This week, we’ve got puppets, step, and the GRAMMY-winning, all-female Mariachi band Flor de Toloache times three. You may notice that this week’s edition is a tad on the long side. We’re giving you some extra suggestions this week to tide you over since our next post won’t be until August 21. Enjoy!

Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away
presented by PBS’s American Masters
Streaming until 8/24
Dive into the career of the legendary blues guitarist, who played to a packed house here back in 2011. Guy is a pioneer of Chicago’s West Side sound and a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. The video, which is closed captioned, features new performances and interviews with John Mayer, Carlos Santana, and more.
Watch it on

International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC 2021 and Puppet Week NYC
Through August 31
Live in various locations and online
Love this! The International Puppet Fringe Festival is a biannual festival hosted Teatro SEA in the Lower East Side dedicated to – you guessed it – puppets. The festival features 40+ performances by some of the leading puppet makers and troupes from around the world. This year they are joining efforts with the Museum of the City of New York to celebrate the exhibition Puppets of New York and celebrate for the first-ever Puppet Week in the city of New York.
View the festival schedule

Step Afrika! with Dem Raider Boyz Step Squad, Kofi Agyei
Presented by the Kennedy Center
Friday, August 13, at 6pm
Live stream from the Millennium Stage
Get up and dance! Step Afrika! interactive performances highlight the step tradition of audience participation; their complex, polyrhythmic percussion is sure to bring you to your feet. Join the celebrated dance company along with amazing step teams and guest artists streaming live from the Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage.
Access the Step Afrika! livestream

Aspen Chamber Symphony with Joyce Yang and Roderick Cox
at the Aspen Music Festival
Friday, August 13, 5:30pm MT
Live stream
Join the Aspen Chamber Symphony and conductor Roderick Cox on a musical journey that will take you from turbulence to tranquility while showcasing Joyce Yang, one of the most thrilling pianists of our time.
KODÁLY: Dances of Galánta
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, LW H4
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 90
Access the Aspen Music Festival live stream

Silkroad Global Musician Workshop Festival
Presented by Silkroad and the New England Conservatory
Friday, August 13, and Saturday, August 14, 8pm both nights
Live stream
This free online festival will feature music from around the world played by a diverse group of Global Musician Workshop participants, faculty, alumni, and guest artists including singer-songwriter and Silkroad’s Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Beninese-American singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, hip hop duo and PAC audience favorite Black Violin, composer and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, and musician and rapper Speech.
Learn more about Silkroad on their website
Access the livestream on Facebook

Flor de Toloache x3!
This GRAMMY-winning, all-female Mariachi band fuses together influences from across genres and cultures to produce a unique and powerful take on traditional Mariachi music.  Join them for a magical night (or two or three) filled with the unmistakable sounds of a time-honored musical tradition made new again.   Watch a video of Flor De Toloache at the Kennedy Center

Concert on the Lawn:  Flor de Toloache
Friday, August 13, 7pm
Relax (or get up and dance!) as music fills the air. Please bring your own blanket or seating. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved into the Venetian Theater.
More information on the Caramoor website

Little Island presents NYC FREE: Flor de Toloache
Sunday, August 15, at 9:15 in The Amph on Little Island, Manhattan.
Flor de Toloache and more at the NYC Free Festival

Rise & Shine Concert in the Park:  Flor de Toloache
presented by the Emelin Theatre and the Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council
Wednesday, August 18, 7pm (Rain Date:  Thursday, Aug 19, 7pm)
Live music is back on the Sound Shore! This show is free to attend and tickets are not required.
Learn more about Concerts in the Park

Lincoln Center presents BAAND Together Dance Festival
August 17–21
Live on the Restart Stage at Damrosch Park
In an unprecedented celebration of dance, Ballet HispánicoAlvin Ailey American Dance TheaterAmerican Ballet TheatreNew York City Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem share the spotlight for the first time during this week of outdoor dance performances.
View the BAAND festival schedule

We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert
presented by New York City, Clive Davis, and Live Nation
Saturday, August 21, 5pm-9:30pm
Live on the Great Lawn in Central Park
Broadcast worldwide on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and unauthenticated on CNNGo
The show’s lineup includes Andrea Bocelli, Wyclef Jean, Kane Brown, Barry Manilow, Bruce Springsteen, Cynthia Erivo, Don Lemon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Lucky Daye, Elvis Costello, Gayle King, Jennifer Hudson, Jimmy Fallon, Journey, Jon Batiste, The Killers, LL COOL J, The New York Philharmonic, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Polo G, Maluma, Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas.
View ticket information for We Love NYC

Culture Picks is a weekly feature celebrating the performing arts. The arts are back and there is so much to take in, both live and virtual. PAC staff member Coni Guhl is here to help you sort through it all. Each week we will post her curated selection of events featuring the artists you know and love from The PAC Center Series, plus a sampling of stellar local experiences. Enjoy!

All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.

Photo: Flor de Toloache © Flor de Toloache