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For Immediate Release

OGSpressoffice@ogs.ny.gov| 518-474-5987


May 25, 2023


Robert Randolph &The Family Band to Perform Wednesday, August 16 at the NYS Food Festival

Hops and Harvest Festival to Feature Performance by the Yonder Mountain String Band on Wednesday, September 13 

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy today announced that Robert Randolph & The Family Band will perform at this year’s Summer at the Plaza Food Festival, and the Yonder Mountain String Band will take the stage on Wednesday, September 13 for the annual Hops and Harvest Festival.

“In downtown Albany, summer is the season to spend time outdoors with colleagues and friends at the Empire State Plaza, enjoying delicious food and beverages with a side order of free entertainment,” Commissioner Moy said. “Hops & Harvest and the New York State Food Festival are two highlights of our annual Summer At the Plaza series of concerts and events, and I invite everyone to join in on the fun.”

Earlier this month, OGS announced it will host an exciting and entertaining lineup of festivals and concerts for the 2023 Summer at the Plaza season, which will kick off with New York State’s Fourth of July Celebration presented by Price Chopper/Market 32, featuring an Independence Day performance by Sheila E.

New York State Food Festival, Wednesday, August 16, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

New York State’s Food Festival pairs a wide variety of delicious food and beverages with an exciting lineup of activities and free entertainment, including this year’s featured performance by the Robert Randolph & The Family Band, with an additional performance by Flavour.

A virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, Robert Randolph jumped from spiritual to secular music and found an audience among blues fans, roots rock aficionados, and jam band followers with his fiery, passionate instrumental work and heartfelt music.

While Randolph cut his teeth playing in services at the House of God Church in his native New Jersey, where the pedal steel is a key part of the church’s musical program, his talents were discovered by fans outside the church, and he made his recording debut with a live album recorded with his backing group the Family Band, 2001’s “Live at the Wetlands, that mixed gospel and full-bodied rock and blues.

Randolph’s first studio set, 2003’s “Unclassified,” broadened the scope of his repertoire with flashes of funk and Caribbean sounds. His subsequent albums with the Family Band, such as 2010’s “When We Walk This Road” (produced by T-Bone Burnett) and 2013’s “Lickety Split,” were steeped in passion and energy that came from Randolph and his band’s instrumental skills and heartfelt fusion of multiple genres.

Hops & Harvest Festival, Wednesday, September 13, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Showcasing the highlights of upstate New York’s harvest season as well as the tasty beers crafted by several of the most innovative breweries New York State has to offer, the Hops & Harvest Festival was first held in 2018, and this year will feature a performance by the Yonder Mountain String Band, with additional performances by Sicard Hollow and Bees in the Barn.

In its 25th year of making music, the Yonder Mountain String Band continues to exist at the forefront of the progressive bluegrass scene as undeniable innovators and pioneers of the modern jamgrass movement.

Blending bluegrass with elements of rock, alternative, psychedelic and improvisational music, Yonder Mountain String Band brought their high-energy acoustic sound and light show into rock n’ roll settings with tremendous success, proving it was possible for a bluegrass band to not only exist but excel in a rock world, without drums. The inroads they made created opportunities for like-minded acoustic bands to perform at festivals, rock clubs, theaters, and stadiums previously considered off-limits for string bands. Yonder Mountain’s high-energy sound, compelling original music and anything-goes attitude cultivated a spirit of collaborative improvisation that continues to fuel today’s progressive bluegrass and jamgrass scenes.

Yonder Mountain String Band celebrated their quarter-century mark with a Grammy nomination for their 2022 release “Get Yourself Outside.” Yonder Mountain was recently honored with an induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Previously Announced 2023 Summer at the Plaza Events

New York State’s Fourth of July Celebration Presented By Price Chopper/Market 32

Each year this event features an exciting program filled with incredible live music, great food and beverages, a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, and the best fireworks display in the region.

  • Sheila E. with a performance by Jocelyn & Chris

2023 Capital Concert Series Presented by Miller Lite

The Capital Concert Series presented by Miller Lite offers four Wednesday evening concerts with a list of award-winning and diverse artists scheduled to perform between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Lunchtime at the Plaza Concert Series Presented by M&T Bank

Held in conjunction with the Empire State Plaza outdoor farmers market and food vendor programs, the free outdoor concert series provides live music from noon to 1:30 p.m. on 10 Wednesdays between June 7 and August 16.

  • June 7 – Acute Inflections
  • June 14 – Maria Z with Brian Melick, Spanish classical, flamenco, and American fingerstyle
  • June 21 – Make Music Day celebration featuring Heard, world music
  • June 28 – To be announced
  • July 5 – No concert the week of July 4
  • July 12 – Veteran Appreciation Day featuring the Gone Gray Band, classic rock
  • July 19 – To be announced
  • July 26 – Carmen and Life’s Guilty Pleasures, jazz
  • August 2 -- The Age, R&B / soul
  • August 9 – The Dominant 5, brass ensemble
  • August 16 – Legacy, R&B 

OGS will continue to announce the lineup of events and performers for the 2023 Summer at the Plaza season in the coming weeks.

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