Celebrate Brooklyn! 2017: The Soul Rebels & Andrew Bird

by Brittany Bellinger

You know that it’s summer here at the Brooklyn Creative League when the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn festival draft is announced. We are a proud sponsor of this program. Last year was my first time attending Celebrate Brooklyn with tickets from BCL and having access to the Friends tent. It was an incredible experience to enjoy Tame Impala in such close proximity. Choosing the right show(s) can be overwhelming since there are so many to choose from. You may not know many of the artists and fear that you are missing out on some great shows. I am here to highlight some of the artists you’re familiar with and help to guide you to some new artists to check out.Here are the shows that I’m highlighting today:

The Soul Rebels | Photo credit: Zach Smith

The Soul Rebels | Photo credit: Zach Smith

Saturday, June 24 @ 7pm

The Soul Rebels featuring Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch & Kirk Knight / Goapele / Natasha Diggs

New Orleans is a city of music and history. Every tradition is somehow accompanied by the liveliness of a band. The music has a way of taking over and making you want to dance in the street. It is no different with the eight-piece brass band Soul Rebels straight from NOLA. They have collaborated with many artists in the past including Metallica and Big Freedia. Backing some of the artists on this lineup is sure to make an incredible funky show that will have you moving the entire time.

Talib Kweli, a Brooklyn native has been bringing his storytelling style to Hip Hop since the mid-nineties. Talib Kweli was one half of the duo Black Star with Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), but on his own, he is a powerhouse. Kweli’s music is highly influenced by his activism and his upbringing here in Brooklyn. If you’ve never heard any of his songs then start with the song, Get By.

Pharoahe Monch is a Queens rapper with incredible lyrical ability. His music is politically charged and easy to get wrapped into. Kirk Knight is a young producer and rapper who is a part of the collective Pro Era. His music can be classified as quite jazzy in production accompanied by his easy flow.

Goapele has an angelic voice that makes her music not quite r&b but more of a hybrid. Somewhere between the realm of r&b, neo soul and jazz lives her music. She is currently on her 6th studio album. Her most notable hit is the dreamy tune, Closer.

 Natasha Diggs is the newest name on this line up but still packs an incredible punch. She is a DJ who makes magic by finding just the right soundtrack for your night.


Andrew Bird | Photo courtesy of BRIC | source: https://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/bric-celebrate-brooklyn-festival/andrew-bird-special-guest-esperanza-spalding

Andrew Bird | Photo courtesy of BRIC | source: https://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/bric-celebrate-brooklyn-festival/andrew-bird-special-guest-esperanza-spalding

Friday, July 28th @ 7:30pm

Andrew Bird/Esperanza Spalding

This is the perfect show for anyone who is a fan of classical music with a new age sound. Andrew Bird is a trained violinist who also carries a guitar, a mean whistle and sometimes a glockenspiel. Bird was formerly of the band Bowl of Fire before going solo after the group’s disbandment in 2003. Since then he has added his own flavor to whatever stage he occupies from Coachella to our very own Prospect Park Bandshell. This is not a performance to miss.

Esperanza Spalding is a four-time Grammy award winning artist known for her ability to blend jazz, neo soul, and r&b by using the tone of the bass. She is trained in many instruments as well but will mainly be seen toting her double bass or bass guitar. Her voice is melodic. If you’ve never heard anything from her then check her live performance from the White House in 2009 or the song Black Gold.


Make sure that you check out any of the amazing shows at Celebrate Brooklyn. Don’t be afraid to let me know on any of our social media if you check out any of the musicians that were highlighted.