Category Archives: Holidays

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¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Across the country, millions are enjoying bustling fiestas filled with mouth-watering food, non-stop dancing and spirited Mexican music. Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Houston are gearing up to throw celebratory festivals and activate city streets with cultural parades, outdoor performances and plenty of taco stands. Last week the team at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles took part in LA’s Fiesta Broadway, a renowned holiday festival that attracted tens of thousands of attendees and brought festivities to almost 10 blocks of the downtown area!


Cinco de Mayo has long been a source of national pride for the roughly 37 million Mexican-Americans that call the U.S. their home. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (which is actually on September 16!), Cinco de Mayo recognizes Mexico’s triumphant, dark horse defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The spirit of the Mexican victory lives on through celebration and a kindhearted day of well-earned relaxation––a celebration that wouldn’t be complete, of course, without music!

To honor Cinco De Mayo, we’ve curated a short playlist to honor some classic Mexican música as well as tunes by the countless Mexican and Latin-American artists who have graced Levitt stages over the years. From traditional mariachis and rancheras to modern folk and rock, these artists pay homage to their Mexican roots by taking a vibrant, contemporary approach to their music. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Get into the spirit for tomorrow’s holiday with The Kildares‘ festive curtain call performance at Levitt Pavilion Arlington in 2016. Enjoy The Kildares doing what they do best—seamlessly fusing cutting-edge rock and traditional Celtic music to create a lively, eclectic sound that’s uniquely their own. These innovative Celtic rockers are no strangers to Levitt stages, with one performance at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks and EIGHT performances at Levitt Pavilion Arlington under their belts. In the mood for more celebratory music? You’re in luck. Check out our St. Patty’s day playlist, featuring a wide range of artists who’ve graced Levitt stages across the country!

Today is International Women’s Day, and folks around the country are paying homage to the achievements of female leaders, thinkers and changemakers in American history! As we also find ourselves in the middle of Women’s History Month, what better time to pay closer attention to the importance of gender diversity in music. As a foundation dedicated to and passionate about the voice of women in arts and culture, we’ve put together an inspiring “Women of Levitt” Spotify playlist with music by just some of the female artists who have performed on Levitt stages across the country! 

Women artists have been at the forefront of some of the most memorable Levitt concerts ever. Whether it’s soulful legends like Mavis Staples and the late and great Sharon Jones, or artists like vocal powerhouse Ruthie Foster, recently honored by the coveted United States Awards, Levitt stages represent the achievements of countless female artists, both seasoned and contemporary. Check out the playlist and sample the mighty sounds of the “Women of Levitt!”

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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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“Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these. This is triumphant music.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

Last month we celebrated the legacy of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a courageous African American visionary who challenged our nation to allow all citizens, regardless of skin color, to have the opportunity to reach their potential—as promised in the U.S. Constitution. He is one of the many African Americans who persisted in spite of tremendous adversity to help secure the civil liberties we enjoy today. His story is one of many. African Americans have made important contributions to all areas of American life. And this month, Black History Month, is an annual celebration of those contributions. As a funder of projects that build and strengthen communities through music, today we’re turning the spotlight on three African American jazz musicians who’ve used their talents to do just that. Continue reading

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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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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

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Brooks Museum’s Light Festival finale at Levitt Shell in Memphis.

Happy December, Levitteers!

It’s Friday afternoon AND it’s the first day of the twinkliest month of all—what’s not to celebrate? Whatever types of festive gatherings this month holds for you, your friends and family, we hope you find some calm during this busy season and remember to soak up every twinkly wonder surrounding you.