American Soul Singer & Rochester Native Danielle Ponder to Perform at The Great New York State Fair This Summer

American Soul Singer & Rochester Native Danielle Ponder to Perform at The Great New York State Fair This Summer

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 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30.

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. 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 Suburban Park Stage (located on the western end of the Fairgrounds, beyond the Midway.). All of the acts announced thus far at both stages are provided below. Schedules are continuously updated at pages dedicated to Suburban Park and Chevy Court on the Fair’s website.

Chevy Court:

Wednesday, August 23 1:00 p.m. Chubby Checker
Saturday, August 26 1:00 p.m. Peppa Pig Live! Peppa Pig’s Adventure
Sunday, August 27 1:00 p.m. The Prodigals
Monday, August 28 1:00 p.m. Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Tuesday, August 29 1:00 p.m. Tommy James and the Shondells
Tuesday, August 29 6:00 p.m. Bret Michaels’ Parti Gras
Wednesday, August 30 1:00 p.m. Danielle Ponder
Wednesday, August 30 6:00 p.m. Chapel Hart
Monday, September 4 12:00 p.m. The High Kings


Suburban Park Stage:

Thursday, August 24 8:00 p.m. Theory of a Deadman
Saturday, August 26 8:00 p.m. George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Monday, August 28 8:00 p.m. REO Speedwagon
Tuesday, August 29 8:00 p.m. Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line


The Fair starts Wednesday, August 23, and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. 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.

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, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr and ideas are always welcome. New Yorkers are encouraged to send suggestions via email to