Category Archives: Beyond Levitt

Eleanor Roosevelt holding a Universal Declaration of Human Rights poster

Former First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the drafting committee, holding a Universal Declaration of Human Rights poster in English. UN Photo (1949)

All too often, access to the arts is mistakenly labeled as a “luxury.” Here at Levitt we believe that experiencing art and culture in one’s community is essential to a healthy and happy life—it’s a basic human right. Interestingly enough, arts and culture are actually mentioned in Article 27 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will be commemorated around the world this Sunday, Human Rights Day. Continue reading

Levitt Grammy Nominees

Top Row (L to R): Alex Cuba, Eric Bibb, The Secret Sisters, Gustafer Yellowgold; Middle Row (Clockwise): Bomba Estereo, Brothers Osborne, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sonny Landreth, Maren Morris, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Justin Roberts; Bottom Row (L to R): La Santa Cecilia, Jane Bunnett, Robert Cray, Billy Childs

Earlier this morning, The Recording Academy announced the full list of nominees for the 2018 GRAMMY Awards—and 15 past performers at permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites have received nominations! Spanning Latin, pop, rock, jazz, children’s music and more, the incredible talent of these performers has captured the attention of critics and audiences around the country. Listen to our 2018 GRAMMY playlist and read the nominations below!

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Today, we salute the courageous men and women who’ve fought for the freedoms we Americans hold dearly. The fundamental American freedoms that are positioned at the core of the Levitt program—like the right to gather and the right to express ourselves—are defended by the brave and selfless individuals who’ve served (and continue to serve) in the Armed Forces. Coming from all backgrounds and bringing their own unique talents, service members reflect the rich diversity of this country. 

We’ve all enjoyed the musical talents of the veterans below—from iconic rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix to 2000s R&B crooner Shaggy. And these are only a few of the countless individuals who’ve helped to protect our rights AND shape American music history.

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A still from the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music video of a Beethoven Performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Virtual reality was used to remotely broadcast the concert with visualizations.

Have you seen the new virtual reality (VR) music video for “Ogilala” by 90s rocker Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)? Or pop songstress Bjork’s exhibition of virtual and augmented reality videos promoting her new album? Or perhaps the LA Philharmonic’s VR music video filmed at a live Beethoven performance? These are just a few examples of how a once elusive idea in technology—interactive media—is quickly becoming a new frontier for creative production in music.

And interactive media isn’t serving solely as music accompanist; rather, it’s helping us better understand the musical experience as a whole and re-purpose academic research in music into something far more wondrous and accessible. Today, we’re highlighting a few instances at the intersection of music and interactive media that have caught our attention for their creative ingenuity and captivating approach. Perhaps most telling, they help us explore what it means to hear, interpret and love music from an entirely new vantage point. So grab your headphones, enter full screen mode on each video and immerse yourself in these sonorous experiences.

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MYFirstConcert

Do you remember your first live concert experience? Today, we thought it’d be fun to share our own stories which launched a lifelong love affair with live music! Take a trip down memory lane with us as we reminisce about our own first concert experiences.

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sounds-of-fallCozy weather, leaves turning red and orange, quality time with friends and family – there’s so much about the fall season we’re looking forward to! And with more free, outdoor concerts continuing into the new season, we’re not winding down from the thrill of live music just yet. Get ready for more shows through the fall with this curated playlist of artists playing upcoming shows at the Levitt AMP Music Series in Chattanooga, Tenn. and Middlesboro, Ky., as well as Levitt Pavilion Arlington and Levitt Shell Memphis. This mellow, soothing collection of acoustic folk, R&B, indie and more is the perfect companion for the first week of fall – enjoy!

  • UN Habitat and Minecraft teamed up to create Block by Block, a community participation tool allowing residents in underserved communities to play minecraft and create project proposals that reconstruct unused public space in their communities.

Placemaking places people at the heart of its process—empowering individuals by giving them an active voice in shaping the spaces around them, mapping and designing their own communities. This week, we’re highlighting a few fascinating placemaking projects from around the globe that illustrate the beauty of people coming together and creating a shared vision for their community.

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Sounds of Summer playlistSummer is well underway and there’s so much to love about this time of the year—the kids are out of school, the smell of bbq fills the air and free Levitt concerts are in full swing! As we return to the work week after the long festive weekend, we thought we’d keep the fun going strong with this mid-week “Sounds of Summer” playlist, featuring some of our favorite summer tunes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Yesterday, more than 750 cities (and 120 countries!) filled the air with free, live music, in celebration of Make Music Day. This one-of-a-kind free annual festival is open to all people—regardless of their age, background or musical ability. As passionate supporters of free outdoor concerts across the country, many of which are happening now, we’re sharing a few of our favorite pics from yesterday’s global music-making event.

The festival can be traced back to 1982, when it was launched in France as the Fête de la Musique. Fun fact: In French, “Fête de la Musique” means both “festival of music” and “make music.” To date, almost 8 percent of France’s population (approximately 5 million people) have reportedly played an instrument or sang in public as part of Fête de la Musique.

Now an international phenomenon, amateur and professional musicians across the globe spend the first day of the annual summer solstice making free, live music with and for their communities.

Didn’t get a chance to celebrate yesterday? You’re in luck—making music is free and joyous activity we can enjoy all year ‘round!

  • West African Percussion group Umoja celebrating MakeMusicDay in Rochester, NY. Image courtesy of @makemusicroc.

Summer has long been synonymous with outdoor concerts across the country. A simple search for “free outdoor concerts” yields hundreds of thousands of results coast to coast. Each year brings an increasing number of opportunities to experience free, live music in outdoor settings—from single concerts centered around a specific celebration like the annual Memorial Day Concert on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; to coordinated events like Make Music Day, when dozens of U.S. cities celebrate the summer solstice through free music performances; to weekly concert series like Summerstage in parks throughout New York City and free Levitt concerts in towns and cities across America.

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