This summer and fall, Levitt lawns across the country are once again filling with the sounds of free, live music. After a devastating pandemic year that forced us to be apart, Levitt venues and AMP grantees weren’t sure what to expect while planning their concert series, however record-breaking audiences have proven that people are ready to come back together and build community through the power of music. “People are just excited to be back,” said Lisa Wagner, executive director of Levitt Pavilion Dayton. “Greeting one another. Hugging each other. Picking up where they left off in many ways. There has been a real healing experience of what we missed in 2020.”
Healing is exactly what so many of us are needing following the past year. During that challenging time, the Levitt network pivoted to create virtual programming, mobile concerts, pop-up shows and more. These efforts not only helped people feel a sense of connection during a time of great uncertainty and isolation, but also gave artists an opportunity to share their music and brighten otherwise dark and challenging days.
Now that in-person Levitt concerts have returned, read on to learn more about the 2021 Levitt season and how you can experience some of these amazing free concerts, either in-person or virtually. Continue reading →
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.
Pictured from L to R (top row): Levitt Pavilion Arlington; Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles; Levitt Shell Memphis; (bottom row): Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks; Levitt Pavilion Westport.
Across the country, another spectacular season of Levitt concerts has come to a close, and we’re once again celebrating the undeniable power of free, live music to bring people together of all ages and backgrounds, creating stronger communities. Watch your favorite Levitt venue in action!
You may ask, who brings the Levitt program to life, year after year? Your local Friends of Levitt nonprofit, that’s who! Each Friends of Levitt manages, programs and fundraises for the 50 free concerts every year. This is an impressive feat when you consider the sheer number of acclaimed artists presented on a Levitt stage featuring a range of music genres; the first-rate production crews and state-of-the-art sound and lighting; as well as the additional programming and activities realized through local partnerships to create unforgettable evenings of free music under the stars. Rounding out the experience are the passionate volunteers whose friendly smiles and enthusiasm embody that warm sense of community found on Levitt lawns.
And yet the Friends of Levitt nonprofit is only part of the equation. Equally important is the community of supporters—audience members who donate on the lawn, businesses sponsoring shows, grants from foundations, and local family and individual donors—whose generous contributions ensure the free music continues each year at their Levitt venue. Continue reading →
This Friday, London-born and Brooklyn-based DJ Rekha returns to Levitt Westport with her one-of-a-kind bhangra dance party.
Rekha Malhotra, commonly referred to as DJ Rekha, is a musical force in her own right! For 17 years, she has spearheaded a bhangra dance movement in NYC and beyond. In 1997, she solidified a place for bhangra music—a dance and music that originally comes from India’s Punjab region—in New York City’s club scene with the launch of her popular Basement Bhangra parties. These once-a-month culturally immersive dance parties are still in full force today. The experience begins as a happy hour, moves into a bhangra dance lesson and explodes into a hip-hop and house infused bhangra dance party. Continue reading →
Looking to kick back, relax and enjoy free live music under the stars this Independence Day weekend? Grab your picnic basket and head to your local Levitt for a celebration music lovers of all ages will enjoy. Continue reading →
It’s a sure sign of warmer evenings to come when the free concert season at the Levitt is announced!
Every year, the six Levitt venues across the country each present 50+ free shows featuring acclaimed artists in a variety of genres. New this summer is the inaugural Levitt National Tour with World music group Playing For Change—they’ll be stopping at five Levitt venues along with the future Levitt site in Denver.
While we still have more big names and big news to come, here’s a quick peek at season dates and concert highlights. We’ll be updating the list as details are announced!