Author Archives: Benj Salkind

Levitt Loves Kindness

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, spread some caring and kindness! Whether you’re with friends, family, volunteering or taking some much needed time off, remember the legacy of MLK Jr. and how he transformed a nation half a century ago. Compassion in your interactions with others not only brightens your day, but makes the world a more gentle place!

StaffPicks2018

2018 has been an incredibly impactful and sonically-charged year for the Levitt network, with nearly 500 free Levitt concerts building community all over the country in 26 towns and cities. From the gospel-infused Levitt National Tour to over 150 concerts presented as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series to over 330 free concert series presented at seven permanent Levitt venues. Levitteers across the nation were treated to amazing music by rising stars and acclaimed artists! Today, we’re sharing our personal favorites – songs that we kept on repeat throughout the year. From the cinematic vocals of Lady Gaga to the now world-renowned K-Pop of BTS, check out the Levitt Foundation’s favorite picks of 2018 below:

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$25K matching grants will bring free outdoor concerts to 18 small- to mid-sized towns and cities across America

Today, the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation awarded $450,000 in matching grants to 18 nonprofits serving small- to mid-sized towns and cities across America to produce free outdoor concerts as part of the fifth annual Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s commitment to creative placemaking projects generating community support, the Levitt Foundation once again opened the Levitt AMP selection process to the public to choose the top 25 finalists. Continue reading


Relive the magic of the 2018 Levitt National Tour with our new recap video featuring concert highlights and exclusive artist interviews with southern rock hero, Paul Thorn, and living legends of gospel, Blind Boys of Alabama! Between June and August, these artists dazzled Levitt audiences in seven Levitt locations—including including Bethlehem, PA; Memphis; Arlington, TX; Los Angeles; Dayton, OH; Denver; and Sioux Falls, SD (where audiences received a taste of what’s to come when their Levitt Pavilion opens in 2019). Each Levitt tour stop was an incredible evening for the entire community! 

And be sure to keep an eye out for our 2019 LNT announcement—we’ll be revealing the performer early next year! Learn more at levitt.org/national_tour

(Left to Right) Top Row: Gregory Porter, Wood & Wire, COASTCITY, Cedric Burnside, Monsieur Periné; Middle Row: Victor Wainwright (above), Seun Kuti (below), Orrin Evans, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Cha Wa (above), Bombino (below); Bottom Row: Lucy Kalantari, Danielle Nicole, Elio Villafranca, Los Texmaniacs, Tim Kubart

(Left to Right) Top Row: Gregory Porter, Wood & Wire, COASTCITY, Cedric Burnside, Monsieur Periné; Middle Row: Victor Wainwright (above), Seun Kuti (below), Orrin Evans, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Cha Wa (above), Bombino (below); Bottom Row: Lucy Kalantari, Danielle Nicole, Elio Villafranca, Los Texmaniacs, Tim Kubart

Earlier this morning, The Recording Academy announced the full list of nominees for the 2019 GRAMMY Awards—and we’re thrilled to share that 17 past performers at permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites have received nominations! Spanning Latin, pop, country, jazz, children’s music and more, the incredible talent of these performers has captured the attention of critics and audiences around the country. Included on the list is the first-ever Record of The Year contender with the phenomenal Maren Morris, who’s also competing for five other awards!

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Today’s Faces of Levitt video features Memphis, TN residents Bob and Ann Rullet. As retirees of the airline and education industries, respectively, the Rullets find Levitt Shell Memphis to be the perfect place to take their grandkids, describing it as “a very safe place” and “a tremendous blessing to this city.” Check out their video to hear why the Rullets keep coming back to the family-friendly Levitt lawn year after year!

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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