If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that we at Levitt love talented, award-winning all-female musical powerhouses. It’s no surprise, then, that we’re huge fans of Sister Sadie, the GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass supergroup that brings together “some of the best women bluegrass music has ever claimed.” Full of intricate vocal harmonies and hard-driving five-string banjo licks, Sister Sadie’s music is a masterful display of bluegrass prowess that purists and casual listeners alike can delight in. Tonight, Sister Sadie is performing in the heart of bluegrass country, at the Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series, and we couldn’t be more excited! Continue reading
Tonight, noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker and musician, Reverend Osagyefo (oh-sah-GG-fo) Uhuru (ooh-WHO-roo) Sekou (SAY-koo) wraps up the 2019 Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series with his Nashville blues band The Freedom Fighters—and next week, they’ll take their fiery fusion down to Chattanooga, Tenn. (9/12) and Berea, Ky. (9/13). Born in St. Louis, and raised in the rural Arkansas Delta, Rev. Sekou’s fervent anthems weave together Arkansas Delta Blues, Memphis soul, 1970s funk and gospel. Drawing upon his background in music, ministry and advocacy, Rev. Sekou preaches high-energy messages of hope and empowerment, steeped in Southern soul. Continue reading
Tomorrow night, living cumbia legend La Sonora Dinamita brings its iconic Colombian rhythms, fiery horn lines and powerhouse vocals to Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles for the fourth time! Known for their historic Latin music taste-making, the group’s contagious tropical beats have helped to popularize cumbia music throughout Latin America and across the globe. Angelenos are in for an unforgettable night of danceable, “dynamite sounds” (as the band’s name loosely translates). In honor of tomorrow’s show, here’s 10 fun facts about this longstanding cumbia supergroup. Continue reading
Today’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.
Tomorrow night, GRAMMY-nominated New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa brings their funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone to Levitt Pavilion Westport—just days before they head to Sheboygan, Wis., to close out the 2019 Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series next Thursday night! Audiences are in for a vibrant taste of a New Orleans street party. Led by the warm, gritty vocals of lead singer J’Wan Boudreaux, Cha Wa infuses reggae, gospel, funk and old-school R&B into the booming sound of a traditional New Orleans brass band to create high-energy, eclectic fusions that honor the city’s rich Mardi Gras Indian heritage. The band’s name itself, which loosely translates to “we’re comin’ for ya,” is a traditional Mardi Gras Indian rallying cry that’s heard throughout the streets of New Orleans each Mardi Gras.
In today’s Spotlight Series we’re featuring the LowDown Brass Band, a Chicago-based ensemble that takes the traditional sounds of the Big Easy to new heights with infusions of jazz, blues, funk and hip-hop. The group’s hard-hitting horn section, groovy sousaphone and funkified drums create an atmosphere that fans describe as “an absolute party,” and the recent addition of ferocious poet MC Billa Camp’s energizing rhymes has made their live performances even more explosive. After lighting up Levitt AMP Sheboygan earlier this month, the LowDown Brass Band will be bringing the funk to Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks tonight for another pumped-up performance.
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.
Welcome to another entry in our season-long Spotlight Series! This week we’re featuring a true living legend of Chicago blues: Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson. An architect of the rough-and-tumble “West Side” sound, Johnson has been performing on stages everywhere from Poland to Japan since the 1960s, releasing four albums and taking home a GRAMMY award in the process. Tonight, he’s bringing the blues to Levitt AMP Woonsocket.
Johnson was born in the Mississippi Delta and drew heavy influence from gospel music growing up. His family moved to Chicago in the late 1950s, just as the city was becoming the de-facto epicenter of blues music. After singing and playing bass with a few local groups, Johnson picked up the six-string and adopted the moniker “Guitar Junior” at the age of 23 when his then-bandleader, Tall Milton Shelton, turned away from music following a religious awakening. Rather than let the group dissolve, Johnson took the reins and made it his own.
Johnson established himself as one of Chicago’s top guitar talents over the next several years, and eventually caught the attention of one of the most venerated bluesmen of all time: Muddy Waters. He joined Muddy’s crew in 1972, coincidentally replacing guitarist Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson in the band. Guitar Junior toured the world with this all-star lineup for the next eight years, recording his first solo album, Luther’s Blues, while on the road in France in 1977.
When the band dissolved in 1980, Johnson created a supergroup called The Legendary Blues Band with several other Chicago heavyweights. The group famously appears in the classic film The Blues Brothers as John Lee Hooker’s backing band. Soon after, Johnson parted ways with Chicago and moved out to the East Coast, forming a new band called the Magic Rockers and further refining his sound. He contributed to the GRAMMY-winning compilation album Blues Explosion in 1985.
Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson’s raw, soulful, and thoroughly original style of Chicago blues will be on full display tonight at Levitt AMP Woonsocket. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this storied artist perform for free!
Tonight, Levitt AMP Whitesburg will be graced by international Arabic flamenco jazz sensation, Farah Siraj—who’ll light up the stage with entrancing trilingual (Arabic/English/Spanish) fusions of Middle Eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa, pop and more. For today’s post, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this renowned singer/multi-instrumentalist, whose music serves as a medium for peace and celebration of the global community’s rich diversity.