Category Archives: Beyond Levitt

Header-black_pantherOnly 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

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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.

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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!

  • 1920 | Antwerp, Belgium – First Olympic flag, athlete’s oath and peace dove release

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

NAMM 2018

With almost 20,000 booths, interactive workshops, lectures and more, this year’s National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., was one of the biggest yet. What’s this convention all about? This exciting, four-day event showcases some of the latest innovations and state-of-the-art developments in music, stage and production technology. Musicians, producers, technicians, engineers, teachers and artists from all over the world convene once a year to network, get the latest industry scoop and, of course, spend hours geeking out over some high-quality gear. Here are some standouts from this year’s convention!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd at the 1963 March on Washington.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a nationwide day of service celebrating a visionary who challenged the nation to recognize the inherent potential in each American citizen. As the most visible spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired millions of people to value every individual and recognize that our country would be stronger when everyone was given equal opportunity to maximize their potential.

Often times when we think of Dr. King, four words come to mind: “I have a dream…”
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Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the composers behind the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman, accept the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2018.

This past weekend, the Golden Globe Awards recognized the wide range of talent that entertained audiences across movie theaters and TV screens throughout 2017. From the small-town noir of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, which won Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress Motion Picture – Drama (Frances McDormand) and Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture (Sam Rockwell), to the coming-of-age tale of Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” (Best Actor Television Series – Musical or Comedy), there was no dearth of rich, relatable and diverse storytelling celebrated. One of the highlights from the evening was the award for Best Original Song Motion Picture, awarded to the anthemic “This is Me” from the Michael Gracey-directed musical period piece, The Greatest Showman.

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header - coachellaThis week the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival lineup was announced and we were thrilled to see some familiar faces! Once again, several artists who’ve graced Levitt stages—including Tank & the Bangas, The Buttertones, The Regrettes, Kamasi Washington and The Delirians—will be flocking to Indio, Calif. this spring to perform alongside rising stars and musical giants at Coachella. Continue reading

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2017 has been an incredibly impactful and memorable year for the Levitt network, with hundreds of free concerts strengthening communities all over the country. From the Levitt National Tour to Levitt AMP Music Series in small and mid-sized towns and cities to season-long free concert series at permanent Levitt venues, there was too much good music to keep up with! Today, we’re looking back on the songs that grabbed our attention throughout the year. From the quirky-yet-anthemic hit “Wow” by Beck to the Latin jazz-influenced soul of Gabriel Garzón-Montano, check out the Levitt staff’s favorite picks of 2017 below:

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Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released Rural Arts, Design and Innovation in America: Research Findings from the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey. The report pulls compelling findings from data captured in the 2014 Rural Establishment Innovation Survey (REIS)—illustrating the economic impact of the arts in rural communities by identifying key patterns and relationships among arts organizations, design-integrated firms and business innovators in rural settings. We enjoyed this report so much, we created the infographic above to highlight a few of our favorite findings. Click here for the NEA’s full list of takeaways and here to read the full report. Continue reading