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“Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these. This is triumphant music.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

Last month we celebrated the legacy of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a courageous African American visionary who challenged our nation to allow all citizens, regardless of skin color, to have the opportunity to reach their potential—as promised in the U.S. Constitution. He is one of the many African Americans who persisted in spite of tremendous adversity to help secure the civil liberties we enjoy today. His story is one of many. African Americans have made important contributions to all areas of American life. And this month, Black History Month, is an annual celebration of those contributions. As a funder of projects that build and strengthen communities through music, today we’re turning the spotlight on three African American jazz musicians who’ve used their talents to do just that. Continue reading

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It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air! Whether you’re celebrating with your better half, best friends or family members, you’re probably looking for the perfect music to set the mood. Well, what’s better than a specially curated playlist of love songs by Levitt artists?! Tune in with the embedded player below to hear country, R&B, soul, blues and more, all connected by the soothing and harmonious sounds of love.

With spring just around the corner, and seasons of free Levitt concerts around the country just within reach, we hope you’re looking forward to enjoying some incredible live music with your loved ones too!

  • 1920 | Antwerp, Belgium – First Olympic flag, athlete’s oath and peace dove release

If you didn’t get up in the wee hours of the night to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, you’ll have the chance to join in on the ancient tradition this evening! Ceremonies have been an integral part of the Olympics since the earliest games in ancient Greece, when the start and finish of each game were marked by a celebratory feast, song and poetry. While rooted in the tradition of those first Greek games, modern Olympics feature elaborate opening, closing and medal ceremonies—with opening ceremonies showcasing the host country’s culture, history and importance to the global community. Today, we’re exploring how Olympic ceremonies have evolved since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens were held in 1896 and highlighting some of the historic ceremonies that laid the groundwork for the global spectacles we enjoy today. Continue reading

  • 30 arts leaders, 15 small to mid-sized towns & cities and one common goal – to invigorate communities through free, live music!

Last week, the 2018 Levitt AMP Grantees joined the Levitt Foundation for the annual Levitt AMP convening at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles! It was an honor to host these inspiring leaders in the arts and share ideas throughout two days of panels, presentations and group discussions.

With 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities from California all the way to Rhode Island, this year’s grantees truly represent the breadth of community spirit and placemaking efforts happening across the country. The endless enthusiasm in the room led to fruitful brainstorming and some truly meaningful exchanges. Each attendee left the convening with a newfound sense of energy and inspiration–we can’t wait to see how each Levitt AMP Music Series unfolds with great success this summer and fall!

Header_1_grammyThis past Sunday, nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards live broadcast. Music giants across the industry flocked to Madison Square Garden in New York to honor their peers. This year, 15 GRAMMY nominations went to artists who had performed on Levitt stages and we were thrilled to see that two of those artists went on to take home those prestigious gilded gramophones!

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NAMM 2018

With almost 20,000 booths, interactive workshops, lectures and more, this year’s National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., was one of the biggest yet. What’s this convention all about? This exciting, four-day event showcases some of the latest innovations and state-of-the-art developments in music, stage and production technology. Musicians, producers, technicians, engineers, teachers and artists from all over the world convene once a year to network, get the latest industry scoop and, of course, spend hours geeking out over some high-quality gear. Here are some standouts from this year’s convention!

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To witness a performance by Blind Boys of Alabama is to witness history in the making—with a career spanning more than seven decades, countless accolades and a remarkable output of recorded music, Blind Boys has become synonymous with the genre of gospel itself. That’s why the upcoming Levitt National Tour, co-headlined by them and Southern rock luminary, Paul Thorn, is sure to be one of the most unique musical experiences Levitt audiences around the country will be treated to. Today, we’re recounting some of the most inspiring stories from Blind Boys’ time-honored lives as musicians!

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  • Levitt AMP Berea audience members rejoice under rainbow-filled skies.

As January comes to a close and we march toward the 2018 Levitt concert season, we’re looking back at the incredible 2017 season.

Last year, 450+ Levitt concerts took place in 22 towns and cities—bringing the power of free, live music to communities coast-to-coast. The joy we saw in the photos that poured in was too contagious not to share with you all!

So, if you’re looking for a quick mid-week pick-me-up, you’re in luck! Relive the joy of the 2017 Levitt concert season by checking out the brief slideshow we’ve put together!

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As 2018 begins, anticipation is running high for the Levitt National Tour, returning this summer! Stopping in seven Levitt locations (six existing permanent Levitt venues and one future Levitt venue), the tour will feature the rootsy southern rock of Paul Thorn and old-school gospel of Blind Boys of Alabama—a union of critically acclaimed and universally loved talent that’s truly a one-of-a-kind collaboration. To hold us over until summer, Paul Thorn just announced the release date of his upcoming album—“Don’t Let The Devil Ride,” out on March 23! These 14 songs feature vocals by Blind Boys of Alabama, who are set to co-headline the Levitt National Tour and perform songs from the album across all tour stops.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd at the 1963 March on Washington.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a nationwide day of service celebrating a visionary who challenged the nation to recognize the inherent potential in each American citizen. As the most visible spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired millions of people to value every individual and recognize that our country would be stronger when everyone was given equal opportunity to maximize their potential.

Often times when we think of Dr. King, four words come to mind: “I have a dream…”
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