Are you ready for the return of PVDFest?
The City of Providence has announced that PVDFest, a spectacular four days of art and music will hit the streets of Providence June 1 - 4, 2017. During the four-day event, artists and performers from around the globe and just around the corner will descend upon Providence for a multicultural and multidimensional celebration of artistic expression.
Earlier this week, Mayor Jorge Elorza and Founding Partner FirstWorks announced the schedule for the PVDFest and it's colossal, to say the least. Come June 1, over 800 artists will descend upon Providence in the city-wide event. A collaborative effort, the PVDFest features 13 curators, including AS220, The Dean Hotel, The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, as well as community partners from throughout Providence.
"PVDFest has grown so much since the first installation," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "This year's festival builds on the momentum and energy of the past years while incorporating even more of what makes Providence the Creative Capital. From the new 'ideas' conference, to the off-the wall programming in the plaza, PVDFest has something for artists of all mediums. Visitors and residents are sure to be amazed by the talent and creativity this year's festival will offer."
With more than 800 local, national, and international artists set to appear at PVDFest, viewing options are innumerable. Since you can’t experience all that PVDFest has to offer, we’ve decided to pick out top nine must-see acts.
It is worth noting that since PDVFest features several stages, several of these shows occur simultaneously, so choose wisely.
Friday, June 2 at 8pm
Saturday, June 3 at 8pm and 10pm
Witness the high-flying vertical dance company Bandaloop as they scale the facade of 10 Dorrance Street at the Spectacle Stage for the world premiere of #PVDPublicCanvas, created in collaboration with local spoken word artist extraordinaire, Christopher Johnson. Attendees will have the chance to see the vertical dance pioneers on both Friday and Saturday evening.
Founded by Amelia Rudolph, Bandaloop combines dance, sport, ritual and environmental awareness. Bandaloop’s indoor/outdoor work has been presented in theaters and museums, on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites, in atriums and convention halls, in nature on cliffs, and on screen.
Saturday, June 3 at 10:30pm
Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles and his band take the final slot on the Alex and Ani Center Stage with a Creole Soul Carnival dance party to keep the audience lively late into the night.
Educated at the Julliard School, Charles’s 2013 album Creole Soul received praise from the New York Times and was number one on the JazzWeek Chart. In addition to being a recording artist and composer, Charles is also the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University.
Kalifa and Koliba
Saturday, June 3 at 3:30pm
A world of music comes to the Alex and Ani City Center Stage on Saturday with Kalifa and Koliba. Based in Boston, Kalifa and Koliba blend West African rhythms with high life, reggae, ska, zouk, and funk. Known for their high-spirited dance music, Kalifa and Koliba take audience members on a journey from ancient Africa to modern, urban America with a contagious sound and beat.
The Funk Underground
Saturday, June 3 at 6:30pm
The Funk Underground will rock the Coastway Stage Saturday evening in a show that is not to be missed. Hailing from Providence, The Funk Underground is made up of Eric Axelman, SydeSho, DeeJay Kellan, and assorted instrumentalists.
Don’t miss their collaboration with the Rhode Island Hip Hop Project as they deliver a documentary on Rhode Island Hip Hop history before their performance.
Saturday, June 3 at 7pm
The sultry, Montreal-based soulstress Betty Bonifassi takes the Alex and Ani Center Stage with her signature contralto vocals that mix modern electronics with early Delta roots music.
Drawing comparisons with Shirley Bassey, Bonifassi has performed in both English and French. She gained international exposure in 2003 when she provided the singing voices for the main characters in the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville.
Saturday, June 3 at 8:30pm
Rhode Island’s favorite hometown rapper Chachi Carvalho joins forces with master of rhythm Sidy Maiga for a very special performance as International Rebels. Combining Carvalho’s poignant lyricism and positive hip-hop vibes with Maiga’s West African polyrhythms, the PVDFest veterans bring along a 16-piece band featuring multiple vocalists and a DJ.
Saturday, June 3 at 6:30pm
The celebration continues at the FirstWorks Plaza Stage with Los Angeles-based Las Cafeteras, one of the hottest young bands in alternative Latin music. Since their founding in 2005, Las Cafeteras have been pleasing audiences with their infectious live performances and have crossed-genre and musical borders, playing with bands such as Mexican icons Caifanes, Lila Downs, Colombian superstar Juanes, Los Angeles legends Ozomatli, folk/indie favorites Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with Talib Kweli.
Saturday, June 3 at 5pm
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and percussionist Aurelio Martinez brings his unique musical talents to the Alex and Ani Center Stage Saturday at 5pm. One of the great musical artists of Latin America and musical ambassador of Honduras’ traditional Garifuna culture, Martinez was the first black member of the National Congress of Honduras—where he served from 2006-2010.
Saturday, June 3 at 10:30pm
Closing out the biggest evening of PVDFest at the FirstWorks Plaza Stage is soul diva Bettye LaVette, dubbed “the High Priestess of R&B” by The Huffington Post, with a career spanning more than 50 years.
Despite being in the music industry since 1962, LaVette gained mainstream fame in 2005 with her critically acclaimed album I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise. In 2016, Lavette’s album Worthy earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Blues Album. That same year, the soul singer won a Blues Music Award for the Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year.
For a complete list of PVDFest activities and events, click here.
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