Logo horizontal ruler


Music Legends and International Stars Featured in Pier Dance Series

By Lookout Staff

June 18, 2009 -- It will be different kinds of homecomings for two folk and rock divas -- Joan Baez and Patti Smith -- when they take the stage this summer at the 25th Anniversary Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier.

Baez – who lived down the beach at the Sea Castle (though never at the Carousel building as rumored) – will be back at her old stomping grounds when she takes the stage July 9. Smith – who hails from the New York punk rock movement, will return to the pier stage after a one-year absence.

The two music legends are among an impressive lineup of acts that will help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Pier. They include Dave Alvin, a Downey native who, with his brother Phil, founded the Blasters; Mexican singer Lila Downs, and Venice, a perennial vocal favorite from the neighboring town.

This year is just huge at the Santa Monica Pier. The 25th Anniversary Twilight Dance Series season coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Pier itself, one of the historical centers of the big band dance era located before it burned down at the west end of the Santa Monica Pier.

The series – which also celebrates the 85th Anniversary of the La Monica Ballroom, a big band venue on the pier that burned down -- kicks off July 2 with the worldwide global viral multi-media phenomenon, the Playing for Change Band.

For the first, there will be a wine bar at each concert showcasing a variety of world class wines presented by Wally’s Wine. Tickets for the Wine Bar will be available for purchase at the concerts (must be 21 years old).

As always the concerts are free and begin at 7 p.m. Complimentary valet bike parking will again be provided. More Information can be found at www.twilightdance.org or www.santamonicapier.org or 310-458-8901.

Following is this summer’s dance series lineup:

July 2 -- Playing for Change Band (Global Multi-media Multi-cultural Movement); Bushman (Jamaican Roots Reggae)

Playing for Change is a global movement started in Santa Monica that has spread speedily over the Internet. The video for “Stand By Me” is the all-time #1 rated music video on YouTube.. The band features 10 musicians from 8 countries around the world and special guest performances.www.playingforchange.org/

Bushman is known as the musical medicine man in his native Jamaica, where he was raised Rastafarian. Bushman has recorded eight albums from his debut in 1997 and his upcoming release “Bushman sings the Bush Doctor” is a tribute to his greatest influence, Peter Tosh. www.bushman-music.com

July 9 -- Joan Baez with special guest Tift Merritt

A music icon and celebrated advocate for peace and human rights throughout her 50-year career, Joan Baez remains vitally involved in the issues of our time. From her first album on Vanguard Records in 1960, titled “Joan Baez” to her new “Day After Tomorrow” produced by Steve Earle, Baez has charted a course in music and social activism that parallels modern history. www.joanbaez.com

A writer, singer and sometime photographer fom North Carolina, Tift Merritt has released two acclaimed albums for Lost Highway Records and in 2008, “Another Country” for Fantasy Records. She has performed on The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Austin City Limits and the Grand Ole Opry. www.tiftmerritt.com

July 16 -- Sgt. Garcia; Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca

Bruno "Sergeant" Garcia typifies the new global pop music that has transformed the Parisian music scene. Singing primarily in Spanish (but also in French and English) with horns, and anchored by a deep rhythm section of congas, timbales, drums, percussion, fat bass, and jazzy piano, the band swings tightly and soulfully. www.sergentgarcia.com

Ricardo Lemvo’s blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba and kizomba) has been described as “seamless and infectious.” This Congo-born artist of Angolan ancestry is the embodiment of the Afro-Latin Diaspora which connects back to Mother Africa via the Cuban clave rhythm. www.makinaloca.com

July 23 -- Squirrel Nut Zippers; Johnny Vana & The Big Band Alumni

Squirrel Nut Zippers’ eclectic fusion of Delta blues, gypsy jazz, '30s-era swing and other styles makes them hard to categorize. While SNZ is credited with spearheading the swing music revival of the 90s, they have also been tagged "'30s punk." www.snzippers.com

Johnny Vana & the Big Band Alumni play the tunes that defined the Swing Era; the era when thousands flocked to the La Monica Ballroom on the Santa Monica Pier to dance their cares away. Members of The Big Band Alumni have played with all the great bands of the time; Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, Stan Kenton, Harry James, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Tex Beneke, Billy May, Buddy Rich and even Spike Jones. www.vanabigband.com

July 30 -- Orchestra Baobab

One of Africa’s great iconic bands, Orchestra Baobab fuses Afro-Cuban rhythm and Portuguese Creole melody with Congolese rumba, high life and a gamut of local styles. They’ve kick-started a musical renaissance in their native Senegal turning Dakar into one of the world’s most vibrant musical cities. www.myspace.com/orchestrabaobabofficial

August 6 -- Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women; Paul Thorn

One of the heroes and central figures of Los Angeles rock and roots music, Dave Alvin founded The Blasters with his brother Phil and then played with X and the Knitters. His new “supergroup,” Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women is comprised of Sarah Brown, Cindy Cashdollar, Amy Farris, Nina Gerber, Laurie Lewis, Christy McWilson and Lisa Pankratz. www.davealvin.net/

Paul Thorn, using his brand of blues, country, gospel, R & B, and rock 'n' roll, excels as a musical storyteller. “A Long Way from Tupelo,” his newest record, is a collection of songs which illustrates Thorn’s versatility and authentic connection to the music of the Mississippi heartland. www.paulthorn.com

August 13 -- Idan Raichel Project; Elijah Emanuel

The Idan Raichel Project burst onto Israel’s music scene in 2002, changing the face of Israeli popular music and offering a message of love and tolerance. The multi-cultural collaborative fuses Israeli pop music with other global sounds. www.idanraichelproject.com/en

Elijah Emanuel’s latest album "Tres Sangres" (Three Bloods) seeks to extend the significance of bilingualism in Reggae music. The songs celebrate a mixed heritage of African, Indigenous and European ancestry using African poly-rhythms, Native American chants, Cuban tres, funky jazz horns and cello. www.myspace.com/elijahemanuel

August 20 -- Venice; Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real (Seal Beach)

Since forming in the '80s, Venice is known for its surf-scented harmonies and folk-pop sounds. They have become perennial favorites at the dance series. http://www.venicecentral.com

Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real plays music that is a throwback to earlier guitar-driven classic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Neil Young, and the Grateful Dead. www.promiseofthereal.com

August 27 -- Lila Downs; Very Be Careful

Through her powerful persona and voice, Lila Downs celebrates the ancient and earthy cultures of her native Oaxaca. Accompanied on her musical journey by her longtime band, La Misteriosa, Lila taps into the native Mesoamerican music of the Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya and Nahuatl cultures. Her songs address the heated topics of immigration, political justice and transformation. www.liladowns.com

Very Be Careful, a homegrown L.A. band, plays traditional Colombian Vallenato, a musical style that -- along with cumbia and salsa -- represents much of the musical tapestry of this South American nation. The music features accordion, bass, percussion, cajón drum and an ever-present cowbell that creates catchy dance grooves.

September 3 Season Closer!
An Evening with Patti Smith

Patti Smith is a legendary artist, writer and musician long heralded as the pioneer of punk since her debut album Horses was released in 1979. www.pattismith.net




Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2009 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.