National Back Summer event calendar
LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 6/20/2013, 12:48 p.m.
- Taste of Times Square (New York City): Held in world-renowned Times Square on the Broadway Plazas between 42nd and 47th streets, the Taste of Times Square is one of New York City's most popular annual outdoor food festivals. Each year, this event encompasses signature dishes from Times Square's best restaurants, live entertainment, street performances and a great deal more. Admission is free and each "taste" ticket is only a buck, with most dishes ranging from $1 to $6. 212-768-1560, www.timessquarenyc.org/events/taste-of-times-square/index.aspx
- 21st annual Capital Jazz Fest (Columbia, Md.): Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, the annual Capital Jazz Fest presents some of the best live contemporary jazz and soul music in one place. Held on a picturesque, 40-acre natural wooded setting known as Symphony Woods at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. (between Washington and Baltimore), the festival draws tens of thousands of music lovers from throughout the country. This year's lineup includes Babyface, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, Eric Benet, Dave Koz, Ledisi, Vivian Green, the Whispers, Angie Stone, the Ohio Players and many other venerable artists. In addition to the outstanding vibe, festivalgoers can enjoy artist workshops, culinary stations, art and crafts booths and late night after-parties. 877-435-9849, www.capitaljazz.com/fest
- 36th annual Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival (Coconut Grove, Fla.): Created as "a celebration of culture expression embracing the legacy of a Bahamian-rooted community known as Coconut Grove," this festival is one of the area's signature events, encompassing Junkanoo dance, a parade, delicious Bahamian and American cuisine, a children's area, golf tournament, gospel service and a great deal more, all with a strong Bahamian and African-American vibe. 305-448-9501
- Fifth annual ArtCrawl Harlem (Harlem, N.Y.): Held in conjunction with African-American Music Appreciation Month each June, ArtCrawl Harlem this year celebrates "Motown to Def Jam," a multi-gallery visual art exhibition celebrating songs from the catalogs of Chess, Def Jam, Motown, Stax and Philadelphia International Records. Four Harlem art galleries, La Maison d'Art, LeRoy Neiman Art Center, the Sol Studio and Strivers Gardens Gallery, will feature specially-commissioned works by more than 40 sculptors, painters and new-media artists, as well as host free panel discussions with music experts and exhibiting artists exploring the connections between the visual arts and music, as well as the legacy of the respective labels. Part of the celebration includes a four-hour trolley bus tour on June 15 "led by guides who impart deep cultural and historical knowledge, along with passion, personality and charm, that connects people with fingers-on-the pulse experiences designed to entertain and educate." 800-838-3006, www.ArtCrawlHarlem.com
- Rock and Soul Festival, (Cleveland, Ohio): A celebration of African-American music, the annual Rock and Soul Festival is a Cleveland music fan favorite. Set to coincide with African-American Music Appreciation Month, the festival is chock full of live entertainment from national and local artists that celebrate the soulful Black sound. 216-781-7625 http://rockhall.com/event/rock-and-soul-festival-2013/
Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website.