Author Archives: Nicole McGaffey

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Tonight, noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker and musician, Reverend Osagyefo (oh-sah-GG-fo) Uhuru (ooh-WHO-roo) Sekou (SAY-koo) wraps up the 2019 Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series with his Nashville blues band The Freedom Fighters—and next week, they’ll take their fiery fusion down to Chattanooga, Tenn. (9/12) and Berea, Ky. (9/13). Born in St. Louis, and raised in the rural Arkansas Delta, Rev. Sekou’s fervent anthems weave together Arkansas Delta Blues, Memphis soul, 1970s funk and gospel. Drawing upon his background in music, ministry and advocacy, Rev. Sekou preaches high-energy messages of hope and empowerment, steeped in Southern soul. Continue reading


Tomorrow night, living cumbia legend La Sonora Dinamita brings its iconic Colombian rhythms, fiery horn lines and powerhouse vocals to Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles for the fourth time! Known for their historic Latin music taste-making, the group’s contagious tropical beats have helped to popularize cumbia music throughout Latin America and across the globe. Angelenos are in for an unforgettable night of danceable, “dynamite sounds” (as the band’s name loosely translates). In honor of tomorrow’s show, here’s 10 fun facts about this longstanding cumbia supergroup. Continue reading

2019_summer-music-moves-2As summer draws to a close, music-loving moviegoers are invited to celebrate the lasting legacies of two of modern-day music’s most influential artists, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. Following a steady flow of music-driven film releases over the past year—from the Oscar-winning music drama, A Star is Born (October 2018); to the foot-stomping Queen celebration, Bohemian Rhapsody (November 2018); to Sir Elton John’s epic musical fantasy biopic, Rocketman (May 2019)—this summer brought the release of Yesterday (June 2019) and Blinded by the Light (August 2019).

Yesterday and Blinded by the Light put music front and center, with each film celebrating the prolific, award-winning catalog of an industry-shaping artist. Told from the fan’s perspective, the films invite audiences to rediscover the work of The Beatles and The Boss alongside its main characters—reminding us all of their musical genius and the universal appeal of their work. Read on to learn more about these two films and the timeless music that inspired them! Continue reading

2019_cha_waTomorrow night, GRAMMY-nominated New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa brings their funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone to Levitt Pavilion Westport—just days before they head to Sheboygan, Wis., to close out the 2019 Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series next Thursday night! Audiences are in for a vibrant taste of a New Orleans street party. Led by the warm, gritty vocals of lead singer J’Wan Boudreaux, Cha Wa infuses reggae, gospel, funk and old-school R&B into the booming sound of a traditional New Orleans brass band to create high-energy, eclectic fusions that honor the city’s rich Mardi Gras Indian heritage. The band’s name itself, which loosely translates to “we’re comin’ for ya,” is a traditional Mardi Gras Indian rallying cry that’s heard throughout the streets of New Orleans each Mardi Gras.

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At the unexpected intersection of hip-hop and bluegrass, you’ll find the genre-busting New York City five-piece, Gangstagrass—who is bringing their fresh musical fusion to Levitt AMP Stevens Point tonight and Levitt AMP Galva this Sunday! Seamlessly weaving together banjo, fiddle and soaring three-part-harmonies with rap vocals and beats, Gangstagrass creates a one-of-a-kind sound Rolling Stone describes as “…the best argument yet for a rap and country music marriage.”

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farahsirajspotlightgraphicsTonight, Levitt AMP Whitesburg will be graced by international Arabic flamenco jazz sensation, Farah Siraj—who’ll light up the stage with entrancing trilingual (Arabic/English/Spanish) fusions of Middle Eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa, pop and more. For today’s post, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this renowned singer/multi-instrumentalist, whose music serves as a medium for peace and celebration of the global community’s rich diversity.

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Edgy, versatile and fresh, Latin GRAMMY-winning 2019 Levitt National Tour artist Flor de Toloache is winning the hearts of Levitteers across the nation this summer. Much like the Toloache flower—known for its use in Mexican ‘love potions’—the ladies of Flor De Toloache are casting a spell over Levitt audiences with their soaring bilingual harmonies, playful gritos and magnetic stage presence. With three tour stops under their belt (SteelStacks, Sioux Falls and Dayton), ‘Las Flores’ are headed to Levitt Shell Memphis for their fourth tour stop this Friday and will wrap up the week with a Levitt Pavilion Arlington performance on Saturday (click here to check out all 2019 Levitt National Tour stops). August will bring them to Levitt Pavilion Denver and closing out the tour at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, capping off a tour that brought them to seven Levitt stages coast to coast as part of this year’s Levitt National Tour. In addition to their Levitt National Tour performances, the ladies of Flor de Toloache will grace Levitt AMP stages in Carson City, Nev., and Woonsocket, R.I. this summer. Continue reading

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2019 marks the 55th anniversary of the GRAMMY-nominated, genre-shaping ska sensation, The Skatalites—who’re headed to Levitt AMP Springfield tonight! Concertgoers are in for an unforgettable night of mellow grooves, soaring horn lines and the legendary vocals of ‘The Queen of Soul.’ One of Jamaica’s most celebrated singers, Monica Johnson—better known by her stage name Doreen Shaffer (or ‘The Queen of Soul’)—bridges the group’s past and present, as the last original founding member of The Skatalites. Continue reading


This week the Spotlight Series continues with the genre-busting violin/vocalist duo, Sons of Mystro—who launch the 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series tonight with their lively mix of classical, reggae, hip-hop and more! To gear up for tonight’s show, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this eclectic power duo! Continue reading

Love exploring this nation’s breathtaking natural landscapes? So do we! This weekend we’re all in luck. Tomorrow marks the start of National Park Week 2019 (April 20-28) and to celebrate, the National Park Service is graciously waiving entrance fees at all 61 national parks on Saturday, April 20.

So grab your hiking boots, water bottle and hiking buddy, and find a national park near you to enjoy during National Park Week!