BAM’s Free R&B Music Festival At MetroTech Now Running From Jun 13—Aug 15

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[New York Music News]
BAM's R&B Festival Metro Tech has upcoming scheduled shows from June 13 to August 15...
Photo: Facebook

Musician Roy Ayers will be at BAM's R&B Festival at Metro Tech...

BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech, downtown Brooklyn’s exhilarating summer tradition, has returned and there are 9 more afternoons of R&B, funk, rock, blues, and jazz scheduled from June 13 to August 15.

Celebrating its 25th year, BAM’s longest-running music series champions the adventurous voices of R&B, from music legends to bold new voices in Brooklyn and across the globe. The free concert series is not only a hub for creative performances, but a celebration of the impact of rhythm and blues on contemporary culture.

This year’s lineup features music legends Nona Hendryx and Vernon Reid in a special performance together, jazz/funk fusionists Ghost-Note, jazz/soul legend Roy Ayers, the Brooklyn progressive-R&B quintet Phony Ppl and indie soul singer Conya Doss, R&B crooner Rahsaan Patterson, eclectic blues from Fantastic Negrito, the high-octane marching band Brooklyn United Drumline Band, New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa, blues and folk goddess Ruthie Foster, R&B multi-instrumentalist Van Hunt, and the eclectic Philly collective &More.

BAM R&B Festival Producer Danny Kapilian said, “We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of bringing the community together for free live music in the downtown Brooklyn area. Over the years BAM R&B Festival has presented many groundbreaking artists who have helped shape the musical landscape. And this year is no different. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the incredible mix of great artists that span the breadth of R&B music—funk, rock, disco, doo-wop, reggae, New Orleans style, gospel, folk, blues, jazz, new fusions, spacy funk and blues, and soul ballads. This festival is a reminder of what is truly great about Brooklyn—the opportunity to come together on a beautiful summer afternoon and experience totally free world-class concerts and performances from a wide array of incredible artists and be able to share the sense of community that goes along with that.”

The free lunchtime performances will be held Thursdays at noon at MetroTech Commons, located at the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle Avenues.

For more information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 or visit

The upcoming scheduled shows are as follows:

On June 13, from 12- 2pm, Ghost-Note will be performing.

Snarky Puppy’s Grammy-winning percussion duo Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth provide the vibrant beats at the center of the funk band Ghost-Note. This dynamic duo expands its rhythmical voice into percussive melodies, through innovative grooves and captivating artistry. Ghost-Note’s music takes listeners on a mind-blowing rhythmical journey, inspired by the influences of James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, J Dilla, and the Beastie Boys, all the way to folkloric West African, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian samba grooves. Ghost-Note is a drumming declaration and celebration of percussion in all its forms.

On June 20, from 12-2pm, Roy Ayers will be performing. 

Funk icon and acclaimed vibraphonist Roy Ayers is among the best-known, most loved, and respected jazz/R&B artist. After 40 years in the music business, Ayers—known as the “Godfather of Neo-soul”—continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. In the 1960s he was an award-winning jazz vibraphonist, and transformed himself into a popular R&B band leader in the 1970s. Today, the dynamic music man is an iconic figure still in great demand by music industry heavyweights including Tyler, the Creator; Jaden Smith; Mary J. Blige; Erykah Badu; and A Tribe Called Quest, to name a few.

On June 27, from 12-2pm, Phony Ppl and Conya Doss will be performing.

Phony Ppl is a mix of people, time, and sound that’s been nurtured over generations in Brooklyn. Over the years, bandmates have come and gone, but now they’ve reached their final lineup with these five original members: vocalist Elbee Thrie, keyboardist Aja Grant, drummer Matt Byas, guitarist Elijah Rawk, and bassist Bari Bass. Their sound is a mix of soul, R&B, funk, hip-hop, jazz, pop, and everything between and beyond. They do their own songwriting, arrangement, mixing, and production. The Crown Heights-based band released its sophomore album, mō’zā-ik., in the fall of 2018. Performing alongside the band is the smooth soulful singer Conya Doss, whose voice reflects the sounds of the past, present, and future. Doss makes it no secret that her musical taste is a mix of genres—classical, soul, blues, and R&B. She describes her music as being “Like gumbo, it tastes better with time, the next day and the next.”

On July 11, from 12-2pm Rashaan Patterson will be performing.

Velvety-smooth tenor Rahsaan Patterson’s musical stylings range from gospel-inspired ballads to the infectious grooves of funk. This summer marks the singer’s 35th anniversary in entertainment. The dynamic artist was only 10 years old when he landed in the national spotlight as a cast member on the Disney Channel show, Kids Incorporated, alongside cast mates Fergie and Mario Lopez. However, it is not fame that has fueled Patterson all these years, but rather an earnest desire to create music and stories about life’s ever-changing journey that capture the human spirit. It is a mission that he has fulfilled well through the narrative of his own soul-stirring compositions. Patterson’s adventurous musical palette fuses the worlds of R&B, funk, jazz, gospel, and electronica. Fantastic

 On July 18, from 12- 2pm, Negrito/Brooklyn United Drumline Band will be performing.

Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it,” who “got it,” who lost it all, and somehow managed to find his way back. For Fantastic Negrito, the narrative is as important as the sound—because the narrative is the sound, which features slide guitar, drums, and piano and an urgent, desperate, edgy sensibility. With back-to-back Grammys for his soul-searing blues and raw passion, this dynamic Oakland artist and his band are joined by Brooklyn’s high-octane community drumline. Brooklyn United Drumline Band is a one-of-a-kind drum and dance corps made up of Brooklyn public school students, weaving together live drumming and dancing by this group of vibrant and inspiring young people. The Brooklyn United drum line demonstrates its impressive percussion skills in combination with complex choreography.


On July 25, from 12-2pm Cha Wa will be performing.

The spirit of New Orleans comes to MetroTech with the infectious funk and elaborate costumes of this brass band that honors the legendary Mardi Gras Indians. From funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone blasts to the gritty warmth of singer J’Wan Boudreaux’s voice, Cha Wa radiates the fiery energy of the Crescent City’s street culture. Their Grammy-nominated album Spyboy is a modern mix of fiery, toe-tapping sounds and their debut, Funk ’N’ Feathers, explored contemporary riffs on the traditional music Boudreaux grew up singing alongside his grandfather, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, in the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Dating back to the late 1800s, the Mardi Gras Indian tradition began when African-American men first marched in Native American dress through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day. The tradition, which includes a host of songs shared among the various tribes, has been kept alive for over a century and today is as vital as ever. Mardi Gras Indians have influenced the biggest names in New Orleans music: the Meters, Dr. John, the Marsalis family, the Neville Brothers, Trombone Shorty, and others.

On August 1, form 12-2pm, Ruthie Foster will be performing.

Hailing from the tightly knit musical community of Austin, TX, three-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster has found herself duetting with Bonnie Raitt, standing on stage with the Allman Brothers at New York’s Beacon Theater, and trading verses with Susan Tedeschi. There’s no denying the power of Foster’s monstrous voice,” said Paste Magazine. Her latest album, Joy Comes Back, described as “some folk, some blues, some soul, some rock, some gospel,” illustrates Foster’s genre-spanning talent.

On August 8, from 12-2pm, Third World will be performing.

Jamaica’s musical mainstay Third World has served as reggae ambassadors to the world for 45 years. Bringing the rich styles of funk, pop, dancehall, rap, and R&B to their reggae roots, Third World’s unique sound and uplifting spirit has earned them fans across the globe. The popular crossover act has toured alongside musical legends including Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, and Santana.

On August 15, from 12-2pm, Van Hunt & More (Donn T & Chill Moody) will be performing.

Van Hunt, a Dayton, Ohio-born musician, made his way to Atlanta where he drew acclaim for his production efforts and crafty songwriting, he was featured on recordings by such diverse artists as Dionne Farris, Rahsaan Patterson, and Cree Summer, as well as the platinum-selling soundtrack, Love Jones. His 2004 self-titled debut album instantly established Hunt as a distinctive and original talent with its idiosyncratic melding of R&B, neo-soul, funk, pop, and rock ‘n’ roll. The Grammy winning artist has attracted critical praise touring both as headliner as well as alongside such diverse acts as Kanye West, The Roots, Coldplay, Mary J. Blige, and Dave Matthews Band. The genre-defying musician will be paired with Philly’s bold new hip-hop and R&B collective &More. Made up of visionary solo artists—Donn T and Chill Moody, &More has gained steady traction since launching during Grammy week at The Roots’ Jam Session in Jan 2018. Donn T, with her rich vocals and pictured songwriting, is a member of Philly music royalty—her father was the leader of Philly doo-wop legend Lee Andrews & the Hearts and her brother is drummer extraordinaire Questlove. Chilly Moody has an attention-getting resume of his own as a hustling indie rapper with his straightforward and prolific MC style. With their debut album, Ethel Bobcat the Philly duo is focused on spreading its message of social purveyance and awareness of the world around us.

BAM’s longest-running music series celebrates 25 years of exhilarating music performances, featuring music legends and bold new voices: Nona Hendryx with Vernon Reid, Ghost-Note, Roy Ayers, Phony Ppl, Conya Doss, Rahsaan Patterson, Fantastic Negrito, Brooklyn United Drumline Band, Cha Wa, Ruthie Foster, Third World, Van Hunt, and & More

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