Grand Performances, the longest-running presenter of free live performances in downtown LA, today announced its 32nd Annual Summer Series line-up of free outdoor concerts at California Plaza from June 1st to August 18th, 2018. The Shine with Us series includes performances ranging from funk to family fun, from rock opera and spoken word to sing-alongs. The stage will spotlight diverse voices, world music, innovative programming, and more.
Everything kicks off with a grand celebration of the ubiquitous Sly Stone, his musical cohorts and the funky sounds of liberation with the tribute performance, Higher! The Psychedelic Soul & Genius of Sly and The Family Stone (1966-1983) on Friday, June 1, 2018. Dexter Story, Music Director, Rocio Wyldeflower Contreras, and Stone’s daughter Novena Carmel, are exclusively producing this high-energy program for Grand Performances. The critically acclaimed Nelson George will host the show.
The brilliance continues on Saturday, June 2, with The Secret City Shine & Shimmer Show featuring world-renowned performance art diva Astrid Hadad, the award-winning artistic tent revival Secret City House Band and Secret City Chorus featuring large-scale puppets, outrageous costumes, a balloon bassist, and more. French pianist Chassol’s performance on June 22nd will beautifully blend documentary filmmaking into a purely musical work. East L.A.’s Coachella-bound The Delirians will bring their bilingual rocksteady and vintage ska sounds on June 29th.
On Saturday, July 7, you’ll get funky on the dance floor with iconic Bootsy Collins, a pioneer of the funk and soul music scene.
Returning to Grand Performances is the series First Peoples, New Voices, which
showcase artists from various North American indigenous communities who use contemporary music, dance and theater to share their legends and stories.
On June 9th, Ulali, First Nation A Cappella Trio will blend their voices and hand percussion to create powerful music that celebrates struggles, triumphs, and everyday life.
On Sunday, July 1, First Nations Now: The Art of Rhymes and Storytelling will weave words of wisdom, animal tales and origin stories from across Turtle Island into a family program.
The series continues into August 3rd with a panel discussion, When Moons Become Stars, focusing on famous indigenous ballerinas who captivated the world when they emerged from Oklahoma and danced their way to becoming international prima ballerinas breaking the boundaries of color in dance.
Grand Performances will also present Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance, written and composed by Graham Reynolds as the third installment of the Marfa Triptych, a bilingual, multimedia chamber rock opera that explores borders, battlefields, conflict, and culture through the life and mythology of the iconic José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, aka, Pancho Villa. This contemporary performance slated for Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, is performed by a live ensemble cast and uses multimedia archival imagery as a backdrop to lend an insightful examination of the Mexican and Mexican-American impact on culture and politics.
The Grand Performances’ Family Series in collaboration with First 5 L.A. will feature song, dance and storytelling to educate and encourage families on the importance of health habits and connected families. Alphabet Soup *LGBTTQQIAAP a performance for and by Queer contemporary artists and musicians who are parents, their families and allies. It will include an interactive reading by New York Times best-selling author Pseudonymous Bosch, alphabet-inspired arts and crafts by Crafternoon LA, and a fabulous soup recipe. The Family Series also includes performances from Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band.
L.A.‘s Supernova will premiere a new composition created for Grand Performances and will share the evening with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on August 12th.
* lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual