Natl_Park_ServLast year, the National Park Service hosted a record-breaking 307.2 million visits to over 400 sites across the country. Even more visitors are expected to explore the nation’s natural treasures as the bureau celebrates its centennial year in 2016. 

As passionate advocates for parks and green space, we’ve compiled some fun trivia you might not have known about the National Park Service! Continue reading

08_22_16_Terrance SimienTwo-time GRAMMY Award winner and three-time Levitt performer Terrance Simien brings a vibrant splash of New Orleans culture to Levitt AMP Utica tonight. His lively musical gumbo will have the whole family movin’ and groovin’ in no time! Continue reading

Spotlight_Series_Cynthia Sayer

Cynthia Sayer, one of the world’s greatest jazz banjoists, will grace the Levitt Pavilion Westport stage on Sunday night. Sayer breaks the mold as a female instrumentalist in a traditionally male-dominated genre by putting the banjo, usually a rhythm section instrument in jazz, front and center in her performances. Continue reading

Misc. local Levitt AMP opening performers

Levitt AMP stages across the country feature a wide range of talent, from acclaimed emerging artists like celebrated rockers, Low Cut Connie—featured on President Obama’s 2015 POTUS playlist—to seasoned musical veterans like GRAMMY Award-winning zydeco sensation Terrance Simien.

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Rocking and bopping across the country six months out of the year, the Emmy Award-nominated kindie rock group Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band share their music with the youngest of Levitteers! In 2014 and 2015 their tour stops included free concerts at both Levitt Pavilion Pasadena and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles

In our latest Meet the Artist video, the band tells us why they love performing and making music for kids. “We have so many parents come up to us, beaming and totally joyful—like, ‘That was my kid’s first concert!’” said Alisha Gaddis, who co-founded the band with her husband Lucky Diaz. “It’s a really beautiful thing to be a part of their family’s memory and something that affected them so profoundly.”

Tonight, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band returns to Levitt Pavilion Pasadena for its fifth Levitt concert, so bring out the kids for a hip-shaking good time! Want to learn more about Levitt artists? Check out the Levitt Foundation YouTube channel!

Spotlight_Series_Taylor Hicks

Tomorrow night, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will bring his soulful vocals and high energy stage presence to Levitt AMP Midvale’s final concert of the season. This passionate soul singer is one of the singing competition’s most memorable contestants, having competed in the show’s most-watched season.

Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., Hicks began his music career as an independent artist making a name for himself in the South. Hicks even shared the stage with several high profile artists early in his career, including James Brown, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne. Despite his regional success, Hicks struggled to land a recording contract, and with encouragement from his half-brother, he decided to audition for American Idol in 2006. Continue reading

Not familiar with Pokémon GO? Check out the video below.

I learned about Pokémon GO about a week after its early July launch when two of my cousins—one 5-year-old and one 25-year-old—told me (with equal enthusiasm) that they were headed to a local park to capture some Pokémon. I was struck by their shared excitement to discover something new in a park they had both visited countless times before. When asked about the game’s appeal, the 25-year-old explained how “cool it is to see so many people out in [his] neighborhood” and referenced many landmarks the game had led him to discover. As Project for Public Spaces Fellow of Digital Placemaking Dan LaTorre explains, “Gamifying gives people a feeling of new permissions to explore the city.” Continue reading

Spotlight_Series_silk_road2On Sunday, the Silk Road festival returns to Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park for the fifth consecutive year to showcase the vast cultural riches of three diaspora communities. Did you know that Los Angeles—one of the world’s great crossroads—is home to people from over 180 countries, speaking 140 different languages? This wealth of ethnic diversity translates directly to the city’s cultural offerings, including food, art, theater, dance and music.

The upcoming Silk Road festival (not to be confused with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) will feature the Los Angeles-based Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, Anatolia Turkish Folk Dance Group and Nupur Academy for Indian Classical Performing Arts. Get ready for a lively night with this behind-the-scenes look at a few dances from these groups’ respective homelands! Continue reading

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From left to right, top to bottom: Eternal Summers (Levitt AMP Charlottesville), Jane Monheit (Levitt AMP Utica), Bumper Jacksons (Levitt AMP Charlottesville, Levitt AMP Trenton), Jeni Carr (Levitt AMP Middlesboro), Gary U.S. Bonds (Levitt AMP Asbury Park), Young Valley (Levitt AMP New Albany), Cedric Burnside Project (Levitt AMP Cleveland), Taylor Hicks (Levitt AMP Midvale), Kate Campbell (Levitt AMP Cleveland), Holy Ghost Electric Show (Levitt AMP New Albany), Alex Boyé (Levitt AMP Midvale), Molly Venter and Goodnight Moonshine (Levitt AMP Middlesboro), Scott Ambush and Funkelociraptor! (Levitt AMP Frederick), Seratones (Levitt AMP North Adams), Stitch Early (Levitt AMP Frederick)

The wait is over! All 15 of this year’s Levitt AMP Music Series artist lineups have been revealed, meaning you can check out who is performing every week at the Levitt AMP site closest to you! And not only that—you can start listening to acts headlining Levitt AMP concerts with our latest 2016 Levitt AMP playlist. 

Earlier this season, we posted a Levitt AMP playlist featuring headlining artists from five Levitt AMP music series lineups. Now you can check out this sampling of artists playing other Levitt AMP music series, taking place in Asbury Park, Charlottesville, Cleveland, Frederick, Middlesboro, Midvale, New Albany, North Adams, Trenton and Utica!

While we’re in the thick of concert season—with 11 free Levitt AMP concerts this week—four Levitt AMP music series are gearing to kick off, including Levitt AMP Middlesboro opening this Saturday! Click here to check out the Kentucky-based series’ first headlining act of the season, Americana quartet and Levitt AMP veteran Roosevelt Dime.