Category Archives: Levitt Artists

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!

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Steeped in centuries-old traditions and songwriting, bluegrass is a discipline as much as it is a musical genre. It’s rare to hear artists that break the mold. But Billy Strings – one young, steadfast Mid-Westerner, has recently exploded onto the Americana scene and caught the ear of many veteran musicians with his punk-rock spirit, arresting voice and sheer virtuosic ability with guitar and banjo. Recently named as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone, audiences at Levitt AMP Sheboygan will experience the up-and-coming talent of this bluegrass and folk maestro this Thursday at 6PM, at the John Michael Kohler Art Center’s Festival Green!

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Tomorrow night, reggae, soul and jazz singer Marla Brown will be taking the Levitt AMP Carson City stage, inspiring attendees with her empowering and uplifting songs about global issues. This multitalented artist has delighted audiences across continents with her graceful dance moves and powerful vocals. Levitt AMP Carson City concertgoers get to experience this rising star first-hand!

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Dirty Revival

Tonight audiences at the Levitt AMP Jacksonville Music Series, presented by Jacksonville Main Street, are in for a truly eclectic night of music with Portland big band Dirty Revival. Their kaleidoscopic take on funk, jazz and gritty soul is thrilling audiences around the country on an ongoing tour – and they’re making a stop in Jacksonville to welcome Levitteers at Central Park joining in on the fun!

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This weekend, the internationally renowned and virtuosic Malian musician, Cheick Hamala Diabate, brings his danceable and richly textured West African songs to two — yes, two — Levitt AMP stages! He graces Levitt AMP Berea tonight at 6pm, and Levitt AMP Greensboro tomorrow evening at 6pm. Considered a master of the ngoni, a traditional, lute-like stringed instrument, Diabate’s music started in his motherland and migrated to Washington, D.C., where he has worked with acclaimed producers, created a GRAMMY-winning World music album and toured relentlessly.

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Spotlight_Series_loshacheros_updated_readySaturday night, Brooklyn’s Los Hacheros will have Levitt AMP Santa Fe swaying to their fun, warm and infectious Latin beats. Their deep Afro-Caribbean groove weaves in elements of folkloric styles like son montuno, guaracha and salsa, often combining them with Bomba—a fiery rhythm from the mountains of Puerto Rico.

Los Hacheros is a five-piece band created in 2012, and have brought new heights to the golden era of Latin music with their unique versatility, explosive energy and instruments ranging from flute, trombone, violin, congas and tres—a guitar-like instrument that changed the course of the New York salsa scene.

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Hailing from their hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, members of electronic rock band Kinky have consistently pushed the boundaries of the Mexican pop music scene, earning worldwide acclaim and a devoted fan base. Emerging from the underground Monterrey scene of the 1990s, Kinky members Gilberto Cerezo, Ulises Lozano, and Carlos Chairez brought their diverse musical backgrounds together to create their own eclectic sound, distinguishing themselves from mainstream pop, which at the time was dominated mostly by Mexican folk music. Drummer Omar Gongora and bassist Cesar Pliego later joined the band, turning the trio into a five-piece group. Kinky gained international recognition after performing at Latin Alternative Music Conference’s (LAMC) Battle of Bands in New York City in 2000. The musicians’ vibrant energy caught the attention of British producer Chris Allison (Coldplay, the Beta Band, Fila Brazilia), who went on to release the band’s self-titled debut album, Kinky (2002), on his Sonic360 label. The album received rave reviews and a Nissan Altima commercial spot, breaking them out of their underground desert music scene to reach international success.

Today, Kinky has continued to build its global following, and its music has been featured widely from commercials to the FIFA 2006 video game to TV shows such as Nip/Tuck, Gossip Girl and Dexter, to name a few. True to their experimental spirit, Kinky’s follow up albums reveal a thoughtful progression in the band’s style, as its members sought out fresh surroundings to nurture their ideas. For the production of its second release, Atlas (2003), Kinky traveled to an isolated ranch in Quitana Roo, Mexico, surrounded by nothing but wildlife and nature. The band finished up the rest of the album in the more urban environment of Los Angeles, cutting back on electronics and focusing on a more raw rock sound. Kinky recorded their third album, Reina (2006) in a Southern Californian mountain cabin. Their fourth and most recent album, Barracuda, was released in 2008 – lead singer Gil Cerezos describes it as “the dark side of Kinky.”

In almost 20 years since Kinky’s conception, the once underground group has infiltrated and challenged mainstream pop music; they’ve appeared on NPR’s Studio 4A, earned several MTV Music Award nominations and have worked with music greats such as producers Howie Weinberg (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, U2), Dust Brother John King (Beck, Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys) and Money Mark (Beastie Boys). Kinky’s palpable dynamism and drive attract fans to festivals and shows worldwide. Kinky’s innovative and evolving sound is difficult to label, and it’s clear the band intends to keep it that way.

 

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Powerhouse vocalist Dana Fuchs brings her raspy blues-rock vocals to Levitt AMP Ocala tomorrow night. The edgy singer/songwriter is known and beloved for her electric stage presence and heartfelt, compelling albums, many of which are dedicated to late loved ones. Born in New Jersey and raised in Wildwood, Fla.—where she performed as a child in a Baptist Choir—Fuchs always knew she wanted to broaden her horizons and make the leap to The Big Apple. She made her dream a reality when she packed her bags and moved to New York City at 19 to pursue a singing career. It was there that she formed and fronted the soulful, rocking Dana Fuchs Band, which gained a reputation as one of the best blues acts in the city’s music scene.

Today, audiences might recognize this multitalented artist’s strong and distinctive voice from her leading roles in the off-Broadway tribute musical, Love, Janis, and the Golden Globe-nominated film, Across the Universe (2007). Continue reading

We’re thrilled to announce that The Suffers, an 8-member band hailing from Houston who blend musical influences as diverse as rock, R&B, country and reggae into a dynamic sound they’ve coined “Gulf Coast Soul,” will headline the 2017 Levitt National Tour. Now in its third year and created to celebrate the collective impact of the Levitt network of music venues in communities across the country, the 2017 Levitt National Tour will stop in six Levitt cities this July and August—Los Angeles; Memphis; Arlington, Texas; Denver; Bethlehem, Pa.; and Dayton, Ohio (home to a future Levitt Pavilion). This summer’s tour will invite Levitt audiences to experience these rising stars and critical darlings, hailed for their infectious rhythm and horns section mixing seamlessly with the sultry vocals of singer Kam Franklin. Continue reading

Jimmy Webb performing at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in 2013

After five decades of writing some of pop’s most iconic songs, Jimmy Webb is not showing signs of slowing down. The songwriter has become a book author, currently touring America to promote his just-released memoir, The Cake and The Rain, a title inspired by lyrics from the hit 1968 song he penned (and was first recorded by Richard Harris), “MacArthur Park.” We at Levitt know the song well—Webb has performed it twice (in 2013 and 2016) at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, which sits in the very park that inspired the ballad!

Webb’s prolific career writing storytelling lyrics about the American experience has earned him the apt nickname of “America’s Songwriter,” with songs including the hits “Galveston” (1969) and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (1967). You’ve likely heard one of the thousands of records that feature his songs, from some of the country’s biggest acts of the 20th century like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.

To celebrate Webb’s legacy as he tours the country, here are five fun facts you might not have known about the living legend. Continue reading