Category Archives: Spotlight Series

Spotlight_Series_Kinky

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

spotlight_series_seratones
Fan of the blues? Punk? Jazz? Gospel? Then you’ve got to check out Seratones, closing out the Levitt AMP North Adams Music Series this coming Sunday. This genre-bending band formed in 2013, and just two years later, Seratones signed to indie label Fat Possum, which boasts an impressive roster of blues and rock artists, including The Black Keys and Al Green. Continue reading

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In anticipation of Levitt Pavilion Denver’s 2017 debut, Levitteers from the Mile-High City will be treated to the rootsy folk music of Levitt veteran performer John Fullbright tonight at Civic Center Park. This free concert will complete Levitt Denver’s teaser series, which featured five shows headlined by acclaimed musicians.

At just 28-years-old, Fullbright has already received numerous accolades for his music, including a GRAMMY Award nomination (Best Americana Album) for his album, From the Ground Up (2012), that put him alongside high-profile names like The Avett Brothers and Bonnie Raitt. The prodigal singer-songwriter began playing the piano at the age of five, and by his senior year in high school, Fullbright was slotted to play the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in his hometown of Okemah, Okla.  Continue reading

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The blues laid the foundation for so much of the music we enjoy today, which is why you’ll find blues musicians performing on Levitt stages across America, year after year. This week, we’re spotlighting one of the genre’s most innovative artists. Enjoy these 12 fun facts about Mississippi’s ‘Champion of Blues’—GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Grady Champion: Continue reading

eternalsummers
Pop power trio Eternal Summers brings the warmth of summer to audiences all year round with their bright, gritty and upbeat rock anthems. This acclaimed talent—that has wowed audiences across the U.S., Europe and the U.K.—has been praised by music critics in Pitchfork, New Noise Magazine and Paste Magazine and featured on Rolling Stone’s May 2015 list of “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” Continue reading

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Legendary tenor saxophonist George Coleman returns to his hometown of Memphis this weekend and will grace the Levitt Shell Memphis stage with the Rhodes College Jazz Band. Coleman has toured and collaborated with music’s most celebrated players, including Miles Davis, BB King and Ray Charles. His decades-long career in music started just two years after picking up the alto saxophone at the age of 17, inspired by influential bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker.  Continue reading

Tomorrow night at 7:30 pm, The Young Dubliners will bring the 2016 Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks concert season to an electric finish! And next Friday, the Celtic rockers will head to Civic Center Park in Denver, Colo., to take part in Levitt Pavilion Denver’s 2016 preview concert series. These musical veterans are no strangers to Levitt stages, with past performances at Levitt Pavilion Arlington (2014), Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (2014), and Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks (2011) under their belts! Continue reading

Spotlight_Series_Vy Higginsens Harlem Teens Choir
Tonight, Levitt AMP Asbury Park will host an inspirational show to close out its free music series headlined by Vy Higginsen’s Harlem Teens Choir. The choir is part of the Gospel for Teens program, founded by New York radio personality Vy Higginsen and her daughter Ahmaya Knoelle, with the purpose of preserving the gospel music genre.  “[Gospel is] a story of a people in song, created out of an American experience,” said Higginsen in an Emmy Award-winning segment of “60 Minutes” that documented the music education program.  Continue reading