FirstWorks Summer Beats Concerts Announced
Globe-spanning Afro-Rican jazz, hip-hop, and Ukrainian roots music performances provide joy, discovery and renewal to audiences
Providence, RI—FirstWorks, a Providence-based nonprofit dedicated to connecting art with audiences, announced their 2022 Summer Beats Concert Series today. The summer line-up features three free concerts. Presented in partnership with Roger Williams Park Conservancy and Providence Parks Department, two outdoor concerts at the Bandstand offer an opportunity for all ages to experience the hip-hop stylings of hometown hero Flawless on July 24, 2022 and William Cepeda’s Afro-Rican Jazz on August 14, 2022. On August 7, 2022 the thunderous beats and urgent messages of DakhaBrakha, a band hailing from Kyiv, the war-torn capital city of Ukraine, will be presented as a special PVDFest happening produced by FirstWorks in partnership with Providence’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, with location and details to be announced. For details on the FirstWorks summer season, visit http://firstworks.org.
“The artists we are presenting this summer for FirstWorks Summer Beats represent not only their own distinct cultures and art forms, but reflect the global diversity found within our Rhode Island community,” said Kathleen Pletcher, FirstWorks Executive Artistic Director. “We look forward to joyous moments where families and friends reunite to take in new sights and sounds, creating indelible memories. Joining forces with our partners at Roger Williams Park Conservancy and Providence Parks Department allows us to animate the gorgeous park Bandstand with extraordinary live performances once again this year. And, as co-producer of PVDFest, we look forward to creating special festival happenings with extraordinary artists.”
“The Roger Williams Park Conservancy is thrilled to partner with the Providence Parks Department and FirstWorks to host another season of Summer Beats,” said Kevin Essington, Executive Director at Roger Williams Park Conservancy. “These free performances bring joy to hundreds of families each year. This year we celebrate Roger Williams Park’s 150th Birthday, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than to host music from around Rhode Island and the world with FirstWorks.”
FirstWorks Summer Beats concerts will give audiences of all ages a chance to experience important artists hailing from a global range of musical genres and backgrounds.
Rhode Island’s own rap and hip-hop phenomenon Flawless kicks off the series with his band at the Roger Williams Park Bandstand on Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 6 PM with a mix of modern and fresh songs. Alberto Martinez, also known as Flawless, emerged to international acclaim following his success on Netflix’s 2019 smash reality TV show “Rhythm + Flow.” Originally from Rhode Island, Flawless broke into the music industry as an Atlanta transplant in 2010, opening for acclaimed acts like Ludacris, Rick Ross, and Tech N9ne.
DakhaBrakha, a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine returns to Providence on Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 6 PM for a FirstWorks-curated PVDFest event at a location to be announced. A sonic feast as well as a visual spectacle, DakhaBrakha weaves ancient Ukrainian folk melodies into a subversive musical tapestry. With multicultural traditional instrumentation, theatrical costuming, and an astonishingly powerful vocal range, the quartet creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian soil that they call “ethno-chaos.” DakhaBrakha has built enormous critical acclaim and a large global fanbase. Providence last welcomed DakhaBrakha at PVDFest in June 2019, when FirstWorks paired their rousing concert with Borscht-making in Kennedy Plaza.
On Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 6 PM, FirstWorks Summer Beats celebrates the heritage of Puerto Rican music and its African roots with trombonist William Cepeda from San Juan, who is known as a cultural icon of Puerto Rico. Cepeda’s seven-member Afro-Rican Jazz Band heats up the crowd with an innovative blend of jazz and traditional Puerto Rican musical forms such as bomba, plena, Jibaro, and danza, at an open air concert at the Roger Williams Park Bandstand. A protégé of Dizzy Gillespie, Cepeda has created a new shade of jazz with a hip flavor. Lydia Perez, an award-winning Afro-Taino artist from Rhode Island, will lead dancers from the Puerto Rican Institute for Arts and Advocacy in an energetic concert opener.
FirstWorks is a non-profit based in Providence, Rhode Island whose purpose is to build the cultural, educational and economic vitality of its community by engaging diverse audiences with world-class performing arts and education programs. Since 2004, FirstWorks festivals, performances and programs have attracted more than 600,000 participants. Last season, FirstWorks arts education programs reached over 5,500 students from public and charter schools across Rhode Island with transformative, arts-based learning experiences. FirstWorks is the founding partner of PVDFest, collaborating with the City of Providence to curate and produce the City’s free signature arts celebration since 2015. Since then, the festival has drawn over 480,000 visitors to Providence to experience music, art and spectacular performances. In 2022, PVDFest makes a comeback with FirstWorks again curating spectacles and world-class performances that light up Downtown. Embracing collaboration, FirstWorks has fostered over 90 community partnerships across business, social service, government, arts and education sectors. Visit http://firstworks.org to learn more.
About Roger Williams Park Conservancy:
The mission of the Roger Williams Park Conservancy is to sustain and enhance Roger Williams Park as a vibrant public space for all. An independent nonprofit organization, the Conservancy works in partnership with the City of Providence Parks Department to steward the Park, offer community programs, raise resources, coordinate marketing efforts, and plan for its long-term sustainability and enjoyment by the community. Visit
https://rwpconservancy.org to learn more.