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Celebrate Brooklyn Celebrates 26th Year

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Celebrate Brooklyn 2004, one of New York City's longest-running, free ($3 suggested donation) summer outdoor performing arts festivals, and celebrating its 26th season of music, dance, word, and film at the Prospect Park Band shell, 9th Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, is set for June 16-August 7.

Celebrate Brooklyn 2004 features 23 performance events with over 60 artists and ensembles from 19 countries. With a mélange of musical styles ranging from alt-rock to zydeco, classical to Caribbean, Mexican to Middle Eastern, Salsa to South African plus four eclectic films on a giant outdoor screen and the world renowned Mark Morris Dance Group, the season is eclectic.

Its second annual gala and concert features an exclusive New York City area performance by roots rockers Los Lobos. This year's gala will honor Brooklyn's own legendary music impresario Clive Davis and Robert B. Tierney, chairman, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, with Corporate Chair Kevin Burke, president, Con Edison. The concert is free and gala tickets are available starting at $250, which includes dinner, best concert seats and an after-concert party.

Following in the footsteps of last season's monumental homage to Leonard Cohen, visionary producer Hal Willner kicks off a week of Canada in New York performance events and Celebrate Brooklyn's new Independence Community Bank Series with the Neil Young Project featuring Cat Power, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, Iron & Wine and others on June 26. The series continues with the Brooklyn Philharmonic celebrating the American immigrant experience on 10 with a multi-media program entitled "Ellis Island – The Dream of America," composed and conducted by Peter Boyer with narratives read by actors Barry Bostwick and Blair Brown. The series continues with Dan Zanes & Friends Musical Picnic on July 18 and concludes on Friday July 30 with Brooklyn's own favorite underground pop saboteurs, They Might Be Giants.

The Budweiser Latin Music Series kicks off July 3 with the heavily spiced Latin American and Caribbean music of Bacilos and Brooklyn's own Radio Mundial. The series continues on July 9 with Mexican alt-rap Control Machete on a double-bill with Mexico City's rising star Natalia LaFourcade, and on July 31, Plena Libre is one of several bands performing during the 7th annual Boricua Festival, an all-day festival dedicated to the music, dance, food and crafts of Puerto Rico.

The popular Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn membership program offers many exciting perks at the performances including an exclusive Friends entrance, food and beverage service in the Friends Tent, reserved seats, and receptions with the artists.

A model program, Celebrate Brooklyn has earned a reputation as an innovative presenter by offering an eclectic mix of over 1,500 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough's diversity, ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to talented, emerging artists.

The festival is produced by Jack Walsh. Rachel Chanoff is artistic director. Each summer Celebrate Brooklyn transforms the Prospect Park Band shell into an extraordinary outdoor theater which attendees regularly claim as the best outdoor performance experience in New York City. Celebrate Brooklyn attracts over 250,000 people each season and offers raked seating for 2,000 people and space for 5,000 people on the adjacent lawns. In addition, there is state-of-the-art lighting, projection for video and 35mm film, and a giant 50' wide screen. This summer Celebrate Brooklyn will feature a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art "line array" concert sound system provided by SLS Loudspeakers, which provides extremely even coverage, clarity and volume throughout the site while reducing "spill" into adjacent areas.

Series sponsors include Budweiser and Independence Community Bank. Major media sponsor Time Warner Cable will air weekly spots on MTV, VH1, Discovery, History Channel and others featuring what is happening each week at Celebrate Brooklyn. Season co-sponsors include Health Plus, Snapple and Nantucket Nectars. The Village Voice is the official newspaper. WNYC is the season radio partner. The opening night gala is sponsored by Con Edison. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen