Perhaps nothing is more upbeat than taking in a free concert in the Entertainment Capital of the World during the summer. All sorts of sounds can be heard around the Southland in various venues that put music on offer, from the beachside Santa Monica Pier to downtown’s classy California Plaza and everywhere in between. Following are five specific concerts offered in and around Los Angeles within the next month for everyone to enjoy without paying a penny.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Date: Aug. 21, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Old school British rock is on offer at the water’s edge from the lads who brought the world the 1960s hit singles “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season.” After hitting the big time, their band broke up, but original members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent never gave up on The Zombies, now reassembled to include bassist Jim Rodford (formerly of The Kinks), drummer Steve Rodford (Jim’s son) and guitarist Tom Toomey. In fact, 2014 was a seminal year for the iconic group that was nominated to the esteemed Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Also on the roster for this evening at the fun-loving Santa Monica Pier is Mystic Braves.
Chop and Quench “The Fela! Band”
350 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Date: July 18, 2014 at 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.
They’ve played the legendary Apollo in Harlem and in other venues big and small across the nation, and now Chop and Quench are scheduled on the Left Coast as members of this lively musical theater cast and orchestra participate in the Grand Performances Summer Festival in downtown Los Angeles. Their slated appearance takes to California Plaza in a series that has been called “free and freewheeling” and “democracy in musical action.” It is certainly a free concert to check out as high noon hits the Southland on July 18.
Noura Mint Seymali
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Date: July 24, 2014 at 8 p.m.
Entertaining a Los Angeles audience for the first time, Mauritania-born performer Noura Mint Seymali produces unique beats that promise to take locals to exotic lands, many of which are steeped in Arab and African traditions. And why not? This acclaimed artist, a person who was raised where the Sahara, the Magreb and West Africa come together, offers her unique brand of electro-fusion that combines reggae, Afro-pop, funk, desert blues and other world genres to the Skirball Cultural Center in West Los Angeles as part of this beloved institution’s annual summer sunset series.
Jazz at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Date: Aug. 15, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Katisse takes the roots of jazz to new heights by blending his woodwind sounds with all kinds of world music, like hip hop and pop, to produce a high-octane sound with a full band behind him. A musical force in his own right, Katisse has been on tour with everyone from Prince to Herbie Hancock to Ricky Lawson. On the schedule as part of the Jazz at LACMA free summer program, a gig he has worked many times in the past, this innovative artist is coming home in a sense since he attended the Los Angeles County School of the Arts.
Kelly Marie Martin of Triple Chicken Foot
2580 Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Date: July 23, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Kelly Marie Martin, a member of the celebrated folk band called Triple Chicken Foot, leads an old time singalong that includes both secular and gospel classics. The tunes, which come from song books covering everything from bluegrass to standards, will be printed out so participants who don’t know the words are able to join in the singing that will be backed by guitars, mandolins, banjos and some rather raucous fiddles as everyone takes part in making music at the legendary Ford Amphitheater.