5 free events in NYC: Koku Gonza, hip hop’s birthplace and more

5 free events in NYC: Koku Gonza, hip hop’s birthplace and more

Each week, ALL ARTS rounds up a selection of free performances and presentations taking place in New York City and beyond. Find this week’s top picks below.

Broadway in Bryant Park
Bryant Park, Manhattan
Aug. 8; 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy a free concert featuring some of Broadway’s established and rising artists. This week, cast members from “Beautiful,” “Pretty Woman” and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “OKLAHOMA!” are slated to make appearances.

Sunset on the Hudson: Koku Gonza 
Hudson River Park, Manhattan
Aug. 9; 7 p.m.
This popular series in Hudson River Park continues with a performance from Koku Gonza. Often drawing comparisons to Sade, Gonza is a rising artist with a repertoire that blends elements of R&B, folk and jazz. Before the concert, check out some of her music here.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Prospect Park Bandshell; 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 10; 7:30 p.m.
Simón Mejía and Li Saumet, the Bogotá-based duo that make up Bomba Estéreo, close out the 41st season of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival with this performance. In addition to the electro band, local Colombian outfit Delsonido will be on hand to perform.

The Birthplace of Hip-Hop
Cedar Playground, Bronx
Aug. 11;  11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
This tour traces the history of hip-hop music, pinning its origins to a rec room party in the Bronx on Aug. 11, 1973. Park rangers will be on hand to lead a discussion on the genre’s evolution from an underground urban movement to a popular form of music that transcends cultures and demographics.

Wall Power!
The American Folk Art Museum, Manhattan
through Sept. 1; hours vary
The museum is attempting to reassert the (sometimes radical) history of quilting, presenting it here as a major art form that has long blended elements of design and storytelling. The quilts included in this exhibition come courtesy of the Werner and Karen Gundersheimer family collection.