Get ready to dance because the Levitt National Tour is back! After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the tour will return in 2022 with a six-venue run, highlighting the collective impact of the Levitt network and a common mission to build community through music. Sharing that vision, The New Respects, a rising trio known for bright, feel-good tracks stacked with lush harmonies and propulsive beats that get all ages dancing, will headline the Levitt National Tour this summer. The tour kicks off at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, on Saturday, June 4, and continues on to Levitt Pavilion Dayton, Friday, June 10; Levitt Pavilion Denver, Wednesday, July 13; Levitt Shell Sioux Falls, Saturday, July 16; Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, Saturday, August 27; and concludes Labor Day weekend at Levitt Pavilion Arlington on Sunday, September 4, 2022.
Original songs drive the soundtracks of our favorite films and often linger in our heads long after we leave the theater. This Sunday, the 94th Academy Awards will honor success in this field through the Best Original Song award. From Beyoncé’s “Be Alive” setting the stage for King Richard’s rigorous tennis training montages to Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” intensifying the emotional conclusion to Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond in No Time to Die, this year’s Best Original Song nominees transport listeners into the creative artistry of this year’s most celebrated films. Read on to learn more about this year’s Best Original Song nominees.
“Be Alive” from King Richard; Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Beyoncé was inspired to write “Be Alive” after attending an early screening of King Richard, the biopic following Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, as he coached his girls to tennis stardom. The driving R&B and rock track serves as an anthem for the adolescent twin athletes as they pursue their goals with their family’s support, much like Beyoncé’s own journey to fame as a singer-songwriter.
This is Beyoncé’s first Academy Award nomination, and her latest release since her 2020 visual album, Black Is King. This nomination comes on the heels of her historic wins at the 2021 GRAMMY® Awards—which made her the Recording Academy’s most-awarded female artist and most-awarded male or female singer.
King Richard is also nominated for Best Picture.
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
While Disney’s Encanto was filled with songs that found viral fame including “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” “Dos Oruguitas”—which was featured during a flashback scene of the Madrigal family’s tragic past—was the film’s emotional standout track. The tear-jerking folk ballad was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed in Spanish by Sebastian Yatra.
An Oscar® win for “Dos Oruguitas” would score Miranda an EGOT, the achievement of earning all four major American entertainment awards (an Emmy®, a GRAMMY, an Oscar and a Tony Award®). Past notable EGOT winners include Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend.
“Down to Joy” from Belfast; Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
“Down to Joy,” written for the Kenneth Branagh-directed semi-autobiographical motion picture Belfast, was recorded by Van Morrison during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Earning his first Academy Award nomination, Morrison combined rock, soul and blues to soundtrack Branagh’s coming-of-age story. “Down to Joy” may sound familiar to diehard fans of Morrison, as the song borrows melodies and lyrics from the singer’s 1970’s unreleased demo, “Coming Down to Joy.”
The 76-year-old Belfast-born legend contributed nine songs to the film’s soundtrack. Belfast is also nominated for Best Picture.
“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die; Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Already collecting wins at the GRAMMY and Golden Globe® Awards, “No Time to Die” was written by sibling duo Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. Eilish made history as the youngest artist (18-years-old) to write and perform the James Bond title track in the franchise’s 50-year history. The R&B-inspired orchestral pop ballad rose in popularity on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking at #16.
Beyond their success with No Time to Die, Elilish and O’Connell are no strangers to the awards circuit, famously bringing home ten combined trophies at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. This is Eilish and O’Connell’s first Academy Award nomination.
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
Four Good Days’ country track “Somehow You Do” was written by songwriter Diane Warren in collaboration with Reba McEntire, who performed the song. Warren used the song’s lyrics to convey the tension between the film’s mother and daughter duo—played by Glenn Close and Mila Kunis—driving home the message about finding resilience and strength at the hardest of times.
Warren is well-acquainted with the Best Original Song category, with “Somehow You Do” being her 13th nomination in the category. Her first nomination dates back to 1988, which she earned for her rock power ballad “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” written for Michael Gottieb’s Mannequin.
Tune in to the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night to find out who’ll take home the Oscar for Best Original Song. The show will be broadcast live on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC (check local listings).
After listing the definition, Merriam-Webster refers to stereotype as “an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic.” Breaking this “his”tory of bias, we continue to celebrate Women’s Herstory Month by highlighting some past Levitt performers who inspire us, not only by their artistry on stage, but what they represent off the stage. Continue reading →
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mohammed Ali
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people for their safety and sovereignty, and for the return of peace to their homeland. Russia’s invasion has caused a grave humanitarian crisis for the suffering and displaced. Here are ways you can help the people of Ukraine right now. Continue reading →
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation and Levitt Shell Memphis jointly announce a new chapter for the historic landmark to honor its roots by returning to its original name of The Overton Park Shell. In 2005, the Levitt Foundation played an instrumental role in saving the dilapidated WPA-era bandshell in Overton Park from demolition, providing seed funding for renovations, then continuing with annual operating grants and support resources to partially fund the Levitt Shell nonprofit. The local nonprofit managed, programmed and fundraised for the Levitt program of presenting 50+ free concerts annually since its reopening as the Levitt Shell. After a 17-year partnership with the Levitt Foundation, the Levitt Shell has reached a significant milestone of becoming fully self-sustaining and will run The Shell independently as The Overton Park Shell.
There are so many valuable contributions from musicians and performers that bring joy to our lives and feed our musical souls. While we can’t know every artist in the history of music, there are many who are not household names, but should be! In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing the stories of three powerful female trailblazers—Florence Price, Mamie Smith and Sister Rosetta Tharpe—who by the nature of discrimination toward their race and gender, haven’t reached the echelons of notoriety their musical genius deserves. Learn and listen below! Continue reading →
Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig…which are you? If you were born in the years 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010, congrats Tiger—2022 happens to be your lucky year! The Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year (throughout Asia), is a cultural celebration based on the lunar calendar, which begins today! The date of the new year changes annually, yet typically falls on the second New Moon after the winter solstice. So how will you celebrate? Continue reading →
Monday we’ll celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a driving force behind nonviolent social activism in the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. King’s iconic words and courageous actions have fueled social change in the U.S. and across the globe. While Dr. King is no longer with us, his mission to create a just, humane and equitable “beloved community” lives on.
Honoring Dr. King’s life is an ongoing call to action. In 1994, MLK Day was designated a National Day of Service—making it an annual reminder that we all have a role to play in building more just communities. Continue reading →
Music is at the core of who we are and the work we do at the Levitt Foundation. Looking back on another challenging year, music was a source of comfort and joy as we moved and grooved to the beats and rhythms of 2021, whether we gathered in person to once again enjoy live concerts or played tunes at home to brighten our moods. Featuring a selection from each member of the Levitt Foundation team, our 2021 Staff Picks playlist features songs spanning the musical soundscape. From upbeat music that got us dancing to lyrics that sparked reflection, we hope you’ll find your own favorites within our playlist or discover a few new tunes that you’ll add to yours. Head over to Spotify to listen now or read below to find of our music mix—Enjoy!