Category Archives: Levitt AMP

Reflecting our mission that all Levitt projects be community-driven, we’re once again opening the grant selection process to YOU! This year, 33 applicants were invited to advance to the online public voting phase and we’re calling on you to help determine which of them will make it into the Top 25. Now through November 20 at 5pm PST, vote for up to five Levitt AMP proposals to help bring your favorite applicants one step closer to transforming an underused public space into a thriving community-wide destination through the power of free, live music. Happy voting!

The Brevet_3Today’s entry in our Spotlight Series features SoCal folk-rock outfit The Brevet, who will be headlining the final concert of the 2019 Levitt AMP Carson City Music Series tomorrow night in Carson City, NV! The band’s sound, which they describe as “epic Americana,” is an expansive musical experience perfectly suited for a late-summer performance on the Levitt stage. 

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picture4With an estimated 1,500+ instruments in existence worldwide, there’s a lot more musical variety around us than we might expect. From Sweden to West Africa to The United States, explore three fascinating instruments making an appearance at Levitt AMP sites this season. 

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Sixteen-year-old guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer has already enjoyed the spotlight at some of the most legendary venues in America and played alongside numerous prominent artists. But these accomplishments only scratch the surface of the raw skill and musical instincts that make the New York City-based guitarist, who’ll headline tonight’s show at Levitt AMP Utica, a true musician. For this week’s edition of our Spotlight Series, we’re bringing you 10 facts about the mind-bogglingly impressive teen rocker.

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Dwayne Dopsie Spotlight

Our season-long Spotlight Series continues this week with Dwayne Dopsie (pronounced DOOP-see), a fiery accordionist from Lafayette, La. Along with his band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, Dwayne will be bringing an upbeat blend of blues, rock, and traditional Zydeco music to the stage at Levitt AMP Santa Fe this Saturday.

We have several fascinating facts about Dwayne Dopsie for you, but first let’s address a question that may already be on your mind: what is Zydeco? Indigenous to Louisiana’s Creole communities, Zydeco is a centuries-old style of music characterized by the unique combination of accordion in the forefront and washboard anchoring the rhythm section. The latter is usually worn on a vest called a frottoir that leaves both hands free for rhythmic rubbing. Most Zydeco tunes are fast-paced and eminently danceable, with two-step beats and furious bursts of accordion driving them forward.

Now, let’s get to know a musician on the leading edge of the contemporary Zydeco scene: Dwayne Dopsie!

  • Dwayne Dopsie’s family is a bona-fide Zydeco dynasty. His father, Alton “Rockin’ Dopsie” Rubin, recorded with the likes of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, and contributed to bringing Zydeco to audiences outside of Louisiana for the first time in its history. Two of Dwayne’s brothers, Dopsie Jr. and Alton Jr., are also Zydeco pros — their band is called Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.
  • At the age of 19, Dwayne was crowned “America’s Hottest Accordionist” after winning a national competition hosted by the American Accordion Association. He founded his band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, the same year.
  • Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers scored a GRAMMY nomination in 2017 for their album Top of the Mountain. The album competed in the category of Best Regional Roots Album.
  • Dwayne is fluent in Louisiana Creole French, and often incorporates the dialect into his lyrics.
  • Despite his muscular physique, Dwayne claims he has never lifted weights. He instead attributes his bulging biceps to many years of accordion playing. The instrument weighs about 20 pounds and requires considerable effort to open and close.
  • Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers have taken their Zydeco sounds around the world. They’ve performed in China and the Baltic state of Georgia, to name a few.

Don’t miss your chance to see Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers live in concert this weekend at Levitt AMP Santa Fe. It’s a can’t-miss opportunity for fans of eclectic music to experience the energy of Zydeco firsthand.

Levitt loves springtime-sized

Sun-drenched late afternoons, trees dotted with colorful blooms, artist lineup announcements for the upcoming summer concert season—what’s not to love about this season of new beginnings? Across the country, permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites are preparing to fill the air with the joyous sounds of free, live music! Taking a cue from the shifting season, we’ve just launched the 2019 Levitt AMP Music Series website—your go-to resource for Levitt AMP artist lineups, concert schedules and more. Stay tuned for the first Levitt AMP artist lineup announcement, coming next week!

  • 37 nonprofit leaders from 18 small to mid-sized towns and cities gathered in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Here's to invigorating communities through free, live music!

Two weeks ago, the 2019 Levitt AMP grantees joined the Levitt Foundation for the annual Levitt AMP Convening in Los Angeles! It was an honor to host these inspiring nonprofit leaders and share ideas throughout two days of panels, presentations and group discussions.

With 18 small to mid-sized towns and cities from Alaska all the way to Florida, this year’s grantees truly represent the breadth of community spirit and placemaking efforts happening across the country. The endless enthusiasm in the room led to fruitful brainstorming, knowledge sharing and meaningful exchanges around the power of free, live music to ignite community change. We can’t wait to see how each Levitt AMP Music Series unfolds this summer and fall!

Choose the Top 25 Levitt AMP Finalists!

It’s time to vote! Over 40 proposals have advanced to online voting! Help decide which towns and cities will be one step closer to receiving $25K to present their own Levitt AMP Music Series of 10 or more free concerts in 2019. Vote now through November 20 on the Levitt AMP website, and be sure to spread the word! An individual voter may vote for up to five different proposals, but can only vote for each proposal once.


Important dates to note:

  • Online public voting opened this morning and ends November 20, 2018 at 5 PM PST.
  • After public voting determines the Top 25 finalists, the Levitt Foundation will then begin the selection process and choose 15 winning Levitt AMP grant recipients.
  • Winners will be announced on December 18, 2018.

Congratulations to Middlesboro, Sheboygan and Trenton!

We’re thrilled to announce that previous Levitt AMP winners Middlesboro, KY (Middlesboro Main Street), Sheboygan, WI (John Michael Kohler Arts Center) and Trenton, NJ (Trenton Downtown Association) have each been awarded multi-year funding to present the Levitt AMP Music Series in their towns for the next three years (which is why you won’t see them listed on the voting roster this November)!

During the past four years, each nonprofit has shown tremendous impact in their communities through Levitt AMP, bringing people together of all ages and backgrounds through the power of free live music, while creating a meaningful community gathering space. We’re proud to continue our support of these inspiring communities.

What are you waiting for? Head over to levittamp.org and help get your community AMPlified!

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Levitt AMP concertgoers in Berea are in for a night of vibrant rhythms and dancing tonight with Kentucky’s own Appalatin! A perfect match against the rustic backdrop of the Old Artisan Village of Berea, Appalatin has been making waves in the South’s thriving folk fusion scene as well as across the United States, thanks to their unique confluence of pan-Latin genres and traditional Appalachian music––beautifully bridging the gap between these seemingly disparate styles.

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Throughout the summer, we’ve highlighted the incredible talent invigorating small and mid-sized towns and cities nationwide through the 2018 Levitt AMP Music Series—and today is no exception! While many students across the country are already heading back to school, there are many festive evenings of free Levitt concerts left to enjoy. The Levitt AMP Music Series is still in full force with dozens of concerts to look forward to in communities across the country, including St. Johnsbury, Vt., Berea and Middlesboro, Ky., Chattanooga, Tenn. and Escondido, Calif. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on this last batch of Levitt AMP lineups and celebrating the many evenings of free, live music under the stars ahead. Scroll down to learn more about the rising stars and award-winning talent filling these five towns and cities with the free, live music! Continue reading