As a longtime Lehigh Valley resident, Levitt SteelStacks Board Member, Tito Negron, has experienced firsthand the transformation of Bethlehem, Pa.’s iconic, larger-than-life blast furnaces: from powerful steel-makers to devastating eyesores to pinnacles of the awe-inspiring backdrop to Levitt SteelStacks.
Growing up, Negron’s father used to work at Bethlehem Steel, which at its height was the country’s second largest steel producer, employing 30,000 workers. When the company closed in the early 2000s, Negron’s family was one of the manywho had to move elsewhere in search of new employment opportunities. Today, Negron has returned to his hometown, where he is raising a family of his own.
In this Faces of Levittvideo, Negron and his wife, Amy, explain why having access to a rich variety of free, live music is so important for their family. “To expose the kids to so many different kinds of music, weekly, is absolutely priceless,” says Amy. Levitt lawns provide clean and safe places where family members of all ages can enjoy free, live music. With Levitt SteelStacks in their backyard, the Negron family plans to call Bethlehem home for years to come!
Artists pictured above (L to R, from top to bottom): Wild Rabbit, Marcella & Her Lovers, Floodwood, Marcia Ball, Five Alarm Funk, Biz Markie, Ayron Jones and The Way
The countdown has officially begun!
There’s just little over a month left before concert season kicks off, and soon, 100+ free concerts will be bringing joy to small and mid-sized towns and cities all across the country as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series!
1969 Beatles “Abbey Road” billboard. All photos by Robert Landau.
Here at Levitt Pavilions, we celebrate the “place” in creative placemaking. Places give a city its character and its inhabitants points of pride, which is why we’re so excited to learn more about the history of a place just outside our Los Angeles office digs: the Sunset Strip. In a new exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center (on view through August 16, 2015), Los Angeles-based photographer, Robert Landau(b. 1953) artfully captures the spirit of L.A.’s iconic Sunset Strip in the 1970’s-80’s—a place that was home to the industry’s biggest record companies, night clubs and rock star-filled hotels.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Landau about his work and the unique place that he captured on film, a place he refers to as the ”Ground Zero of the entire music industry.” Continue reading →
Mimi Levitt and Liz Levitt Hirsch at the reopening of Levitt Westport, 2014
In many parts of the country, the name “Levitt” has become synonymous with “free outdoor concerts,” “revitalized spaces” and “citywide destinations” open to all. And for good reason—in 2015, more than 400 Levitt concerts will be presented in 16 cities, bringing the joy of free, live music to hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds across America, ensuring access to the arts and strengthening communities in the process. America’s largest free outdoor concert series is made possible, in part, by the generous philanthropy and forward-thinking vision of the Levitt family—the late Mortimer Levitt (1907-2005), whose humble beginnings inspired his lifelong love affair with free music under the stars, his wife Annemarie “Mimi” Levitt, and daughter Liz Levitt Hirsch. Since Mortimer’s passing in 2005, Mimi and Liz have taken the reins of their private family foundation, the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, and have led it with aplomb, honoring Mortimer’s legacy while directing more than $18 million in grants to support the core Levitt program of outdoor music venues presenting free concert series, along with other meaningful projects that invigorate communities through the arts. Continue reading →
With the first Levitt AMP Music Series launching soon, we’re thrilled to announce our new Levitt AMP website, your destination for all things Levitt AMP—from concert schedules to artist biographies to information about the unique places where each concert series will take place.
Which brings us to the topic of today’s post: place. Some people are born to a place. Others create it. The winners of the 2015 Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards fall into this second category. They are creators and activators, transforming underused sites—like a neglected horse farm in Lafayette, La., and abandoned railroad tracks in Cleveland, Miss.—into lively, music-filled community hubs as part of the inaugural Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series. Continue reading →
Artists pictured above (clockwise, from top left): Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, The Hot Sardines, Kenny Burrell, Hot Club of Detroit, Davina and the Vagabonds, Charles Walker and the Dynamites, Pete Escovedo, Kamasi Washington, Barbara Morrison)
“Forgive me if I don’t have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you’ll understand.”
These words were spoken by the late, great, singing soulstress, Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 98 on April 25th. This simple quote speaks to the depth, creativity and freedom of expression that we celebrate this month during Jazz Appreciation Month. Over the years this dynamic genre—born out of the African American spirituals and call-and-response work songs heard throughout the south during the late 19th century—has grown into one of the pillars of American music. Continue reading →
Excited? We are! And we’re thrilled to announce the artists who will be playing the Levitt AMP Anchorage, Denison and Frederick Music Series, all of which begin early this summer. You can view their lineups, read artist bios, RSVP for concerts, invite your friends, find parking information and more on our new Levitt AMP website, your destination for all things Levitt AMP! And once concert season gets underway, you’ll be able to see all 100 free Levitt AMP concerts happening across the country, as America’s largest concert series gets even larger.
Learn more about these three exciting projects kicking off the 2015 Levitt AMP Music Series! Continue reading →
Here in Los Angeles, the forecast is showing a rainy afternoon in our near future. We say, bring on the April showers! They mean that May flowers and another fun-filled Levitt concert season are just around the corner!
And don’t fret—rain or shine, Levitt concerts are always buckets of fun!
If you’re wondering what to expect from these incredible live performers, watch them play two of their hits in this TEDxFIU talk and discover how they got started, what inspires them and why they believe in always thinking outside the box!
The incomparable opera singer Sarah Brightman is not the only talented musician heading to space. Starting in 2020, Levitt Pavilions will transform OUTER spaces in addition to neglected outdoor spaces!
Levitt Pavilions is thrilled to announce the launch of the Star-Powered Astro-Concert Experience (SPACE) Initiative. Through a historic multi-year partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), musicians will begin accompanying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020 as part of their psychological support team. During their three-month residencies, SPACE musicians will teach weekly music lessons, work with astronauts to compose songs and present a live concert from space that will be broadcast to global audiences. Continue reading →