The Red Bull Music Academy Festival has featured events across the city, including performances from David Byrne and lectures with D'Angelo, but it all culminates on Saturday 31st May, with the official closing party.
Firstly, we recognise that reporting on a mixture of New York parties, eclectic performances and signature lectures from prominent music movers and shakers could seem, well, immaterial. Let's face it, Gotham is one long eclectic party - but the Red Bull Music Academy Festival is different. The Academy itself, which took place in New York in 2013 and will visit Tokyo this fall, is a travelling series of music performances, club nights, lectures, workshops, art installations and more founded in 1998 - it doesn't look to create "stars" (despite notable participants including Aloe Blacc, Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Juan Son), instead it looks to bring together music makers from around the globe. Think of it as a mobile behemoth of culture, skills and sound.
The newly created 'RBMA Festival ' - now taking place annually in New York City - is a legacy to the critically acclaimed Red Bull Music Academy that took place in New York in 2013. It is a month-long blowout that brings together a diverse group of the world's most creative young musicians. Since May 1st, this year's programme has blanketed the boroughs with a selection of richly curated events - and you're invited to the ultimate wrap party. But more on that soon.
Over the past month, performances from the likes of David Byrne, Panda Bear, Just Blaze more, have served as the ultimate appetizers for the hugely anticipated main event: A Conversation with D'Angelo, which went down at the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday evening (21st May). The neo-soul legend once dubbed the next Marvin Gaye remains one of the great enigmas in music history and his seemingly infinite talents inspired a legacy of new sounds from the likes of Lauryn Hill, Questlove, Frank Ocean and Common. The intimate public lecture curated by author, filmmaker and critic Nelson George threw up a slew of highlights, though D'Angelo offered a golden observation of his two studio albums, calling 1995's Brown Sugar "buttery" but 2000's comeback Voodoo "straight from the cow to the glass".
And so the Red Bull Music Academy Festival begins to wind down for another year, but don't despair, there's still one big celebration before the lights go out. A Class Of Its Own: Red Bull Music Academy Festival's Closing Night takes place at the Abrons Arts Center on Saturday 31st May - and there's a ticket with your name on it. Think of it as a graduation ceremony - the coolest graduation ceremony you ever attended, with three stages and 15 artists.
It's going to be a global affair, with acts including Vienna's Elektro Guzzi, who need no introduction - though we're going to give them one anyway. One avant-metal drummer, one experimental guitarist and one Red Bull Music Academy graduate on bass - that's pretty much all you need to know.
Elsewhere, there's Kornél Kovács, Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvist from Stockholm's own Studio Barnhus - one of the most progressive house labels in Europe.
Representing the UK - via Slovenia - is Maya Medvesek, aka Nightwave, the Glasgow based producer, DJ, vocalist and Academy graduate. Last year, she set up her own label Heka Trax and released a debut EP, Luxor. Her most recent hit, 'Hit It' featuring iconic Chicago native DJ Deeon was voted 'Best New Track' by The Guardian, as well as being named 'Tune of the Month' by the influential Mixmag.
So - what better way to cap off a month of events in New York than with the ultimate wrap party? The Red Bull Music Academy Festival's Closing Night begins at 8pm at the Abrons Arts Center on Saturday 31st 2014. Tickets priced a $10 are still available, but going fast, so visit the link before to secure yours.
The Abrons Arts Center is located in Manhattan's Lower East Side. It can be reached on the Subway by taking:
the F train to Delancey Street
the J or M trains to Essex Street
the D or B trains to Grand Street
The full line-up for the show is as follows:
Elektro Guzzi (Austria), Lucrecia Dalt (Spain), Yosi Horikawa (Japan), Mike Slott (New York), Robot Koch (Germany), Nightwave (UK), Anenon (Los Angeles), Nire (New York), Nguzunguzu (Los Angeles), Nick Hook (New York), Studio Barnhus (Sweden), Octo Octa (New York), Pursuit Grooves (New York), Sis (New York) featuring Eliza Coolidge of Knox
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