Brooklyn's recently become synonymous with emerging indie rock outfits, but the New York City borough's always been a musical hotbed, home to everyone from brilliant American composers George Gershwin and Aaron Copland to power belters like Neil Diamond and that toothy tigress Pat Benatar. Now in its 34th year, Celebrate Brooklyn! proves how groovy the borough is by giving its citizens a free musical festival showcasing the area's broad artistic diversity. This year's festival, for instance, is headlined by an amazing array of talent that includes reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, Treme star Trombone Shorty and rock innovators Wilco.
Sounds great and all, but what if you don't live in The Big Apple? That's where Google Play comes in, with free music from select Celebrate Brooklyn! artists like Sigur Rós, who bring together indie rock and electronic fans. We also spotlight Laura Marling, a dazzling English songbird who deserves to be as famous Stateside as her friends Mumford & Sons and fellow Celebrate Brooklyn! performer M. Ward, a singer-songwriter who honors the past even as he takes music into the future.
Want more? How about festival favorites Balkan Beat Box, or Ana Tijoux and Ritmo Machine, two acts showcasing how Latin sounds are enriching and deepening hip-hop. Assembling all these disparate musical sounds for playful experimentation is what rising jazz-soul-whatever star Esperanza Spalding is about as she encapsulates the positive rush of Celebrate Brooklyn! This year, everyone gets invited to the party. – Nick Dedina, Google Play
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