Clive Davis is going home -- to Brooklyn. Celebrate Brooklyn, one of the nation's oldest free performing arts festivals, will honor Davis, chairman of BMG North America and a Brooklyn native, at a gal
Clive Davis is going home -- to Brooklyn.
Celebrate Brooklyn, one of the nation's oldest free performing arts festivals, will honor Davis, chairman of BMG North America and a Brooklyn native, at a gala June 16 to open its 26th season at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell.
Festival organizers will today (May 7) announce the schedule for the summer-long series, highlighted by performers including Los Lobos, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo, rising Latin stars Natalie LaFourcade and Bacilos, reggae superstar Burning Spear and a multi-artist tribute to the songs of Neil Young.
Davis "is an iconic figure and it was clear to me that he has held on dearly to his Brooklyn roots," says Jack Walsh, producer of Celebrate Brooklyn.
"My life totally revolved around Brooklyn," says Davis, recalling his boyhood in a working-class Jewish neighborhood of Crown Heights, watching the Brooklyn Dodgers play at Ebbet's Field and listening to Martin Block's "Make Believe Ballroom" on WNEW. Davis attended Erasmus Hall High School in the borough, where he earned membership in the Arista Society for New York's top students, later adopting the name for the record company he founded. "It stood for excellence," he says.
Celebrate Brooklyn, says Walsh, has built its reputation by serving Brooklyn's diverse communities. This season will feature Caribbean, Mexican, Middle Eastern and South African sounds along with alternative rock, zydeco, salsa and classical performances.
The co-honoree for the June 16 gala is Robert B. Tierney, chairman of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission. Celebrate Brooklyn's 7,000-capacity outdoor venue is adjacent to Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood, one of New York's largest historic districts.