’s arts institutions, many of which are returning for 2022. The performances for the 2022 season will also be available through livestream on Bryant Park’s social media pages for more than 20 shows.
“Thanks to Bank of America’s commitment, Picnic Performances brings world-class music, theater, and dance to more than a quarter of a million people each summer – both in-person on the lawn and through the livestreams,” said Bryant Park Corporation’s President Dan Biederman.
The season will kick off on May 27 with a staged and costumed production with orchestral accompaniment of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Later this summer on June 17, the opera will bring its annual LGBTQ+ Pride in the Park concert as well as additional fully staged, dressed and live music-supported productions of Verdi’s La traviata on Aug. 12 and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on Sept. 2.
June will be a big month for dance at Bryant Park. Major dance companies and rising stars perform at Contemporary Dance with curation by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, featuring Ayodele Casel, Ariel Rivka Dance, as well as Works & Process at the Guggenheim’s The Missing Element, Music From The Sole, EMERGE125, and a Social Latin Dance Class with Ballet Hispánico. This season, Bryant Park will also host its first-ever Open Rehearsal Residencies on the stage with dance companies Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet and Athomasproject.
Six up-and-coming bands will take the stage at the Emerging Music Festival on June 24-25, curated by AdHoc. Carnegie Hall Citywide will present five nights of genre-spanning music in July, featuring Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble on July 1, The Baylor Project on July 8, Squirrel Nut Zippers on July 15, and The Broadway Sinfonietta on July 25. More will be announced in the coming weeks.
Audiences can enjoy a lot of jazz this summer. On July 23, Jazzmobile brings 8-time Grammy Nominee and Latin Jazz legend Bobby Sanabria and his 21-piece Multiverse Big Band and on Sept. 8, acclaimed jazz pianists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans will perform as a duo in partnership with Steinway.
In August, the Asian American Arts Alliance brings sets from composer-producers Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang (Aug. 19). On Aug. 26, the Habibi Festival, a celebration of music from the Middle East and North Africa, will have its Bryant Park premiere in partnership with Joe’s Pub. On Aug. 29, the Town Hall presents Grammy Award-winning Eighth Blackbird, playing the music of John Cage
On Sept. 16, the Accordion Festival will return with three world music performers featuring the accordion, with Heart of Afghanistan and more. The season will close on Sept. 17 with the 60th anniversary celebration of the American Symphony Orchestra.
Those who attend the Picnic Performances can bring their own food and beverages or purchase from Bryant Park’s on-site options near the Lawn. A rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair will be available at most performances, and Stout NYC offers cheese and charcuterie boards as well as a selection of beer, wine, frosé, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase at all performances.
Each event starts at 7 p.m. with no tickets required. Seating is available and free picnic blankets are available for audience members to borrow. Though COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required, Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.
For more information, visit bryantpark.org/picnics.