Hailed by The New York Times as “Newark’s town social” and it’s the hottest music scene in New Jersey’s largest city on Thursday nights in July and August. In celebration of its 20th anniversary season, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), in collaboration with the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and M&T Bank, announces the return of the Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City free outdoor concert series.

NJPAC is pleased to announce the addition of M&T Bank as the presenting sponsor this year which, along with ongoing support from Horizon Foundation and other sponsors, helps underwrite the program costs.  M&T becomes the newest member of NJPAC’s Co-Chair Circle, representing one of the organization’s largest sponsors, and will also collaborate with NJPAC Arts Education in the fall to bring additional music education opportunities to K-12 public school students throughout the state.


Attended by thousands of music and dance fans who enjoy great entertainment under the stars, Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City is presented at no cost to the community in NJPAC’s Chambers Plaza. 

An exciting lineup of diverse musical artists is in place for the anniversary season, beginning on Thursday, July 6 at 5 p.m. with the traditional opener, DJ Felix Hernandez and his “Rhythm Revue Dance Party.” 

The party continues every Thursday through Aug. 24, with a stellar array of established artists and rising stars, performing music ranging from soul and hip-hop to the grooves of Latin and jazz. This year’s headliners include Jon B. (July 13); Kurtis Blow and Universal Hip-Hop Museum (July 20); Septeto Santiaguero (July 27); Tower of Power (Aug. 3); Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses (Aug. 10); Black Sheep / Das EFX (Aug. 17), and Talib Kweli (Aug. 24).

The eight-performance series also offers food and beverages from popular food trucks on the plaza, as well as an open-air bar. NJPAC’s acclaimed restaurant, NICO Kitchen + Bar, will be open during performances.

Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City is made possible through a special collaboration between NJPAC, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and M&T Bank. Generous sponsors also include BD, RWJ Barnabas, the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, Inc., Newark Downtown District, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark.


Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City 2017 Schedule

Thursday, July 6

Felix Hernandez’s “Rhythm Revue Dance Party”

Thursday, July 13

Jon B.

Thursday, July 20

Kurtis Blow

Hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow arrives with his group, dedicated to inspiring audiences through the power of hip-hop.

Thursday, July 27

Septeto Santiaguero

Opener: 3D Rhythm of Life

Thursday, Aug. 3

Tower of Power

(Sponsored by Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark)

Thursday, Aug. 10

Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses

(Sponsored by the Gia Maione Foundation)

Thursday, Aug. 17

Black Sheep / Das EFX

Opener: DJ Wallah

Legacy Hip Hop Dance performance

Thursday, Aug. 24

Talib Kweli (as DJ set)

DJ Spintelect

Legacy Hip Hop Dance performance