BAMs R&B Festival is returning to Fort Greene Park for two weekends this October, and its promising a bold and eclectic lineup of artists including Matthew Whitaker, Mykal Rose, Stew & the Negro Problem and Valerie June.

On October 2 and 3, and October 9 and 10, Fort Greene Park will be taken over by the festival, which marks BAMs first live, in-person music performances since the pandemic shuttered arts venues and live performances in March 2020.

The concerts will take place outdoors with the most up-to-date safety protocols in place for artists, audiences and staff, the organization said.

The festival lineup will showcase both music legends and bold new voices from Brooklyn and around the world,including Memphis singer-songwriterValerie June, Tony Award-winning playwrightStewwith his bandThe Negro Problem, jazz pianistMatthew Whitaker and the Grammy Award-winning singerMykal Rose, formerly of Black Uhuru.

The fall concerts also feature jazz saxophonistLakecia Benjaminand her bandthe Soul Squad, Queens-born soul surrealistduendita,and more.

BAM R&B Festival Producer Danny Kapilian said it was a tremendous personal and professional delight to continue the 26-year-legacy of the BAM R&B Festival, this year in Brooklyn.

Our headliners — Matthew Whitaker, Mykal Rose, Stew & the Negro Problem, and Valerie June — are all uniquely creative artists, making deep and lasting impressions on the music scene, Kapilian said.

Presenting these free fall concerts is our way of providing positive inspiration and generous spirit for all Brooklyn and NYC communities.

Over the years, the free outdoor concert series has become a celebration of the impact of rhythm and blues on contemporary culture, becoming a favorite destination for Brooklyn music lovers since its launch in 1995.

Past performers include Andra Day, PJ Morton, Tank and the Bangas, Wilson Pickett, Nona Hendryx, Ashford and Simpson, Dr. John, Angelique Kidjo, Vernon Reid, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Van Hunt, Savion Glover, Marcus Miller, Richie Havens, and many more.

Coco Killingsworth, BAM co-interim president,said the organization was thrilled to bring the energy and dynamism of the R&B concerts back to Fort Greene Park, showcasing free music and incredible talent to Brooklyn.

The festival celebrates the versatility and undeniable influence R&B has on other genres by bringing together an eclectic lineup of music legends and bold new voices, each with their own distinctive style and sound,” Killingsworth said.

The lineup is:

Sat, Oct. 2: Matthew Whitaker

Sun, Oct. 3: Mykal Rose

Sat, Oct. 9: Stew & the Negro Problem

Sun, Oct. 10: Valerie June

All concerts are free, require no tickets, and take place at Fort Greene Park. The concert stage is located on the lawn at Myrtle Avenue, and shows run from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Visit for updates.

Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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