Arts & Culture

It’s The Sooooounds…of The City: NJPAC’s Summertime Series is Here!

NJPAC’s Sounds of the City, the annual tradition of free outdoor concerts on downtown Newark’s doorstep has returned for another season! Affectionately known as “Sounds,” the steamy kick-off featured DJ Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue, an annual favorite, who got the crowd of over 3,000 on their feet and groovin’–even in a heat wave!

Here’s the PERFECT GUIDE for a perfect night at one of Newark’s hottest summertime scenes:

You can’t miss the concerts—they take place right in NJPAC’s front yard! Bring your lawn chairs about 30 mins early to grab the best spots. To get here, there are multiple transportation options available, including the conveniently located Light Rail, Path Station, and NJTRANSIT train options at Newark Broad Street and Newark Penn Station. If you’re driving, use the advanced parking option to save $2. You can park in NJPAC parking lots C or Military Park, which also has self-service pay stations. For street parking, use the app called Park Whiz.

Your dancing shoes, of course! Also, bring along a bottle of water, a camera, an umbrella in case of rain, foldable lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on and some cash for the dee-lish treats and dinner options that are sold by Theater Square Events and local food trucks.

Fresh assorted wraps are available for purchase, as well as chips, signature house treats, candy, and some of the best food trucks around. Premium liquors sold include Hennessy, Grey Goose, and Johnny Walker Black as well as beer, wine and soft drinks. For those 21 and over, give Blue Moon’s ‘Belgian White’ a try—it’s light, tasty, and just right for summertime refreshment.

Enjoy gorgeous views of the setting sun and New York City skyline. Snap some beautiful pictures and be sure to post them on social media! Make sure to hashtag your pictures #SoundsOfTheCity, #NJPAC and #hotstuff! (okay, maybe not #hotstuff…your choice) But dress your best because with over 3,000 people enjoying the evening, there’s lots of networking and meeting and mingling.

This season’s line-up is as diverse and interesting as New Jersey’s population. Featured artists will be playing R&B, Afro-Caribbean jams, Hip Hop, jazz, soul, funk, gospel, and blues—the perfect summer playlist! 


Tiempo Libre, a triple GRAMMY nominee—is up next on July 14th celebrating Afro-Caribbean music.


Universal Hip Hop Museum’s The Peace, Unity & Love Show on July 21 will be a hip-hop showcase featuring Rakim, Renee Neufville and more!


The LA Times describes Kasami Washington’s (July 28) performance as “…defiantly modern music with runaway-train momentum.” An eclectic saxophonist, he plays tunes that range from Jazz to Hip Hop.

Junior Marvin 3

Junior Marvin’s Wailers on August 4 stars a blues-rock artist who was a long-time Bob Marley coordinator that will transport you to the Caribbean.


Avery Sunshine’s (Aug 11) powerhouse vocals are not to be missed as she sings soul out into the summer night.


Don’t torture yourself by missing Tortured Soul’s soul music on August 18.


Sounds of the City wraps with R&B star Bilal on August 25.


Live music is a summer must. And, it’s FREE. Whether you’re dancing on the bricks, networking and mingling with other members and neighbors, tasting some delicious food, or just enjoying the music and the summer breeze, we hope to see you at NJPAC’s Sounds of the City 2016! Be sure to tell us all about it!

Written by Aimee Buchanan, Social Media Intern Summer 2016