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Five Shows to See at the River to River Festival

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    Philip Glass Ensemble at Rockefeller Park, June 20

    Philip Glass has been celebrating his 75th birthday all year, which is his right as an influential avant-garde icon. The Philip Glass Ensemble will air prime cuts from the often hypnotically repetitive hypnotically repetitive hypnotically repetitive composer's body of work with a set that is quite a bit cheaper than normal. Opening will be the teenage vocal choir Face the Music, performing Glass' somewhat mainstream chamber music entry point Glassworks.  

    Body Language at Pier 17 at The Seaport, June 24

    This Brooklyn group has collaborated with Passion Pit and Theophilus London, and did not pick their name because they have a quiet, contemplative sound. They will be playing cuts from recent album Social Studies  here, and will do their best to turn the seaside Pier 17 in to a soulfully seedy dance club.

    Roomful of Teeth, Merrill Garbus, William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein’s The Yehudim at World Financial Center Plaza, June 30

    Ecstatic Music founder Judd Greenstein's electric, acid-jazz influences ensemble are exploratory enough on their own, but here they will share the stage with tUnE-yArDs visionary Merrill Garbus, who will see her loop-based, pan-rhythmic assaults augmented by avant-garde vocal group Roomful of Teeth. Though they're no such thing as a "typical tUnE-yArDs show," but the pairing with with a crew of whack-a-mole warblers should make for an ear-opening evening. 

    The Choral Music of Nico Muhly with Trinity Choir and conductor Julian Wachner at St. Paul’s Chapel, July 1

    The River to River commissioned new work from Nico Muhly, one of the most talented and unpredictable young composers of his generation. Muhly's music can be meditative, playful or downright odd. Given that this set will take place in a church and will be paired Renaissance choral works that Muhly has cited as influences, we'll guess this will be a more meditative affair, but you won't know for sure unless you show up.

    George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at Rockefeller Park, July 12

    Rumor has it that someone wants the funk. Should that be you, rejoice, for George Clinton has the funk, and he is more than happy to funk you up. Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic have been doing that thang to you and your booty for four decades now, and you would have to be a ridiculous person not to have seen them at least once by now. Should you be a ridiculous person, here's your chance to get aboard the mothership.