The 2019 Free Summer Events Series at Cornell features a diverse lineup of local and international musicians, speakers and performers on campus every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from June 28 through Aug. 2. All events are at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.
Presented by the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, the series features Tuesday performances at indoor venues on campus, Wednesday lectures in Kennedy Hall’s Call Auditorium and Friday concerts on the Arts Quad. (One Thursday lecture has been added to the series; National Book Award-winning writer Joyce Carol Oates will speak Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. in Call Auditorium.)
Events July 16-19 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and Cornell’s ties to space exploration.
Renowned Ghanaian drummer and composer Paa Kow follows his appearance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival with a performance June 28 on the Arts Quad to kick off the Cornell summer series. Kow (pronounced “ko”) blends his native country’s rhythms and artistry with jazz and African music, creating an Afro-fusion sound.
Friday concerts are family-friendly; concertgoers can bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs. Cornell Dairy will sell ice cream, mango sorbet and bottled water during performances. If inclement weather is forecast, concerts will take place in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall, with the change of venue announced on Facebook.
Indoor performances include the acclaimed Aeolus Quartet from New York City, July 16 in Sage Chapel, with “Mysterium.” Named for a new work by composer Alexandra Bryant, the concert also features Beethoven’s Op. 131 (String Quartet No. 14) and Oswaldo Golijov’s “Tenebrae,” a piece inspired by “The Pale Blue Dot” – the photograph of Earth taken by Voyager 1, and the book by famed Cornell astronomy professor Carl Sagan.
On July 17 in Call Auditorium, historian Andrew Chaikin, author of “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts,” revisits his one-on-one interviews with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins about the Apollo 11 mission.
Lectures on Wednesdays also include “Ask Amy: Answers!” on July 10, with Amy Dickinson distilling life lessons from 20 years as a syndicated advice columnist; “Jane Austen Made Me Do It,” July 24, with David Faulkner, senior lecturer in the Department of English and the Knight Institute; and “CRISPR Gene-Editing Moves Out of the Laboratory and Into Human Cell Testing,” July 31, with Ailong Ke, professor of molecular biology and genetics, on the promise of gene therapies based on RNA research on bacteria.
The summer series also features local favorites in concert:
- The Blind Spots, with lead singer Maddy Walsh, July 5 on the Arts Quad;
- Richie Stearns and the Finger Lakes Old-Time All-Stars, featuring Aaron Lipp, July 9 in Klarman Hall;
- Road Man (led by John Petronzio of John Brown’s Body), July 12 on the Arts Quad;
- Arthur B. and the Planetary Mix, original rock with soul, July 19 on the Arts Quad;
- An Evening of Latin Jazz with the John White Jazz Quintet, July 23 in Klarman Hall (with Cornell’s Paul Merrill on trumpet and other music educators from the Finger Lakes region);
- The Caribe Jazz All-Stars, playing Latin dance music July 26 on the Arts Quad;
- Celtic trio Arise & Go, July 30 in Klarman Hall; and
- Reggae group Mosaic Foundation, Aug. 2 on the Arts Quad.
More information on the events and parking is available online.
Shelley Preston is the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions' communications and marketing specialist.