Under the Stars

Grand Performances concerts target the many different communities of LA, June 17 - October 15

Published on LatinoLA: May 26, 2006

Under the Stars

Grand Performances is a non profit organization that promotes a series of free summer concerts at the California Plaza ‘«Ű Downtown LA. Our concerts target the many different communities of LA. We would like to invite you and your audience to be part of our 2006 season (this being our 20th season).

Saturday, June 17 @ 3 PM
Guthrie Family Heritage Tour
Our 20th anniversary season opens with a special performance by one of the seminal figures of the socio-political folk music movement of the 60s, Arlo Guthrie. This extraordinary event is in honor of Father‘«÷s Day weekend and features three generations of Guthries together on one stage.

Friday, June 23 @ 8 PM
Film Series - Crash
Our second annual Film Series in partnership with the Los Angeles Film Festival and the DCBID (Downtown Center Business Improvement District) kicks off with Crash

Saturday, June 24 @ 8:00 PM
Film Series
An Inconvenient Truth
Director Davis Guggenheim‘«÷s film eloquently weaves the science of global warming with longtime environmental advocate Al Gore‘«÷s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. Mr. Gore presents a wide array of compelling facts and information, laying out the statistics for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style. By the end of the film, everyone is on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message. This is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share.

Saturday, July 1 @ 7 PM
Sounds Eclectico with Kinky & Sidestepper
Grand Performances and KCRW are proud to present two genre-defying bands that have forged inroads into the collective psyche of critics and music lovers. Monterrey, Mexico-based quintet Kinky blends their juiced up funk with rock, electronica, thick synth atmospherics and liberal sprinklings of rhythmic styles from the Americas. Bogota, Colombia-based Sidestepper‘«÷s groundbreaking music marries British drum-and-bass with salsa's brash horns and fluid piano samples. The sound is Latin electronica. Get ready to dance all night!

Sunday, July 2 @ 3 PM
Emeline Michele & Sara Tavares
Times Square Records artists‘«÷ Emeline Michele and Sara Tavares are two of the most talented and creative vocalists on the world music scene today. Haitian-born Emeline Michele and Lisbon, Portugal-based Cape Verdean, Sara Tavares are displaced emigrants whose plaintive songs speak of familial roots, the hopeful dissolving of political strife and the joy of being present to see the beauty in life. African influenced music from both sides of the Atlantic come together for what will be a magical afternoon.

Thursday, July 6 @ 8 PM
Friday, July 7 @ Noon
Algerian-born Abdelli is an author, composer and interpreter of the traditional music of his homeland. His music fuses the traditional Algerian instruments such as the mandola, the bendir and the darbuka, with western, Southern and Central American sounds. The unique and colorful rhythm created from this m?ģlange is one of the most hauntingly beautiful music ever heard.

Friday, July 7 @ 8 PM
K?ģk?ģl?ģ‘«÷s Congalese rumba was the hit of our 2004 season. They return for an evening of sweet melodies and swinging, sensual music. From the first note, the audience is seduced by percolating percussion, honeyed voices, and glorious guitars. This evening‘«÷s performance takes its cue from the band‘«÷s most recent CD release Kinavana. It is an homage to the sultry Cuban grooves that beat in partnership with rhythms of the Congo. The music is ardent, playful and mature delivered by an unbeatable roster of veteran performers who weave graceful and sophisticated music for modern ears.

Saturday, July 8 @ 8 PM
Ska Cubano
Ska Cubano‘«÷s compulsively danceable sound melds the classic 50s and 60s dance sounds of Jamaica with the vibrant, rumba, salsa rhythms of Cuba. Jamaican immigration into Cuba (particularly the eastern provinces) in the 1920s & 1930s was the genesis of what became ‘«£ska‘«ō. Ska-Cubano‘«÷s music pays homage to both countries rich musical history. Theirs is dynamic music that‘«÷s pure danceable fun! Grand Performances‘«÷ annual fundraiser takes place this evening.

Friday, July 14 @ Noon
Lisa Haley and the Zydekats
It‘«÷s down-home, shake your rump, stomp your feet, Cajun music with a 21st century twist. Lisa Haley and the Zydekats‘«÷ infectious grooves and irresistible rhythms are the perfect choice for our Bastille Day celebration. Traditional Louisiana Zydeco music with a pop approach blends seamlessly with, as one writer says ‘«£‘«™Haley‘«÷s one-of-a-kind cornbread voice.‘«ō

Friday, July 14 @ 8 PM
Saturday, July 15 @ 8 PM
Diavolo Dance Theater
A real crowd-pleaser! GP has presented this amazing company several times over the past 10 years.
Founded in 1992 by French-born Jacques Heim, Diavolo Dance Theater examines the funny and frightening ways individuals interact with their environment. Featured as one of the most exciting and imaginative dance companies in our city by Los Angeles magazine, the company is known for its sometimes high risk, dramatic use of props and is comprised of dancers, gymnasts and actors who create performances collaboratively under the guidance of Heim.

Sunday, July 16 @ 3 PM
Nisei Week

Friday, July 21 @ Noon
Hip Hop and the Wheels of Steel
DJs Choc and Hapa are your tour-guides down Hip Hop‘«÷s historical wheels of steel trail with musical stops along the way. Our knowledgeable DJ guides will demonstrate basic techniques including scratching, beat juggling, beat matching and their highly developed mad skillz. Whether you are hip deep into the turntable arts, or just want to understand a little bit about that-crazy-noise-kids-listen-to-these-days, we hope you‘«÷ll join us for the fun. LAH ‘«ŰReminder that I‘«÷m still looking for the third DJ‘«÷s name.

Friday, July 21 @ 8 PM
David Ornette Cherry with Ensemble for Improvisors
The son of jazz great Don Cherry, keeps the continuum alive with his own music. LA‘«÷s own
David Ornette Cherry has found his voice with what he calls ‘«£multi-kulti‘«ō music. ‘«£My music is a union of textures, sounds, lifestyles, surroundings, and messages in a universal language emphasizing a positive state of mind,‘«ō says Cherry. Fans familiar with his inventive, improvisational style will be in for a treat.

Saturday, July 22 @ 8 PM
Sergeant William Thompson
WAT 1V Ensemble

Sunday, July 23 @ 3 PM & 4:30 PM
Tales of the Ashanti
Internationally recognized marionette artist Jim Gamble has designed and crafted imaginative and intricate puppets for stage, film and television. Tribal folk tales are dramatized by two puppeteer-actors and life-sized puppets. The designs are inspired by the distinctive art of the legendary Ashanti of West Africa and the stories are humorous and authentic in their timeless message.

Sunday, July 23 @ 8 PM
Simon Shaheen
Oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen‘«÷s well deserved acclaim as one of his generation‘«÷s most significant Arab musicians and composers is the result of his soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled musical grace. Percussionist, friend and long-time collaborator Michel Merhej will provide rhythmic compliment in a program of new compositions and selections from the classic Arabic repertoire.

Monday, July 24 @ Noon & 6 PM
Tuesday, July 25 @ Noon & 6 PM
This special 1 hour hands-on introductory session is for anyone who has never stepped in front of a turntable and wants to learn the basics. You will handle records and turntables and learn basic scratching technique. Each class is limited to 16 participants. Please send an e-mail to dj101@grandperformances.org and include: all the sessions (date and time) you are available to attend in order of preference, your name, your chosen DJ name, address and phone number. Class enrollment is first come, first served. Confirmations will be sent via e-mail by June 30. Make sure you join us on Friday, July 21 @ noon for the Hip Hop/DJ History session so that you can be hip to what‘«÷s up!

Friday, July 28 @ Noon
Daara J
This young Senegalese hip hop trio created a world-wide buzz with their 1997 self-titled release. Since then, they have continued to win fans in Europe, Asia and Africa and are slowly cultivating followers in the U.S. Their Grand Performances debut will feature their trademark songs sung in the tribal wolof, English, French and Spanish and An acoustic rendition of their global hit Esperanza. African rhythms and ambient sounds blended with American hip hop influences are complemented by lyrics that speak of the ills of globalism, the perils of a traditional society, the environment, and spirituality. Both the noon and evening performances are a culmination of a week-long series of workshops with some of our city‘«÷s most influential musicians.

Friday, July 28 @ 7:00 PM
daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra and Daara J
Los Angeles‘«÷ ground-breaking daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, led by Geoff "Double G" Gallegos, brings a program of new music and collaborations to Grand Performance. daKAH, the brainchild of Gallegos, is a symphonic ensemble that combines the electronic rhythms of hip hop with jazz and classical music. Unlike conventional hip hop music, daKAH takes the essential spirit of hip hop music and orchestrates it for acoustic instruments, dancers, singers, rappers, and DJs. Daara J opens the evening and joins the ensemble in a special 3-song medley arranged by Gallegos. It will be a mind-blowing transcontinental immersion of sound.

Saturday, July 29 @ 8 PM
Sounds Eclectico 2 w/Nortec Collective and Banda
Grand Performances joins hands with KCRW and Tu Ciudad for our second Sounds Eclectico evening featuring Tijuana-based Nortec Collective and a half-dozen of that city‘«÷s best Banda musicians. This creative collage of DJs, graphic designers and artists splices, dices, copies and reconfigures sounds from norte??o and banda Sinaloense groups; lifts the most enticing snippets of accordion hiccups, tuba riffs and squirrelly snare-drum rolls; transpose said materials to a digital studio and create sumptuous electronica soundscapes that, in Mexico and now across the length and breadth of Los Angeles, has fans dancing and rocking to their inventive beats

Friday, August 4 @ Noon
Moog Mania
Moog magician Arlan Schierbaum, dream-funk percussionist Marcus Joseph and a
their Mojo Triage friends (2005 season) will stir up a potent musical cocktail fueled by a liberal dose of electronic mayhem. Moogs of all shapes and sizes will be joined by other exotic and acoustic instruments in a hip, jazzy, and modern fusion vibe.

Friday, August 4 @ 8 PM
Film Series - Moog
The advent of the synthesizer is one of those rarest of moments in our musical culture, when something genuinely new comes into being. It is an invention that touches nearly every aspect of musical expression, production and sound design. Robert Moog is - deservedly so - the best known of the early synthesizer pioneers. Filmmaker Hans Fjellestad takes us into the world of this genius whose love of engineering and music created an instrument that is beloved by artists from across the musical spectrum: DJ Spooky, Money Mark, Ric Wakeman, Bernie Worrell, and countless others. Moog magician Arlan Schierbaum and dream-funk percussionist Marcus Joseph create a very special and inventive program to honor Robert Moog's iconic electronic marvels.

Saturday, August 5 @ 8 PM
Film Series ‘«Ű Dance Camera West

Sunday, August 6 @ 8 PM
Film Series ‘«Ű Strange Fruit
Strange Fruit masterfully combines history, biography, and jazz music. The film traces the genesis of the now ‘«Űfamous, haunting lyrics sung by jazz giant Billie Holiday. Originally written as a poem by Bronx-born school teacher-Abel Merepol, it becomes even more poignant knowing that the writer was Jewish. The history of the words, the song, jazz and the sad stain of black lynching in the American South makes it a must see for everyone.

Friday, August 11 @ Noon
Royal Crown Revue
Neo-Swing, Retro-swing, call it what you want. Royal Crown Revue have cemented themselves as the reigning kings of all that is sartorially and otherwise splendid in classic American music. Since the late ‘«ˇ80s Royal Crown Revue (RCR for the hipsters) have been delivering not just dance music from a bygone era, but music with a sense of style and elegance performed by musicians with true virtuosic skill. So come on down and dig the scene - and don't forget your dancing shoes!

Friday, August 11 @ 8 PM
Henry Mancini Institute Big Band/Band w/Maria Schneider
The HMI Big Band with conductor Justin DiCioccio performs selections from the libraries of jazz giants Ellington, Basie, Herman, Holman, Quincy Jones, and more. GRAMMY?ę Award-winning composer/conductor Maria Schneider follows with her own richly evocative and sensuous compositions. The LA Times credits Schneider with creating "...the first truly novel approach to big jazz-band composition of the new century."

Saturday, August 12 @ 8 PM
Ml?Ūd?° Chamber Orchestra plays the music of Broke Back Mountain
The vibrant talent of Ml?Ūd?° is harvested from Los Angeles' eclectic and prolific musicians who perform regularly with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony and the San Diego Symphony. This evening‘«÷s program will feature a 250th birthday nod to European composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Friday, August 18 @ Noon & 8 PM
Speak Theater Arts
N*W*C: The Race Show
Miles Gregley, Rafael Agustin and Allan Axibal - three talented actors and agent provocateurs who employ razor sharp wit and tongue-in-cheek stereotypes to discredit and demystify the sometimes negative and ignorant thoughts that pervades about non-European cultures. As the group says, ‘«£N*W*C: The Race Show, traces the origins and evolution of three derogatory terms that shaped our lives and took the place of a full understanding of our distinct cultures. We‘«÷ve used these stories to get us to a better place.‘«ō Be prepared for a mature, but insightful evening.
Adult Content
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Saturday, August 19 @ 8 PM
Inside The Creole Mafia
Inside The Creole Mafia (first presented in 1993), is a searingly powerful, funny look at racism of all types as well as the societal rifts in the city of New Orleans. The performance has been re-tooled/re-worked with the addition of a poignant, thought-provoking post-Katrina nod. Mark Broyard is both Roger Guenveur Smith‘«÷s writing and on-stage accomplice in this inventive 2-man staging. ASL Logo

Thursday, August 24 @ 8 PM
Beijing LDTX Modern Dance
See Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 for info.

Friday, August 25 @ Noon
Chinese Classical Music Ensemble
For more than a decade, the Chinese Classical Music Ensemble has been one of our city‘«÷s premiere interpreters of traditional and contemporary Chinese music. Founder and artistic director Zhiming Han incorporates Chinese and Western instruments in his compositions to create soul-stirring sounds.

Beijing LDTX Modern Dance
Friday, August 25 @ 8 PM
Saturday, August 26 @ 8 PM
Mr. Willy Tsao, artistic director of Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company and former director of Beijing Modern Dance Company returns with a spectacular new dance company, The Beijing LDTX Modern Dance. The company will present a new site-specific work as well as their signature piece All River Red choreographed to Stravinsky‘«÷s Rite of Spring.

Friday, September 8 @ Noon
Masanga Marimba Ensemble
The Masanga Marimba Ensemble is a 9-piece group of ethnomusicologists, music educators and percussionists. They are the only marimba ensemble performing the centuries-old music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The music is rhythmic and spiritually driven by marimbas and the mbira dzavadzimu - a hand-held instrument with 22-28 metal keys often used for sacred ceremonies to call, honor, and ask for advice from ancestral spirits.

Friday, September 15 @ Noon - Noche del Tigre (Night of the Tiger)
Friday, September 15 @ 8 PM - El Rey Sordo (The Deaf King).
Saturday, September 16 @ 8 PM - El Rey Sordo (The Deaf King).
Sunday, September 17 @ 3 PM - Noche del Tigre (Night of the Tiger)
Se??a y Verbo.
Grand Performances‘«÷ tradition of presenting extraordinary works from Mexico continues with the return of the country‘«÷s only deaf theater company Se??a y Verbo. First presented on our marina Pavilion stage in 2004 (West Coast premiere), the company presents work that are thought-provoking, poignant and imaginative. These performances ‘«Ű designed for young children and their families - include such imaginative works as Noche del Tigre (Night of the Tiger) inspired by Rudyard Kipling‘«÷s Jungle Book and original works such as El Rey Sordo (The Deaf King). Consummate acting and well crafted scripts make the work a pleasure for both deaf and hearing audiences.
In Spanish and Mexican Sign Language.
American Sign Language and English supertitles.
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Friday, September 22 @ Noon
Very Be Careful
These Colombian-born, Los Angeles-based self professed ‘«£booty shakers‘«ō have successfully imported the vintage traditional vallenato music from the Colombian fishing villages and
Farming community into their music. It is music fused with urgent, danceable accordian rhythms fueled by lyrics that speak of love, barroom brawls and salt-of-the-earth heroes.

Friday, September 29 @ Noon
Double G‘«÷s Concert 9net

Friday, October 6 @ Noon
Pete Escovedo
Los Angeles-based Bay area legend Pete Escovedo brings his explosive 10-piece Latin jazz ensemble for a virtuoso performance. Escovedo first burst on the national radar performing on stage and in-studio with Carlos Santana. Since then, this master of the timbales, congas and any percussion instrument imaginable has been one of the busiest Latin percussionists on the West Coast. This is our last noontime performance for the season, so bring your happy feet!

Saturday, October 7
Grand Avenue Festival artist TBA

Sunday, October 15 2 PM ‘«Ű 6 PM
Latino AIDS Awareness Event

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