Replacing Borders with Art & Music: The Universal Language of Grand Performances

This summer Grand Performances stayed true to its unwavering commitment to celebrating cultural diversity, by once again intentionally seeking out international performers to grace its stage.

From its return in June with the rhythmic beats of cumbia punk marimba rockers Son Rompe Pera to the soul-stirring melodies of Iranian musician and activist Shahin Najafi, every act is a testament to the power of artistic exchange and cross-cultural collaboration. 

Grand performances

This past July, The ground-breaking West African kora master Sona Jobarteh, along with Nubian Sound Group featuring Dexter Story and DJ Passionfruit, plus a reggae filled night thanks to KCRW ‘s presentation of AfroFunk’s 20th Anniversary celebration further enriched the landscape of international flare with enchanting sounds of mama Africa with her highly captivating beats.

With a legacy spanning decades, Grand Performances has consistently embraced a global perspective, inviting legendary performers from around the world to grace its stage. The likes of Stevie Wonder, Ozomatli, Kamasi Washington, Seun Kuti, Madame Gandhi, Ana Tijoux, Soulection, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo, and many others have contributed to this diverse tapestry of artistry, leaving indelible marks on audiences.

In August, the stage continues its vibrant international connection transcending borders with music as a universal language. 

The August 5th tribute to Art Laboe featuring an all-star live band led by Rocky Padilla, along with performances by Aaron Frazer, Norman Carter (The Delfonics), Diamond Ortiz, Irene Diaz, and DJ Spiñorita, represented Los Angeles culture from its core, presented by Dublab and Hello Stranger it was an oldie but goodie surely to be remembered for life.

Here’s what’s coming up next! 

• August 12: DJ Battlecat & Friends will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, with Thes One from People Under the Stairs as a special guest.

• August 19: Jazz in the House, presented by Mark de Clive-Lowe, will bring the spirit of jazz to the stage.

• August 25: Black Voices with award-winning author, poet, and educator Shonda Buchanan.

• August 26: The season will close with the iconic cumbia sonidera legends Grupo Kual, presented by Discos Rolas.

All Grand Performances events are free and open to all ages, ensuring that everyone can partake in these captivating experiences. The California Plaza, located at 350 S Grand Ave. on Bunker Hill, serves as the vibrant backdrop for these extraordinary performances. The events typically take place from 6 pm to 10 pm unless otherwise noted. It’s always advisable to check the schedule for specific start times and any updates.

Author: Jackson Roberts

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