Happy Women’s Day! American Soul Singer & Rochester Native Danielle Ponder to Perform on Women’s Day at The Great New York State Fair this Summer

Danielle Ponder release

On International Women’s Day today, The Great New York State Fair is announcing another artist to add to its Women’s Day Line-Up this summer. Rochester native and soul R&B performer Danielle Ponder will take the Chevy Court Stage at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, the day The Fair will shine a spotlight on inspiring women.

As her star rises nationally in the music world, Danielle 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, just one week before her 40th birthday.

Danielle stepped into the national spotlight with the release of her debut album, “Some of Us Are Brave” in September 2022 and her unique sound – a blend of pop, R&B, blues, rock and soul. 2023 was a big year for Danielle as well: She made her acting debut on General Hospital in April, performed at Lollapalooza in August, and in the fall, went on tour with the Black Pumas. Currently, she’s working on her second album.

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 debut 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.

“We are delighted to have been able to book Danielle and we got really lucky to be able to get her on Women’s Day. Her message is unifying, uplifting, and empowering,” said Interim Fair Director Julie LaFave.  “She has a soulful, powerful voice, and has made a career out of helping people.  Add in that she’s a Rochester native, and she’s going to a tremendous addition to our line up at the Fair and on Women’s Day.”

Danielle Ponder’s Women’s Day 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 Suburban Park (located on the western end of the Fairgrounds, beyond the Midway). Chevy Court will feature a 1:00 p.m. and a 6:00 p.m. performance every day throughout the Fair, while Suburban Park will feature a daily 8:00 p.m. concert.

As concerts are announced, Fair staff will update schedules on the Fair’s website at pages dedicated to Chevy Court and Suburban Park. Acts announced thus far are provided in the tables below:

Chevy Court:

Wednesday, August 21 1:00 p.m. Chubby Checker
Friday, August 23 1:00 p.m. Sophie B. Hawkins
Saturday, August 24 1:00 p.m. Kidz Bop
Monday, August 26 1:00 p.m. Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Tuesday, August 27 1:00 p.m. Little Anthony
Wednesday, August 28 6:00 p.m. Danielle Ponder
Thursday, August 29 6:00 p.m. Chapel Hart

Suburban Park:

Friday, August 21 8:00 p.m. TLC
Wednesday, August 28 8:00 p.m. Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Saturday, August 31 8:00 p.m. Brian Kelley


The Fair starts Wednesday, August 21, and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Admission – still free for kids under 12 years old, and adults over 65 years old – will  go on sale later this year.

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.

The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, browse photos on Flickr, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.