Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fresh off the success of the inaugural Levitt National Tour featuring World music sensation Playing For Change, we’re thrilled to announce that Black Violin, the genre-busting pioneers of urban meets highbrow, will headline the 2015 Levitt National Tour. Named one of the hottest bands at SXSW in 2013, this classically trained, hip-hop duo has wowed audiences across the globe with their unique take on violin/viola playing—from countless concert arenas to headlining a Broadway show to performing at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Ball.

The 2015 Levitt National Tour will take place during June and July next summer, stopping at six Levitt locations—five existing venues (Arlington, Bethlehem, Los Angeles, Memphis and Pasadena) and one in the works (Denver). Audiences can expect a party atmosphere at these family-friendly shows, filled with unexpected surprises that will get everyone on their feet dancing. In addition to the free shows, Black Violin will lead community outreach activities with youth and seniors, drawing on past experiences to spur their creativity and inspire them to think outside the box.

“Black Violin’s pioneering approach aligns perfectly with Levitt’s artistic vision of excellence and inclusivity, creating boundary-busting music that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds,” says Sharon Yazowski, executive director of Levitt Pavilions. “In addition to their incredibly high-energy shows, Black Violin’s deep commitment to community outreach will provide meaningful experiences with the duo at every Levitt tour stop.”

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Wedding bells, Peeps and everything in between

Levitt_Effect_Collage_alt_USE THISWith the excitement of the 2014 Levitt concert season winding down, you might find yourself wondering what becomes of that stretch of lawn you spent so many nights picnicking and dancing upon. As it turns out, quite a lot happens after the season ends!

Below are some fun and unexpected ways Levitt venues are being used both during and following the concert seasons, illustrating their role as year-round destinations.

Circles of life
We all know Levitt concerts are great places for dates. What’s more romantic than listening to incredible music on a warm summer evening under the stars? So it was only a matter of time before a Levitt Pavilion became the site of not just dates but an actual marriage ceremony! This past summer, Michele Frazier and Louis Cyr, a Texas couple who had their first date at Levitt Arlington, chose to return to the place where the magic started and tie the knot at the Levitt.

On a very different note, Levitt Arlington was also the site of a recent memorial service for a beloved local high school teacher. As a place where he and his family had always enjoyed spending time together, the Levitt was the most meaningful place to celebrate the life of this music lover taken too soon. As Cathy O’Neal, Communications Director at Levitt Arlington, explained, “It really struck home to us that this is such a big part of people’s lives now, not just where they come to hear a concert.” Continue reading

No, those blast furnaces aren’t just for showalthough they certainly make an impression! In this Faces of Levitt feature, watch father and son audience members Bill and Joseph Deegan discuss the transformation of one of the nation’s largest brownfields into Levitt SteelStacks, a thriving arts and cultural campus that has won numerous design awards since its rehabilitation.

“I don’t think we could have asked for anything more than the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks,” says Joseph. “I think it really brought a start to the revitalization of the South Side.”

Have you ever found yourself wondering how Levitt Pavilions got its name? You’re in luck! Through fun, anecdotal snippets, our In Their Own Words blog series will introduce you to Mortimer and Mimi Levitt, and Liz Levitt Hirsch—the extraordinary people behind the Levitt Pavilions name.

The dapper and dynamic Mortimer Levitt (1907-2005) was not only a generous patron and outspoken advocate for the arts; he was also a leading clothier and creator of a men’s fashion empire of made-to-measure shirts. Born the son of struggling immigrant parents, Mortimer’s story is a genuine rags-to-riches story. By the age of 20, he had started his own business, selling custom-tailored shirts at $2.15 a piece, and by the age of 30 he had opened the Custom Shop, the first of what would grow to include 82 stores from coast-to-coast. Here he amassed his fortune crafting custom-made shirts for prominent celebrities, business executives and politicians. As you can probably imagine, Mortimer was a bold and impeccable dresser with flawless taste. He put his ideas to paper when, at the age of 75, he began a prolific writing career, completing five books on business, fashion and the intersection of the two. Continue reading

Our Meet the Artist series is your backstage pass to some of your favorite Levitt artists. You’ve cheered them on at Levitt venues across the country, now go behind the scenes and learn who they are, where they come from and what inspires them.

This past summer, international Ghanaian reggae artist, Rocky Dawuni sent positive musical vibes all across southern California with his performances at Levitt Pasadena and Levitt Los Angeles. It marked his third time performing at Levitt Los Angeles, and second time taking the stage at Levitt Pasadena. We caught up with this talented artist at a recent Levitt concert, captured here in his Meet the Artist video. Here are just a few reasons why we love Dawuni: Continue reading


When was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger?

If you’re like most of us, you probably had to think for a bit to come up with an answer. When you live in a big city like Houston or Los Angeles, it can be hard to start conversations with people you don’t already know, even when they’re officemates or people out walking their dogs on the street that you see every day.

That’s where The League of Creative Interventionists comes in.  Continue reading

La Santa Cecilia performs at Levitt Los Angeles.

La Santa Cecilia performs at Levitt Los Angeles.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re turning the spotlight on some of the many talented Hispanic artists who have graced Levitt stages over the years. Each group featured brings their own unique flare to traditional styles– creating musical hybrids that are fun, unique and incredibly diverse.

We are quite spoiled here in Los Angeles. Right here in our own backyard, there is a large and richly diverse Chicano/Latino community that is ripe with artistic talent. And, the appeal of Hispanic music spreads far beyond cities with large Chicano/Latino populations. In fact, just this summer alone, nearly 50 Levitt concerts across the nation showcased Chicano/Latino music, reflecting Levitt’s commitment to showcase the rich diversity of the American musical landscape. Hispanic music has a long history of shaping the landscape of American music and is likely to do so for years to come. Continue reading