Jimmy Cliff to Open Celebrate Brooklyn! Concert Series
Reggae pioneer Jimmy Cliff will open the 34th season of the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Series, one the nation's longest-running free summer festivals, on June 5 in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Cliff's signature hits, "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "The Harder They Come." The latter track was the title song of the 1973 film credited with bringing reggae to a mainstream international audience.
BRIC/Arts/Media Brooklyn, organizers of the festival, have booked Cliff in the year that also marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. "Cliff's performance will pay tribute, not only to his origins, but to the great Jamaican population of Brooklyn," says a statement from BRIC, announcing the show.
Celebrate Brooklyn! is the second-oldest outdoor music festival in New York, preceded only by Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors. It is nationally recognized as a pioneer in combining public and private support to create free summer arts programming.
Before Cliff's performance, BRIC present its opening night gala honoring two of its own key supporters, Peter Aschkenasy, vice chair of the board of BRIC, and Jack Walsh, executive producer of Celebrate Brooklyn! who has helped guide the festival for 30 years.
"Jimmy Cliff is the perfect choice to open the 34th annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival," says Walsh. "He is a legend that will attract audiences from across Brooklyn's diverse communities, and his classic and new tunes are extremely relevant and timely."