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Best Live Music Over Labor Day Weekend In NY

By Jessica Allen

New York has concert venues galore, meaning you can hear great live music any night of the week. This weekend, though, you've got an extra special set of concerts from which to choose, ranging from electronica to salsa to straight-up guitar rock. Read on for details and enjoy the tunes!

Brooklyn Music Week
Various venues
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 208-8717

Guess what? It's the city's first ever Brooklyn Music Week, a celebration of the best music this borough has to offer, and you're totally invited. Among the highlights of the five-day festival are a remix contest, art installations, a panel on social justice, a body paint party (sounds super-sexy, right?), and lots of concerts at various venues throughout Brooklyn. For those looking to get in on the live-music action, you can participate in karaoke. Wednesday, August 30, through Sunday, September 3, see schedule for details, some shows require tickets or RSVP.

Sax Appeal
1650 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-2121

True confession time: this concert's name captured our hearts (we love a good musical pun). Those who need perhaps a little more convincing will be delighted to hear that this concert celebrates the contributions of the humble sax to jazz. Saxophonist Javon Jackson, his friends, and his mentor will perform both original compositions and classic works. If you haven't been, the Iridium is an old-school jazz club, frequent host to Les Paul, low-lit, intimate, cozy, friendly, and warm. Thursday, August 31, through Saturday, September 2, shows at 8 pm and 10 pm, tickets start at $35

Electric Zoo
Randall's Island
1 Randall's Island Park
New York, NY 10035
(212) 830-7722

If you're looking for the coolest of the cool kids this summer, look no further than Randall's Island, where Electric Zoo will descend in all its colorful, funky, kaleidoscopic chaos for three days. Some of the world's best DJs and performers, among them superstars of electronic music like CID, deadmau5, Elephante, Lestat, and Saint Wknd, will be on hand for this humongous music festival, which brings together "the wildest of party animals from all over the world." Friday, September 1, through Sunday, September 3, see schedule for details, tickets start at $99, must be 18+ with ID.

B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
237 West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 997-4144

Named after the legendary performer, B.B. King's offers excellent music most nights of the week. You can kick off Labor Day weekend with Reggae Fest, the city's biggest soca and reggae dance party, then change gears on Saturday for an all-you-can-eat brunch accompanied by Strawberry Fields (a Beatles tribute band). On Sunday you can get brunch as well as the Harlem Gospel Choir, then attend an R&B and soul show that night, followed by a celebration of Selena on Monday. Friday, September 1, through Monday, September 4, see schedule for details and ticket info.  

Warm Up 2017
22-25 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 784-2084

Saturday's your last chance of the year to attend Warm Up, the cutting-edge music series hosted by the cutting-edge MoMA PS 1 museum in Queens. These weekly summertime concerts seek to "introduce audiences to the best in experimental music, sound, and DJs—both local and international—across a range of genres," with a focus on collaboration, experimentation, and innovation. You'll also get a chance to wander around the astonishing site-specific installation Lumen, a marvel of technology and artistry. Saturday, September 2, 12 to 9 pm, $22 at the door, tickets required.

Salsa Sunday
Pelham Bay Park
Orchard Beach: Section 9
Bronx, NY 10464
(718) 885-2275

On select Sundays throughout the summer a salsa band descends on Orchard Beach for an afternoon of lively music. The bands usually focus on salsa, although other genres have been known to make an appearance now and again, and folks have been known to dance nearby, on a patch of concrete (wear comfie shoes). Consider making a day of it and bring swimwear and a picnic too. It is, after all, the last concert of the season—and the last weekend of the summer! (Note: there's a related event featuring a live DJ that also takes place in the park on Sundays.) Sunday, September 3, 12 to 5 pm, free.

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