Today’s Faces of Levitt video features Arlington, TX, resident and former WFAA news reporter, Jim Douglas. As a member of Levitt Pavilion Arlington’s Advisory Board, Douglas contributes his time and talents to a nonprofit he describes as “one of the best things that has ever happened to [his] city.” Check out his video to discover why he feels free, live music at Levitt Pavilion Arlington makes you “feel like you’re living in the America that we want to live in.”
Only a week after its release, Marvel’s blockbuster hit Black Panther has already broken several box office records and is on track to continue doing so. In addition to introducing audiences to another Marvel superhero, the film honors the vibrancy of black culture in the people, places and music thoughtfully brought to life onscreen—which brings us to today’s post! As Black Panther invites its viewers into the fictional Afro-futuristic utopia of Wakanda (and briefly back to 1990s Oakland, Calif.), its visceral soundtrack leads the way. Today we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about the musicians, instruments and compositions that help set the stage for Black Panther. Continue reading
It’s hard to overstate the immeasurable legacy left behind by Nina Simone, one of jazz music’s most inventive and resilient icons. Born on this day, February 21, in 1933, Simone quietly produced an output of almost two dozen albums spanning classical, blues and early R&B, while channeling bold social commentary and civil rights activism through her work. While she only received two GRAMMY Award nominations in her lifetime (and two posthumously), Simone’s artistry continues to earn newfound meaning through the music of countless contemporary artists, documentaries and books. Today, as part of our ongoing celebration of Black History Month, we’re taking a look at why Nina Simone’s contributions to music are cemented in history.
“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
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!
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
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!
This 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!