The multiple cultural streams of the Los Angeles region converge at the Ford Amphitheatre - LA’s oasis - in summer 2009. The 23-week season opens on June 6 with the City Ballet of Los Angeles’ Peter and the Wolf Jump Cool, a ballet with verve which moves the children’s tale to swinging 60s London and sets it to iconic organist Jimmy Smith’s jazzy interpretation of Prokofiev’s classical score. The Ford’s first evening devoted to Chinese culture closes the season October 10 as the DreamDance II company fuses ancient dance of the Han/Tang Dynasties with contemporary movement styles.
Other highlights include:
- The Ford’s first Latino mural arts presentations: a trio of multimedia evenings features life-size murals of Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and Miguel Covarrubias narrated by Latin American art expert and former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art Gregorio Luke (June 7, July 12 and August 16). The L.A. Times called him, ”…one of the most dynamic and interesting figures in the local Latino arts scene with a reputation as a charismatic lecturer.”
- SqueezeFestLA (June 28) is about making fresh squeezed accordion cool with works from bohemian 1920s Paris to Tex Mex to the Cajun flavors of the Louisiana bayous.
- Two evenings celebrate the dance, music and lore of Hawaii - Na Ali’i: Hawaiian Monarchs (August 29), featuring authentic hula including an all-male ensemble of dancers, and AlohaFest! Music & Magic from Paradise (September 19).
- Korean techno dance craze pioneer and pop legend Shin Hae Chul, who innovated pop music and mixed it with traditional Korean instruments, makes his L.A. debut (July 4).
The Ford Amphitheatre season is a program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and is produced in collaboration with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. Tickets are now on sale at www.FordTheatres.org or by calling the Ford box office, 323 461-3673 (GO 1-FORD).
County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose Third District is home to the historic outdoor amphitheatres, said that “The Ford provides an intimate setting where patrons can sample the whole spectrum of arts and culture. This year’s summer program offers a feast of options from flamenco to hula and jazz to Broadway. Everyone will find something to enjoy when they take in an evening concert at the Ford.”
TARGET DANCE SERIES AT THE FORD
In addition to City Ballet, Na Ali’i: Hawaiian Monarchs and DreamDance II, the Target Dance Series at the Ford includes the return of flamenco with Fountain Theatre’s Forever Flamenco: LA Olé!
Top(August 1) and a Hip Hop and Laugh-Off interactive talent competition presented by Kollaboration (June 12) during which the audience votes the winners. Viver Brasil performs jubilant samba (July 3), Tia Chucha’s Celebration of Community and Culture (August 2) explores the Mexico-Philippines connection with guests Kayamanan Ng Lahi and Culture Shock Los Angeles Dance troupe stakes out the frontier where technology and human interaction collide in “iConnect” (September 4). The Second Annual J.U.i.C.E. Hip Hop Dance Festival showcases dynamic street dance choreography, DJs and live graffiti painting (October 3).
For the third year in a row, Target’s sponsorship of the dance series makes possible $5 tickets for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under for dance events. Target strives to make the arts affordable and accessible to youth and families because the arts help foster an appreciation and understanding of various cultures and points of view.
Gregorio Luke’s multimedia tour of Mexico’s muralists is just the beginning of a season-long salute to the treasures of Mexican visual art, dance and music. Star Entertainment & Education Group, in addition to its annual Fiesta Mexicana (September 26) and Homage to Agustín Lara, the prolific author of “Granada” and countless other familiar melodies (June 13), introduces an evening honoring composer Manuel Esperón named after his biggest hit “Tequila con Limón” (August 15). Sounds from the state of Veracruz are in the spotlight at the Second Annual Noche Veracruzana, uniting Mexico’s Los Cojolites with some of the best Southern California exponents of sones jarochos and huastecos (September 5).
CONNECTING BACK TO THE ROOTS
Join the samba party headlined by Latin Grammy nominee, singer Diogo Noguiera, and Bossanova pianist Marcos Ariel in an evening capped by an electrifying capoeira display at the 16th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival (June 19). The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony’s L’Chaim (To Life!): A Musical Celebration of Eastern European Culture (August 9) will feature the music and wry humor of Yiddish culture. The Celtic Arts Center presents the 6th Annual Celtic Concert Series, with music and dance including Seattle’s The McKassons, Slugger O’Toole and Irish step dancers (September 20).
In addition to SqueezeFestLA and Korean pop sensation Shin Hae Chul,
discover the most talented emerging indie singers and songwriters at An Evening of Independence: A Celebration of Singers, Songwriters and Music offering the hottest new artists and special guests including Alex Band from The Calling (July 25). From the steamy coast of Colombia to the streets of L.A., Very Be Careful, a traditional, rump rousing Colombian music band, joins Tia Chucha’s Celebration of Community & Culture (August 2). Kollaboration’s Acoustic 3 produces an evening part American Idol, part open mic, featuring refreshingly original music from the heart of L.A.’s Asian communities (August 22).
Experience two days of non-commercial, cutting edge jazz at the Angel City Jazz Festival (September 6-7), moving to the Ford for the first time. Shimmy to hot Latin jazz featuring José Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and special performances by aspiring artists from the Los Angeles Music and Art School in a benefit for the school (August 6).
In addition to the Hawaiian evenings – Bahay Kubo Center for Philippine Culture and Arts show features Jasmine Trias (American Idol finalist) and salutes top Filipino composer Ryan Cayabyab (August 8).
Reprise Theatre Company presents Broadway Under the Stars (June 27), a sampler from the Golden Age of American musicals through the present and beyond. Upright Cabaret’s Wicked Summer Nights go Beyond the Yellow Brick Road with a trio of shows directed by Billy Porter that celebrate life beyond the Wicked stage – with Shoshana Bean (June 11), Eden Espinosa (July 24), Stephen Schwartz (August 23).
FAMILY FUN – FREE FOR KIDS!
The Big!World!Fun! Family Series encompasses eight Saturday morning hour-long performances in July and August designed for children ages 4 to 10 and their parents and grandparents. These family friendly events, presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation, offer popular multidisciplinary, multicultural programming. “The Four Elements – Earth, Air, Water and Fire” is the series theme and highlights include Grandeza Mexican Folk Ballet Company’s native dances (July 4), the irresistible tsunami of sound from the On Ensemble’s Japanese drumming (July 11), the invigorating mix of Masanga Marimba’s Musical Raindrops: Songs Stories & Dances from Zimbabwe (July 25), the reverberating footbeats and high intensity of Celtic Spring, finalists in the first season of America’s Got Talent (August 15), and Hawaiian Breezes, the final event that engages all four of the elements through the graceful and expressive elements of hula (August 29).
Big!World!Fun! events are free for children; adults pay $5.
The Ford is the biggest venue in which the Los Angeles Film Festival presents premieres, interactive screenings and live musical performances patrons can enjoy under the stars. In the past, the festival has hosted L.A. premieres of such films as “March of the Penguins” and “Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten.” The festival’s 2009 programming, including the June 20-21 and 24-26 Ford screenings, will be announced by June 1.
OUTFEST 2009 Under the Stars, L.A.’s oldest continuous film festival showcases a range of films depicting the LGBT experience as well as the beloved annual sing-along (July 15-19). Film information will be available June 8.
J.A.M. (Jazzed And Motivated) SESSIONS – LEARN FROM THE ARTISTS
After last year’s successful debut, the Ford’s FREE J.A.M. Sessions offer participants the opportunity to sing, play and dance under the guidance of Ford 2009 artists. There are nine evening sessions between June 1 and August 24 covering Zydeco dance from the bayous of Louisiana, songwriting workshops with indie’s hottest singer/songwriters, Brazilian dance, Do It Yourself drumming, SqueezeBox 101 with accordions, hip hop arts including dance, deejaying, emceeing and graffiti art as well as tango, flamenco and bluegrass jamming.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. The Arts Commission, in addition to programming the John Anson Ford Theatres, oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects, provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All; administers a grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually; funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com. The Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally, and a year-round music program that funds more than 50 free concerts each year in public sites. The 2008-09 President of the Arts Commission is Betty Haagen.
Chronological listings of season events starts with: http://fordtheatres.org/en/events/June.asp
Season events listings by artistic discipline: http://fordtheatres.org/en/events/index_eventtype.asp
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068
Just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios
Online: www.FordTheatres.org (starting April 1)
Phone: 323 461-3673
In Person: Ford Box Office, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068
Box office hours:
Through May 3: 12 noon-6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
May 4 - October 10: 12 noon-5 p.m.Tuesday through Sunday
On show days, box office is also open 2 hours before start of show.
On-site, stacked parking:
$5 per vehicle for evening shows
$1 per vehicle for morning family shows
FREE, non-stacked parking & FREE shuttle to the Ford (evenings only):
Universal City Metro Station lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga
The Ford shuttle stops in the “kiss and ride” area and cycles every 15 to 20 minutes.
PICNICKING & FOOD AT THE FORD
Grounds open for picnicking two hours before show time.
Box Dinners may be ordered in advance through Crumble Catering, 310 652-3797.
A wide variety of food and drink is available for purchase on site.
Menu options are also available at www.FordTheatres.org. Click on “Dine.”
The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request.
SEASON AND SERIES SPONSORS AND FUNDERS
The Ford Amphitheatre 2009 season is a program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission with core support provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs
KPFK Radio, 90.7 FM
LA18 (Asian-themed events)
SONY Pictures Entertainment (Big!World!Fun! family series)
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (Big!World!Fun! family series)
Target (Target Dance Series at the Ford)
The James Irvine Foundation (J.A.M. Sessions)
The Nissan Foundation (Big!World!Fun! family series)