Monthly Archives: August 2016

Spotlight_Series_Vy Higginsens Harlem Teens Choir
Tonight, Levitt AMP Asbury Park will host an inspirational show to close out its free music series headlined by Vy Higginsen’s Harlem Teens Choir. The choir is part of the Gospel for Teens program, founded by New York radio personality Vy Higginsen and her daughter Ahmaya Knoelle, with the purpose of preserving the gospel music genre.  “[Gospel is] a story of a people in song, created out of an American experience,” said Higginsen in an Emmy Award-winning segment of “60 Minutes” that documented the music education program.  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