Summer concert touts top-tier talent

Event also commemorates park's 150th birthday

Elvis Costello, the White Stripes, Aimee Mann and Wilco are among the heavyweight acts that will appear in the 2003 season of the New York City Parks Foundation’s annual SummerStage concert.

Talent will join Summer Stage’s traditionally eclectic array of acts from around the globe for the 18th annual music series, held from June through August in Gotham’s Central Park. This year’s program is also part of the celebrations to commemorate the park’s 150th birthday.

June “Blues”

Event kicks off on June 14th with a sneak preview of “The Blues,” a seven-installment documentary project orchestrated by Gotham-born helmer Martin Scorsese and featuring work directed by Wim Wenders, Clint Eastwood and Scorsese himself, among others.

Other highlights include a two-night double bill consisting of Wilco and New York post-punk legends Sonic Youth on June 26 and 27, as well as Costello’s July 11 set with his reconstituted band the Impostors, featuring Attractions vets Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve.

Also hitting the stage will be Mann and piano-rocker Ben Folds, as well as Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls, Chaka Khan, Sonny Rollins, U.K. indie-rock act the Tindersticks, De La Soul, songwriting scion Rufus Wainwright, reggae vet Jimmy Cliff and Big Brother & The Holding Company in a special tribute to their deceased frontwoman Janis Joplin.

International flair

Among the considerable talent coming from further abroad are Guinean Afropop pioneers Bembeya Jazz National, Mexican songwriter Ely Guerra, Mali’s Electro Bamako, Bahia, Brazil’s Daniela Mercury, and the Native American Thunderbird Dancers.

German trance/electronica guru Paul Van Dyk will close the festival on Aug. 28 with a marathon dance-music session to benefit the SummerStage program.

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