Downtown L.A.
California Plaza again hosts outdoor concerts
If you're planning on being in downtown Los Angeles anytime  1this summer, then you might want to stop by the California Plaza where they are presenting a series of concerts that run June 13 through Sept. 13, 2014.

It's the 28th season for Grand Performances and the schedule includes a line-up full of fan favorites, new musical obsessions, and events at the gorgeous California Plaza under the spectacular Downtown Los Angeles skyline. The series brings artists and audiences together for an array of music, dance, film, and spoken word featuring performers from around the globe and the streets of Los Angeles. Every show is free; no advanced reservations are required.

"Grand Performances gives Angelenos both a quintessential L.A. experience as well as a genuinely global one," says Leigh Ann Hahn, Grand Performances' Director of Programming, "Our stage connects audiences to high quality artists, as well as to other cultures and the local community."

The slate of 2014 programming reflects Grand Performances' thoughtful curation of art and artists, and speaks to the organization's tradition and reputation as world music presenters, while reinforcing its commitment to Los Angeles-based artists. This season includes performances by international artists – legends and legends to be – from Benin, France, Tijuana, Argentina, Cape Verde, and Guinea. Grand Performances actively supports the growth and development of artists, and its curatorial voice seeks to address important issues, most evident in the National Endowment for the Arts-supported series L.A., Civil Rights, and the 60s, the first cycle in a two-year series that explores the enduring legacy of Watts, fifty years later.

Says Grand Performances' Executive Director Michael Alexander: "A combination of commissioned and existing works, these shows are meant to help Angelenos gain a deeper understanding of Los Angeles at the time when civil rights became a truly national issue." The events that make up the series include Roger Guenveur Smith's one man-play Rodney King, Double G's daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, Michael Twitty's ethnography of soul food, and People Get Ready: A Soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement.

Alexander continues: "We want our community to look at themselves and our collective history – blemishes and all – and start a discussion. This series is meant to plant seeds from which substantial discussions can take root and grow; it's about the formal and informal post-performance conversations that happen when people reflect on the art and listen to the messages in the work."

Grand Performances at California Plaza is located at 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213-687-2159). Click here for the 2014 concert schedule.
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