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Ponder to Perform at Great New York State Fair
New York Ag Connection - 03/29/2023

As Rochester native Danielle Ponder's star continues to rise nationally, the Great New York State Fair looks forward to welcoming the singer-songwriter to the Chevrolet Music Series this summer. The soulful R&B performer will take the Chevy Court Stage at 1 p.m. on Aug. 30.

Ponder is already well known throughout Western New Yok and in the Finger Lakes region. She worked in the Monroe County Public Defender's Office – first as a public defender, then as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer – for nearly a decade, while performing regularly throughout Rochester's music scene. While working as a public defender, Danielle also toured Europe, opening for George Clinton. In 2018, she decided to pursue music fulltime. Now, as Danielle steps into the national spotlight with her debut album, "Some of Us Are Brave" (released in September 2022), her unique sound – a mix of pop, R&B, blues, rock and soul – is infiltrating radio stations across the country. NPR has described her music as "anthemic while compassionate; soulful, while bold and strong."

Danielle's music and lyrics mirror her values and work in social activism. She was inspired to pursue law after her brother received a 20-year sentence as a result of a "three strikes" law. Danielle has been an influential leader in the Black Lives Matter movement in Rochester and continues to advocate for criminal justice reform. Her album's title track, "Some of Us Are Brave," was inspired by a book she read in law school, "All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men: But Some of Us Are Brave" by Barbara Smith.

"I think these songs can mean a million different things to a million different people. But, I hope there are songs that make them feel encouraged, songs that make them feel brave, songs that help them feel seen, and even songs they just cry to," Danielle said recently in an interview shared on the biography page of her website.

Danielle's performance at the Great New York State Fair will take place on Women's Day.

"When I heard Danielle Ponder's soulful, powerful voice on the radio, I was blown away. Then, when I learned she was from Rochester and became familiar with her story and how she's made a career out of helping people, I was even more inspired," said Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey. "Danielle's message is unifying, uplifting and empowering. Her performance will be a strong start to a day of celebrating women, and we hope concertgoers feel just as inspired as we do."

Danielle Ponder's performance – like all concerts in the Chevrolet Music Series – will be free with admission to the Fair.

The Chevrolet Music Series features daily performances at Chevy Court (located near Gate 1) and the Experience Stage at Chevy Park (located on the western end of the Fairgrounds, beyond the Midway). Chevy Court will feature a 1 p.m. and a 6 p.m. performance every day throughout the Fair. The Experience Stage will feature a daily 8 p.m. concert. Most days there will be a 2 p.m. concert there as well.

The Fair starts Aug. 23, and runs through Labor Day. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for those 65 years and older, and 12 years and younger.

Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment, and is a key piece of the state's CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. It is the oldest fair in the United States and is consistently recognized as being among the top five state fairs in the nation.

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