The weather is warming; flowers are beginning to bloom; Spring has officially arrived in New York City. Now that the bad weather has, for the most part, subsided, there’s no excuse to continue the Netflix and chill hibernation. And with endless events happening every weekend, it’s time to get out, and live. Here’s Your Spring 2016 Guide to NYC, packed with concerts, outdoor exhibits, Broadway debuts, and food festivals. So get excited New York, because there’s a lot going on this Spring.
Esperanza Spalding: April 14th @ The Apollo Theater
Prodigy double-bass player Esperanza Spalding will appear on the Apollo Theater stage this month in promotion of her latest record, Emily’s D+ Evolution. Though the record is less improvisational and more of a straight singer/songwriter album, Spalding’s music is nonetheless infused by her jazz affinity, the product being a record fused by genius riffs, R&B crooning, and pop melodies.
The Music of David Bowie: April 1 @ Radio City Music Hall
This tribute to the music of David Bowie has been in the making for the past seven months, but it was due to Bowie’s untimely death that this event has taken on even grander scope, emotion, and importance. Featuring The Flaming Lips, Bette Midler, The Pixies, Mumford & Sons, Cyndi Lauper, and many more, The Music of David Bowie will be both a tribute to one of the greatest musicians who ever lived, and a night of spectacular performances.
The first opera to ever be performed on the Apollo Theater stage will be Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. The fast-paced bio-opera will detail the life and era of Charlie Parker, arguably one of the best saxophonists of all time. Set in the famed jazz club Birdland and featuring the opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, Yardbird is expected to make a beautiful NYC debut.
The Avett Brothers: April 8 @ Madison Square Garden
The brothers who have majorly impressed the industry with their twisted bluegrass and folk roots will be making a stop at MSG this month while on their Spring and Summer 2016 tour. Their latest release, Live Vol. 4, is an incredible container which shows the prowess that comes through when these guys perform live. It’s always a treat to hear these guys, we suggest it to bluegrass and rock fans alike.
Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop: May 20 @ Town Hall
Sam Beam (of Iron & Wine) has teamed up with Jesca Hooper to release an album of duets. Beam, one of the most prolific and talented songwriters of this generation, has been contemplating a duet project for some time, and once Hooper’s music crossed his path, he knew he wanted to write and record with her. The record, Love Letter for Fire, is out April 15th via Beam’s longtime label.
Jose Gonzalez: March 24 @ Beacon Theater
Jose Gonzalez first touched down in 2003 and was able to captivate audiences with a bare bones acoustic performance. After moving in many different directions, Gonzalez has decided to return to his initial performance style, but this time, he’ll be backed by a chamber music ensemble called yMusic, who, in the past, have backed Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens. Jose Gonzalez’ performance will be dazzling, and to get you ready for it, check out his recently released single “With the Ink of a Ghost“.
Lake Street Dive: March 25 @ Beacon Theatre
When Lake Street Dive first came onto the scene in 2012, no one was quite sure where to place them. With their jazz roots and alternative rock sensibility, the combo, led by the incredible voice of Rachael Price, have fully unleashed their creativity in terms of their music. Their latest EP will contain the song “What I’m Doing Here“, and is perhaps the most beautiful track we’ve heard from them yet. Lake Street Dive at Beacon Theatre could be the best show you see this Spring.
The 1975: May 15 @ Barclays Center
Lead singer Matt Healy has maintained the rocker vibe of performing in dive bars and scuzzy venues, rather than the chart-topping frontman he is. The 1975 has officially knocked Adele off her No. 1 spot on the UK charts, and though I Like It When You Sleep…Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It has garnered an incredible amount of success and recognition, Healy still walks onto the stage like an ordinary man who loves what he does. The 1975 has reached the ranks of Barclays, in no time at all, and have perfected their performance on all fronts.
Blackbird @ The Belasco Theater
Awarded the Olivier Award for best play in 2007, David Harrower’s Blackbird will be inhabiting the Belasco Theater this Spring. Starring Jeff Daniels as “Ray” and Michelle Williams as “Una”, Blackbird tells a tragic aftermath of a love story which shook one of them to their core. In a play that deals with psychological relationships, truth, monstrosity, and repercussions of the past, Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels exhibit incredible acting from beginning to end.
The Crucible @ Walter Kerr Theater
The last time The Crucible was on Broadway was in 2002, starring Laura Linney and Liam Neeson. For the return of the most famous play discussing witchcraft anxiety that’s ever been written, expect something more stripped down and experimental from director Ivo van Hove, who directed Miller’s A View From the Bridge last year, and was met with wonderful reception. The Crucible on Broadway will star Saoirse Ronan, Ben Wishaw, and Ciaran Hinds.
American Psycho @ Gerald Shoenfeld
Broadway is about to get a little bloodier with the arrival of American Psycho, book and lyrics written by Duncan Sheik, and starring Benjamin Walker as the Wall Street executive with a psychopathic, murderous side. Artistic director Rupert Goold’s vision includes an appeal to technology, and will feature turntables, synthesizers, and light spectacles. Adapting American Psycho to the setting of NY’s 80’s electronic scene sounds a bit far fetched, but that may be necessary to pull off the outrageousness of Ellis’ original narrative.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night @ American Airlines Theater
Eugene O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey Into Night is elegant in its simplistic yet moving retelling of one family’s internal drama and history. The dysfunctional Tyrone family will be brought to life by Jessica Lange, Michael Shannon, and Colby Minifie. With a drug-addicted mother, penny pinching father, and two troubled sons, the Tyrone family will capture you in its swell, and release you feeling touched with a deeper understanding of familial relationships.
Tribeca Film Festival: April 13-24th
Since 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has been bridging the gap between domestic and international film making, perpetuating dialogue surrounding the state of the film industry, and welcoming fans and critics everywhere to partake in the next generation of cinema. Attending the Tribeca Film Festival is a must if you live in any of the five boroughs. By purchasing the adequately priced Matinee package, you can attend 6 premier films during the day, and be one of many who are able to witness incredible movies before they hit theaters nationwide.
Frieze Art Fair: May 4- May 8
Located on Randall’s Island, the Frieze Art Fair is held annually for patrons to view and buy art from over 1,000 of today’s leading artists. You can purchase tickets to the Frieze Art Fair that include a guided tour, which will lend an insider look to the art projects. For an exclusive look at the world’s leading modern and contemporary galleries, the Frieze Art Fair is the premier event to attend this Spring.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit: May 28-30; June 4-5
The tradition of showing art in the Village dates back to the days of Pollock and DeKooning, who, in financial distress, carried their paintings down four story walk-ups to prop them up in Washington Square Park. Now, the rite continues, and every Spring the WSP sidewalks showcase dozens of artists from the New York metropolitan area, the nation, and abroad. The mediums you’ll see range from painting, to sculpture, to jewelry and furniture. These exhibits are verified proof that the creative vibrancy of the Village is well and alive.
De Materie: March 23-30 @ Park Avenue Armory
Andriessen, one of Europe’s most influential composers, is in the hands of artistic director Heiner Goebbels, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and director Peter Rundel in order to bring the majesty of De Materie to fruition. This admirable music composition hasn’t been performed in over 25 years, and will be interpreted in several mediums, as the texture of the piece allows. Expect flying zeppelins, flocks of sheep, and strange beauty, aka a typical evening at the Park Avenue Armory.
Pomme Frittes Opens in Greenwich Village: April (hopefully)
Pomme Frites is expected to open it’s post-2nd Avenue explosion location next month. Though the process has been slow-moving, owner Omer Shorshi is hopeful that their new storefront on MacDougal Street will be open for patrons soon. Pomme Frites made a name for themselves by providing the Lower East Side with perfectly crisped fries and an array of sauces for dipping. Customers are used to a line out the door, but Omer is hopeful that the new location will adequately accommodate their regulars, and more.
Brisket King Competition: March 16 @ Sanders Studios
Known as the “Battle of the Meats”, the annual Brisket King Competition brings both new and established meat chefs to one single location to show off their prowess, cutting skills, and overall appreciation for all those warm blooded creatures that walk on four legs. The all-access ticket to the Brisket King Competition includes a butchering demo by Jay Fox, and an all you can eat and drink of a well curated craft beer selection and the best meat cuts in the city.
NYC Coffee and Tea Festival: March 19-20 @ Brooklyn Expo Center
Dubbed a “coffee and tea lovers heaven”, the Coffee and Tea Festival will feature over 60 exhibitors/brands, and 100+ tastings. Plus, if you hop onto this incredible Groupon, you won’t be paying more than 15$ to survey the most high brow coffee and tea brands around. Also, if you’re from a family of caffeine drinkers, the brews and blends offered could make great Christmas/birthday presents. Though, we suggest getting there early, an Expo full of highly-caffeinated patrons could get ugly…
Duck Off!: March 20 @ Jimmy’s No. 43
In support of Slow Food NYC Urban Harvest, a food education program that provides courses, access to gardens, field trips, and farm-to-cafeteria days for children, is hosting their annual Duck Off! at Jimmy’s No. 43 this month. For a moderate price, eaters will enjoy a delectable selection of duck dishes (duck confit, duck ragu, duck tangine, duck tacos…) provided by local chefs who are competing to provide the best dish of the day. Like duck and want to provide for a good cause? That’s a no brainer: attend this event!
Vegetarian Food Festival: May 7-8 @ The Metropolitan Pavilion
With New York City having some of the most vibrant and innovative vegetarian food vendors in the country, the 6th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival will provide vegans, vegetarians, and general foodies with over 125 samples of variations on the whole foods diet. Though this is the “premier event” for vegans, the Vegetarian Food Festival welcomes carnivores, who frequently end up enjoying many meat alternatives.
Other Spring 2016 Events in NYC
St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 17th @ Fifth Avenue between 44th & 79th St.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC is the largest and oldest St. Paddy’s Day parade in the world, dating back to 1762, and with 2 million spectators taking part each year. The Parade will kick off at 11AM in honor of St. Patrick, the Irish Patron Saint and Archdiocese in NY. The parade is a family friendly event, so we suggest being on your best behavior to ensure a good time for yourself and those around you.
Sakura Matsuri, Cherry Blossom Festival: April 30- May 1 @ Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Sakura Matsuri, otherwise known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, or, New York City’s “Rite of Spring”, will take place in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for the 36th year of celebrating traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. With over 60 events and performances, not to mention the grandiose sight of blooming cherry blossoms, Sakura Matsuri will be one of the more cultural and picturesque ways to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
The Macy’s Flower Show: March 20- April 3 @ Herald Square
Macy’s Flower Show, the annual event celebrating America’s stunning and varied landscapes, will be on display in the store’s Main Floor in Herald Square this month into April. In addition to the beautiful curated garden, The Macy’s Flower Show has incorporated various flower-related events and talks throughout the length of the display, including a floral crown making class, a BYO terrarium demonstration, and more.