Author Archives: Benj Salkind

Choose the Top 25 Levitt AMP Finalists!

It’s time to vote! Over 40 proposals have advanced to online voting! Help decide which towns and cities will be one step closer to receiving $25K to present their own Levitt AMP Music Series of 10 or more free concerts in 2019. Vote now through November 20 on the Levitt AMP website, and be sure to spread the word! An individual voter may vote for up to five different proposals, but can only vote for each proposal once.


Important dates to note:

  • Online public voting opened this morning and ends November 20, 2018 at 5 PM PST.
  • After public voting determines the Top 25 finalists, the Levitt Foundation will then begin the selection process and choose 15 winning Levitt AMP grant recipients.
  • Winners will be announced on December 18, 2018.

Congratulations to Middlesboro, Sheboygan and Trenton!

We’re thrilled to announce that previous Levitt AMP winners Middlesboro, KY (Middlesboro Main Street), Sheboygan, WI (John Michael Kohler Arts Center) and Trenton, NJ (Trenton Downtown Association) have each been awarded multi-year funding to present the Levitt AMP Music Series in their towns for the next three years (which is why you won’t see them listed on the voting roster this November)!

During the past four years, each nonprofit has shown tremendous impact in their communities through Levitt AMP, bringing people together of all ages and backgrounds through the power of free live music, while creating a meaningful community gathering space. We’re proud to continue our support of these inspiring communities.

What are you waiting for? Head over to levittamp.org and help get your community AMPlified!

SS Bette Smith

Few artists have had such a meteoric rise in the music industry as Bette Smith. Only a few years off her first singles and mixtapes, Smith already has the passion, drive and success that many new artists dream of. She is the next soul-songbird to represent New York and the latest to find her voice in the American deep South. Now, on the heels of her first-ever national tour, Smith is taking the stage at Levitt Shell Memphis tonight at 7 PM to perform her funky, jazzy soul that has everyone from California to Mississippi raving. Read on to learn more about what put Smith on the soul train, her connection to Ray Charles and why Memphis audiences have a spectacular show to look forward to.

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Levitt Loves Autumn (small)

Break out your favorite sweater—Autumn is here! It’s that wonderful time of the year where parks, streets and front lawns all over the country become covered in a gradient of yellow and red leaves, as the sun begins to set a little earlier and the air cools to a chill. While concert season is soon coming to a close, be sure to stay tuned for info on free Levitt concerts in 2019!

We hope you’re having a cozy fall season and have marked your calendars for the last few free Levitt concerts coming to your communities this year.

SS Quebe Sisters

Fiddling since the ages of seven, 10 and 12 years old, the Quebe Sisters are masters of their craft. The country singers and string-pluckers bring a fresh, family-centric look and sound to Americana, and have been doing so for nearly two decades now. Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe have managed to break down the barriers between country and jazz, with their western-style swing that draws audiences from all around the world. The sisters will be performing for the eighth time at Levitt Pavilion Arlington this coming Friday, not too far from their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Read on to learn more about the Quebe Sisters and what makes them one of the most defining acts from the South.

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Alice Bag Spotlight

Tonight, the punk goddess herself, Alice Bag, is bringing her original Chicano punk rock to Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park. Best known for creating the sound that would later evolve into hardcore punk, Levitt concertgoers are in for a historic show. Bag’s music is built from more than just hardship and self-expression – it’s a volatile combination of motherhood, blown-out electric guitars and pure feminine power.

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¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Across the country, millions are enjoying bustling fiestas filled with mouth-watering food, non-stop dancing and spirited Mexican music. Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Houston are gearing up to throw celebratory festivals and activate city streets with cultural parades, outdoor performances and plenty of taco stands. Last week the team at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles took part in LA’s Fiesta Broadway, a renowned holiday festival that attracted tens of thousands of attendees and brought festivities to almost 10 blocks of the downtown area!


Cinco de Mayo has long been a source of national pride for the roughly 37 million Mexican-Americans that call the U.S. their home. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (which is actually on September 16!), Cinco de Mayo recognizes Mexico’s triumphant, dark horse defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The spirit of the Mexican victory lives on through celebration and a kindhearted day of well-earned relaxation––a celebration that wouldn’t be complete, of course, without music!

To honor Cinco De Mayo, we’ve curated a short playlist to honor some classic Mexican música as well as tunes by the countless Mexican and Latin-American artists who have graced Levitt stages over the years. From traditional mariachis and rancheras to modern folk and rock, these artists pay homage to their Mexican roots by taking a vibrant, contemporary approach to their music. Enjoy!


It’s the 10th anniversary of Levitt Shell, and Memphis is on our minds! To celebrate, we’re looking back on our “Meet The Artist” video, featuring four-time GRAMMY-winning artist and 2014 Levitt Shell performer, Booker T. Jones, best known for the band Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Jones was born and raised in Memphis as a musical prodigy – by age 18 he had already written the instrumental for “Green Onions,” which would become a massive radio hit in 1962 and spur the success of both his band and his solo career. Soon he was writing songs for Otis Redding and Eddie Floyd, all while attending Indiana University. He and his band won their first GRAMMY in 1995 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance thanks to their song “Cruisin’”. In 2007, Jones won the coveted Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award. In this video, we had the honor of speaking with the legend himself, learning a little more about his career-spanning connection to the Levitt Shell.

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