Here at Levitt, we envision free outdoor concerts across America making an impact that goes beyond ensuring access to high-caliber music and award-winning artists. They inspire communities to come together, creating vibrant public spaces while forging new connections with fellow concertgoers and neighbors. As Gedeon Luke sings in the video, “We got to live together—live free and love!”
Do you get together with your neighbors on a regular basis? If the answer is no, you’re not alone—according to a 2015 study, only 20 percent of Americans regularly spend time with their neighbors, and a third of the country’s population has never interacted with neighbors. At Levitt, we always encourage people to get to know one another, whether that’s through enjoying free concerts together or through other kinds of community-building activities.
That’s why we love the idea behind Neighborday, a holiday devised seven years ago by media company GOOD to inspire Americans to reach out to folks living next door and plan a communal activity. A block party is one idea, but GOOD offers several other creative ways to forge friendships and build community pride within our neighborhoods. Here are four activities that you and your neighbors can put together just in time for Neighborday on April 29!
We’re thrilled to share this new video about the Levitt mission, featuring our favorite stills and live footage from free Levitt concerts across the country. Want to learn more about the overarching goals behind the 450+ free concerts attracting over 600,000 music lovers of all ages and backgrounds? Watch now!
Jimmy Webb performing at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in 2013
After five decades of writing some of pop’s most iconic songs, Jimmy Webb is not showing signs of slowing down. The songwriter has become a book author, currently touring America to promote his just-released memoir, The Cake and The Rain, a title inspired by lyrics from the hit 1968 song he penned (and was first recorded by Richard Harris), “MacArthur Park.” We at Levitt know the song well—Webb has performed it twice (in 2013 and 2016) at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, which sits in the very park that inspired the ballad!
Webb’s prolific career writing storytelling lyrics about the American experience has earned him the apt nickname of “America’s Songwriter,” with songs including the hits “Galveston” (1969) and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (1967). You’ve likely heard one of the thousands of records that feature his songs, from some of the country’s biggest acts of the 20th century like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.
To celebrate Webb’s legacy as he tours the country, here are five fun facts you might not have known about the living legend. Continue reading →
Barbara Morrison performing at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena in 2014
This month, we’re listening to wailing saxophones, mesmerizing piano arpeggios and groovy drum rhythms. That’s right—we’ve got jazz on our minds and in our ears as Jazz Appreciation Month kicks off! Influenced by blues music and other musical styles originating in African American communities, the jazz genre started permeating dance clubs and bars in the early 20th century, and with the venues’ increased popularity during the prohibition era, the Jazz Age of the 1920s was born. Since then, the original swinging form of jazz has expanded into numerous subgenres, from bebop to Latin Jazz, tapping into the improvisational talents of musicians of all kinds.
Levitt venues have seen many a jazz artist grace their stages, each with a unique take on this rich genre. Some of these acts have even performed alongside jazz’s most influential musicians and are major players in their own right, having made significant contributions to the genre. While it’s impossible to choose our favorite jazz acts, here are four to start with—all of whom played Levitt stages over the years! Continue reading →
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Lancaster, Calif. Photo: rickz on Flickr
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, Calif. Photo: Places To See In Your Lifetime
Badlands National Park, S.D. Photo: EnjoyNationalParks.com
Bluebonnet Festival, Burnet, Tex. Photo: bluebonnetfestival.org on Pinterest
Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C. Photo: Curbed
The Flower Fields, Carlsbad, Calif. Photo: Visit Carlsbad
Biltmore Blooms, Asheville, N.C. Photo: The Biltmore Company
As our days are gradually filling up with more sunshine, people are spending time outside to enjoy beautiful greenery after the cold season. Some cities are seeing more visitors come through as blooming wildflowers turn their local areas into flower tourism destinations.
Similar to “leaf peeping,” or traveling to view colorful fall foliage, flower tourism attracts people to flower festivals and parks made vibrant during the springtime. Plus, many of these attractions are free and open to the public—even more incentive to enjoy the great outdoors. Check out some places transformed by spring showers and warm weather in our slideshow above. Hopefully you feel inspired to enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors and visit a park near you!
Last week, we watched Vanessa Ferguson impress judges on NBC’s “The Voice” with her powerful rendition of “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers. The singing competition show is all about discovering new talent in America, but some Levitteers from Ferguson’s hometown of Greensboro, N.C., may recognize her voice from last year’s Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series, where she performed with the Larry Draughn Music Group.
Ferguson—who is now on R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys’ team—reminds us of the many Levitt performers who have previously competed on widely popular reality talent shows. In past blog posts, we’ve featured “America’s Got Talent” contestants Benton Blount (Levitt AMP Jacksonville 2016) and Jimmy Rose (Levitt AMP Middlesboro 2015), as well as “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks (Levitt AMP Midvale 2016) as part of our Spotlight Series on artists playing upcoming Levitt concerts. Today, we look back on a few of the countless televised performances by other artists who have performed on Levitt stages and dared to sing in front of millions of viewers across America. Continue reading →
With spring just around the corner, an abundance of green has been sprouting and leafing out here in southern California, but we’re especially seeing a lot of green today for St. Patrick’s Day! For centuries, the color green has been associated with Ireland, and thanks to Irish diaspora, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all around the world with plenty of green attire and décor, public festivities and Irish music. Continue reading →
Over the past eight years, Chicano Batman has gained a loyal following of Los Angeles fans through performing across their home region of Southern California—including at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena (2013). With the their latest album Freedom Is Free released just last Friday, however, music critics anticipate that the band and their SoCal-born-and-bred sound are ready to break out on a national scale. Continue reading →
What better way for a work of art to reach the most people than through being free to view, open to the public and in an open-air setting? Many cities recognize the value of creating murals throughout their neighborhoods, engaging residents in art-making and boosting community pride during the process. It’s also an inexpensive creative placemaking option that works with the landscape already in place—all it needs is some creativity and paint.
With inspiration drawn from their surrounding communities, murals can vividly depict motivations and aspirations of the artists and community members who created them, as well as provide enjoyment for people simply viewing them. Take a look at some of these inspiring murals adorning Levitt cities across the country! Continue reading →