In 2017, the Red Bull Music Festival gave us Solange at the Guggenheim and Werner Herzog at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and there’s more beautifully curated goodies coming up for the 2018 edition of Red Bull Music Academy’s annual festival.
The full lineup is here, but here are five events in particular worth your time.
A Conversation With Harry Belafonte, May 5
There aren’t many people with the bona fides of Harry Belafonte. The Jamaican-American singer helped Caribbean music explode in the States back in the ’50s, and his work with Dr. King was an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement in the ’60s. The artist-activist icon will discuss his lengthy, fruitful career in a lecture hosted by Kimberly Drew at Hostos Community College in the Bronx; this event is co-presented with Jill Newman Productions. Revenue from ticket sales goes to Sankofa, Belafonte’s social justice organization.
Fever Ray, May 12-13
Fever Ray, the solo project of The Knife’s Karin Dreijer, released her second album, Plunge, in 2017. Plunge saw Dreijer adding dancefloor-ready beats and rhythms to her introspective, provocative lyrics, creating one of the year’s best albums while pushing electronic music to lyrically fearless heights. At the Brooklyn Hangar, Fever Ray will deliver her first American shows in eight years, and if they’re anything like the visual stunners she delivered last time, it’s a can’t-miss concert.
A Conversation With Robyn, May 21
At the Museum of Modern Art, Robyn will sit down with friend and fellow musician Kindness to “talk about how she got to this point – and what comes next.” So if you’re one of the scores of Robyn fans who are beyond thirsty for a new solo Robyn album (yes, it’s been 8 years; no, it’s not fair), here’s your chance to get updates from the artist herself.
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different, May 23
Criminally underrated funk/soul singer Betty Davis wasn’t appreciated during her ’70s run, but ensuing generations are gradually discovering her snarling vocal delivery, rock-inflected funk and iconoclastic imagery. Filmmaker Phil Cox started working with Davis on a documentary about her life five years ago, and They Say I’m Different will have its New York City premiere at the Billie Holiday Theater at the festival.
Brujas x Performance Space New York: Anti-Prom, May 25
Brujas, the feminist skate collective and streetwear brand from the Bronx, will put on its third Anti-Prom at Performance Space New York. Described as “a safe space for non-binary gender expression through fashion and dance,” Anti-Prom is a formal celebration for those who defy gender expectations and the patriarchy.