Pictured above (left to right): Levitt Pavilion Dayton’s stage in the making (photo by Andy Snow); Groundbreaking ceremony for Falls Park West and Levitt Shell Sioux Falls on April 23, 2018 (photo by Thomas Dempster)
2018 has been a milestone year for not one, but two, future permanent Levitt venues! In less than three months, Levitt Pavilion Dayton in Ohio will launch its inaugural season of free concerts at its new, state-of-the-art outdoor music venue in downtown’s Dave Have Plaza, reinvigorating this central public space and attracting Daytonians of all walks of life. And last month, Levitt Shell Sioux Falls broke ground on its own state-of-the-art outdoor music venue in the city’s underused Falls Park West, bringing it a giant leap forward toward its projected 2019 opening in South Dakota’s largest and most diverse city.
Community is at the heart of every Levitt concert—whether it’s at a permanent Levitt venue or one of 15 Levitt AMP concert sites across the country. As Friends of Levitt nonprofit partners and Levtitt AMP grantees curate an exciting roster of local, regional, national and international artists for their free concert lineups, they also develop meaningful partnerships with a range of community organizations, schools, nonprofits and affinity groups that play an important role in programming and enhancing the Levitt experience. By reflecting the vitality of the towns and cities they call home, Levitt venues become an extension of home itself.
Throughout each concert season, community partners bring their connections with Levitt to life and perform on Levitt stages! These performances have given, and continue to give, music-loving Levitteers a chance to see their respective community’s diverse cultures, history and talents reflected on stage. From local youth ensembles to vibrant dance troupes and more, read on to learn how free Levitt concerts across the country are bringing their local communities into the spotlight.
The countdown to the 2018 Levitt concert season is on! Across the country, free outdoor concerts at Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites begin kicking off this month, ready to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together through the power of free, live music. Levitteers throughout the nation will be enthralled by this year’s wide range of rising stars and award-winning talent taking to Levitt stages. Scroll down to check out when free Levitt concerts will be taking place in your community! Continue reading
Sometimes we forget that even rock stars have moms! From Merle Haggard to the Spice Girls, get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with these five fun musical tributes honoring all the moms out there. Continue reading
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Across the country, millions are enjoying bustling fiestas filled with mouth-watering food, non-stop dancing and spirited Mexican music. Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Houston are gearing up to throw celebratory festivals and activate city streets with cultural parades, outdoor performances and plenty of taco stands. Last week the team at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles took part in LA’s Fiesta Broadway, a renowned holiday festival that attracted tens of thousands of attendees and brought festivities to almost 10 blocks of the downtown area!
Cinco de Mayo has long been a source of national pride for the roughly 37 million Mexican-Americans that call the U.S. their home. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (which is actually on September 16!), Cinco de Mayo recognizes Mexico’s triumphant, dark horse defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The spirit of the Mexican victory lives on through celebration and a kindhearted day of well-earned relaxation––a celebration that wouldn’t be complete, of course, without music!
To honor Cinco De Mayo, we’ve curated a short playlist to honor some classic Mexican música as well as tunes by the countless Mexican and Latin-American artists who have graced Levitt stages over the years. From traditional mariachis and rancheras to modern folk and rock, these artists pay homage to their Mexican roots by taking a vibrant, contemporary approach to their music. Enjoy!
Springtime is upon us! It’s that wonderful time of the year where our shared spaces are transformed by gorgeous greenery, the sunshine lingers and flowers are in bloom, paving the way for a joyous summer ahead, filled with free Levitt concerts in 26 towns and cities!
We hope you’re having a revitalizing spring season and have marked your calendars for all the free, live music coming to your community.
We’re thrilled to share that tomorrow night, a pioneering philanthropist whose vision, drive and heart strengthens communities across the nation will be awarded Liberty Hill Foundation’s 2018 Founders Award, Levitt Foundation Board President Liz Levitt Hirsch. She is an engaged changemaker in her city and country who embodies the theme of this year’s Liberty Hill gala, “Justice begins at home.”
The Liberty Hill Foundation has served as an epicenter for social justice in Los Angeles since 1976. Through innovative programming, Liberty Hill empowers Angelenos to come together to make Los Angeles a national model for a peaceful and prosperous future. For more than 40 years, this inspiring foundation has celebrated leaders on the frontlines of change. This year, Liz will be honored alongside the iconic civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, who’ll be receiving the Upton Sinclair Award for his lifelong commitment to advancing civil rights for all Americans. Continue reading
It’s the 10th anniversary of Levitt Shell, and Memphis is on our minds! To celebrate, we’re looking back on our “Meet The Artist” video, featuring four-time GRAMMY-winning artist and 2014 Levitt Shell performer, Booker T. Jones, best known for the band Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Jones was born and raised in Memphis as a musical prodigy – by age 18 he had already written the instrumental for “Green Onions,” which would become a massive radio hit in 1962 and spur the success of both his band and his solo career. Soon he was writing songs for Otis Redding and Eddie Floyd, all while attending Indiana University. He and his band won their first GRAMMY in 1995 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance thanks to their song “Cruisin’”. In 2007, Jones won the coveted Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award. In this video, we had the honor of speaking with the legend himself, learning a little more about his career-spanning connection to the Levitt Shell.
Today on our blog we’re looking back at one of our most festive 2018 gatherings to date, this year’s Levitt Celebration Dinner! Last month, Friends of Levitt leadership, staff and board members from Levitt cities came together in Los Angeles to celebrate the national Levitt network’s impact in communities. The energy in the room was palpable, as dedicated Levitt representatives from across the country exchanged ideas and shared their Levitt experiences with one another. Enjoy the slideshow!
In case you missed it, the tour dates for the upcoming Levitt National Tour were just announced! We’re less than 10 weeks before this highly anticipated collaboration of old-school gospel, blues and southern rock—between Southern raconteur Paul Thorn and GRAMMY Award winning legends Blind Boys of Alabama—treat Levitt audiences to seven FREE concerts around the country. And with Paul Thorn’s new album that released today, Don’t Let The Devil Ride, what better time to get a taste of the exhilarating, soulful blend of Thorn and the Blind Boys’ music that’s headed your way?
Billed as the “Mission Temple Fireworks Revival,” this year’s Levitt National Tour is a celebration of the deep connection between Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a testament to the rich tapestry of southern American music. With individual sets by each artist as well as side-by-side performances, the universally cherished sounds of Thorn and the Blind Boys will fill the air, coast to coast, on the Levitt National Tour.
See below for each tour stop date (and watch the above video to get a glimpse of the fun ahead)! Plus, make sure you dive into the rich story behind this one-of-a-kind collaboration, learn about Paul Thorn’s latest, soulful album, and catch up on what makes Blind Boys of Alabama a groundbreaking icon in gospel music.