Free In NYC: Bryant Park Kicks Off FREE Summer Event Series Including Dance, Yoga, Film & Live Music!

Each summer, one of my favorite places in New York City, Bryant Park, holds  a comprehensive arts & culture event series. The season kicks off tonight with a waltz ball, in addition to dance, music, yoga, and the HBO Summer Film Series programming continuing throughout the course of the summer. I’ve included the FULL calendar of the series beneath the appropriate photo. All of these events are absolutely FREE, so feel free to bring a friend, family member, partner, or future lover. 🙂

Dance, Courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

Dance lessons will be held from 6–7pm, followed by dancing to live music:

Opening Night Waltz Ball, Wednesday, May 6:

–  6–7pm: Dance lessons by Randy Dias and Alexandra Lyubchevskaya

–  7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Lester Lanin Orchestra, which has played for audiences around the world for 50 years—most notably at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Cuban Salsa, Wednesday, May 13:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Yesenia Selier and Hunter Houde

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live Cuban music by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros

Swing and Lindy Hop, Wednesday, May 20:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Evita Arce and Michael Jagger

–  7–8:30pm: Dancing and live swing music by George Gee Swing


Samba e Mais, Wednesday, May 27:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Marizete Browne and Daniele Andrade

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Mistura Perfeita Band, which will play traditional and contemporary Brazilian samba and bossanova

Tango, Wednesday, June 3:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Mariana Parma and Hernan Brizuela

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by The NY Tango Quartet, which will perform classics and improvisations

Bachata, Wednesday, June 10:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Alejandro Bouza and Talia Castro-Pozo

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Bachata Heightz, an original pioneer of urban bachata

West Coast Swing, Wednesday, June 17:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Marlon Mills and Chrissy Bridgeman

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Rakiem Walker Project, a seven-piece band featuring soul, funk, R&B, gospel and blues

Latin Dancing Festival, Wednesday, June 24:

– 5–6:30pm: Latin jazz dance lessons by Sekou McMiller and a live performance by Grammy award-wining bassist John Benitez

– 6:30–7:15pm: Mambo dance lessons by Frank Muhel and Ericka Fignole

– 7:15–8:15pm: Dancing and live music by 50’s and 60’s era mambo band, Palladium All Stars

– 8:15–9pm: Salsa dance lessons by Talia Castro-Pozo and a special guest

– 9–10pm: Dancing and live music by salsa dura band Avenida B

WHERE: Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park, which is between 40th and 42nd Streets on the Sixth Avenue side of the park.

Yoga, Courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

  • Bryant Park Yoga, starting on Tuesday, May 19 at 10am: This flagship series— presented by Athleta with support from Yoga Journal and Flavorpill—will be returning for its 12th season. (Tuesdays at 10am and Thursdays at 6pm through September 24.)

HBO Summer Film Series, Courtesy of Angelito Jusay

  • HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, presented by Bank of America, starting on Monday, June 22 at Sunset: A favorite summer tradition for New Yorkers. (Monday evenings through August 24.)

New Music image—Courtesy of Duo Scorpio

Monday, May 18, 5:30–8pm

  • Chris Dingman and Waking Dreams

– Jazz group featuring Chris Dingman, celebrated vibraphonist and composer

  • New Morse Code

– Classical music duo featuring cello and percussion to perform captivating works of inventive composers

Monday, May 25, 5:30–8pm

  • Duo Yumeno

– Classical music duo to explore the boundaries between classical Japanese and European music

  •  Robin Verheyen NY Quartet

– One of Europe’s top saxophonists collaborates with jazz heavyweights to play his acclaimed compositions

Monday, June 1, 5:30–8pm

  • Duo Scorpio§ New York City-based harp duo to play new works composed by Nico Muhly
    • −  Alexis Cuadrado Group
      § Jazz group to play original works influenced by the bassist’sSpanish heritage

Monday, June 8, 5:30–8pm

  • Music From China

– Classical ensemble to perform an eclectic mix of traditional Chinese and contemporary classical music

  •  Ben Wendel Group

– Jazz quintet featuring Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and composer Ben Wendel

Monday, June 15, 4:30–10pm: New Music Festival

Six incredible ensembles, featuring three classical and three jazz:

  • Cassatt String Quartet
    – Award-winning Manhattan-based quartet established in 1995
  • Ben Kono Group
    – Jazz quintet featuring respected New York saxophonist Ben Kono,who also plays an array of instruments from the oboe to theEnglish horn
  • Lincoln Trio
    – Grammy-nominated, Chicago-based classical music trio that isknown for their energetic performances
  • Donny McCaslin Group
    – Jazz quartet featuring Grammy-nominated saxophonist DonnyMcCaslin, who stunningly merges jazz with rich polyphonic funk
    – String quintet that is changing perceptions of chamber music performance
  • Don Byron Quartet
    – Jazz quartet featuring the extraordinarily creative saxophonist andcomposer, Don Byron


WHERE: Upper Terrace Steps at Bryant Park, adjacent to Bryant Park Grill and Bryant Park Café. The New Music Festival will take place on the Bryant Park Stage. Bryant Park is situated between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues, behind the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan.

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