Author Archives: Abner Jacobson

Zoom has quickly become a facet of everyday life for many people, both for work and for connecting with friends and family. When your home backdrop needs a refresh, a virtual background is the perfect way to enhance your ambience — and where better to virtually be than an outdoor Levitt venue? Save these iconic photos of Levitt venues to your computer (or phone) for your next video call. 

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Left to right: Wildermiss, Charlie Wood, Carson McHone

May is here, and with it another round of virtual concerts from permanent Levitt venues! Following a full day of live-streaming during #GivingTuesdayNow, another fantastic batch of shows is on the horizon — read on to discover the artists Levitt venues are bringing to your screen this month. Continue reading

music lessons blog headerMusical instruments are a fantastic way to channel your creative energy while staying at home, but they’re most enjoyable (both for you and, ahem, those you live with) when you actually know how to play them. If you’ve been noodling around on that dusty guitar or keyboard for a few weeks, now is the perfect time to start taking lessons. Ads for celebrity-taught music classes on platforms like Masterclass have been highly visible across the internet lately, but there’s also a wealth of musical knowledge right in your community: local musicians! In addition to enriching your musical knowledge, taking lessons from a local artist is also an excellent way to support their wellbeing. 

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Left to right: Esme Patterson, Jenny and the Mexicats, Brainstory

Across the country, permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP grantees are taking to social media to broadcast virtual concerts you can enjoy  from home. While we all miss the in-person concert experience, these streams allow us to transcend the confines of geography and experience live music together in an entirely new way. We’ll continue to update this list of virtual Levitt concerts as more are added. Happy virtual concertgoing! Continue reading

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Even in times of looming uncertainty, music has the power to relieve stress, improve our cognition and help us feel happy. It’s easy to take these benefits for granted, but now more than ever, it’s vital to recognize the people who make it possible: musicians.

Across the country, concerts, tours, and festivals have been postponed or cancelled, leaving many musicians facing a devastating financial reality. On average, live events account for about 70% of an artist’s income — up from about a third in the 1990s — making the current situation especially dire. Just as communities come together to enjoy music, we can also come together to support artists and show how much we value their music. Here are some things you can do right now to help.

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  • Grantees and Levitt Foundation staff pose for a group photo under the sun.

Last week, nonprofit leaders and arts advocates from 20 communities across the country joined us in Los Angeles for the 2020 Levitt AMP convening. A spirit of togetherness and collaboration permeated the event as this year’s cohort of Levitt AMP grantees explored the vision and values driving the Levitt AMP program through two days of conversations, presentations and interactive activities. Highlights included a powerful workshop on diversity, equity and inclusion led by an expert in the field; a brainstorming session on ways to make the concert series more eco-friendly; multiple panels where grantees shared their ideas and experiences; and a collective songwriting workshop led by GRAMMY-winning musician and activist Quetzal Flores that had everyone in the room unleashing their creativity (and singing voices!). Another impactful season of Levitt AMP concerts will be here soon, and we can’t wait to see how this incredible group of grantees will strengthen the social fabric of their communities through Levitt AMP in 2020!

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“Music’s Biggest Night” unfolded this past Sunday even as a cloud of controversy and grief hung over the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Performances by artists of all stripes abounded, and by the end of the night, 18-year old pop star Billie Eilish had swept all four of the top-billed categories. Among the class of more than 80 newly minted GRAMMY winners, we’d like to extend a special congratulations to the  artists who have previously performed on a Levitt stage: Gary Clark Jr., Mariachi los Camperos, Sarah Watkins & Sarah Jarosz, Patty Griffin, PJ Morton, and Ranky Tanky!

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The 2020 Oscar nominations are in, and today we’re skipping straight to the music! Since the end of the silent film era, original music has been a staple of the movie-watching experience, and this past year of cinema introduced us to some truly memorable tracks. Read on to learn about each of the contenders for Best Original Song, and pick out your favorite ahead of the big day! Stay tuned for closer looks at some of the other movie-music categories in the near future. 

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2019 EOY staff picks blog headerA new decade is on the horizon, and before it gets here, we’re taking a moment to look back at some of our favorite songs of 2019! Music is close to all of our hearts here at Levitt, and these Staff Picks reflect the diverse array of sounds and artists that helped inspire our work this year. Read on to discover some of our team’s favorite sonic flavors, or jump straight into our Staff Picks playlist on Spotify!
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The 2020 GRAMMY nominations are in, and 17 artists who have performed on Levitt stages in the past are up for awards! There’s a lot to be excited about among this crop of nominees — Tank and the Bangas, who performed at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles and Levitt AMP Chattanooga in 2017, are competing in the prestigious category of Best New Artist alongside the likes of Lizzo and Billy Eilish, and Gary Clark Jr., who performed at Levitt Shell Memphis in 2011, scored four nominations for his monolithic rock album This Land. Read on for a full list of past Levitt performers in contention for 2020 GRAMMY Awards, and catch the ceremony on January 26, 2020!

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