Best July 4th Weekend Outdoor Concerts
Jessica Fichot brings her jazzy, cross-cultural chansons to Levitt Pavilion L.A. on Sunday, July 2.
Cultural riches and gorgeous weather are two of the best things about living in Los Angeles, and there's no better way to combine them than by catching a music event in the great outdoors. This four-day Fourth of July weekend offers an abundance of options, from jazz and mariachi to West African guitar and Native American hip-hop. Many of the events are free, and a few even offer fireworks, if that's your thing. So take advantage of this brief lull in our semi-apocalyptic summer heat (we didn't say the weather's always gorgeous) and take in some music under sunshine, stars and/or exploding stuff.
Friday, June 30
DJ Nights at Grand Park
Local legend and Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf curates this weekend's installment of the Music Center's biweekly series, now in its 13th year, showcasing some of the city's best DJs in a free, outdoor party in Grand Park. PBW himself will be on the decks, along with DJ Steve, Vex Ruffin and Jimi Hey, spinning '80s and '90s soul, funk, rap, electro and new wave. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; 9 p.m-mid.; free. musiccenter.org.
Vieux Farka Touré
Vieux Farka Touré at Levitt Pavilion L.A.
Son of legendary Malian singer-guitarist Ali Farka Touré, Vieux carries on his father's tradition of marrying the intricate, hypnotic grooves of his homeland with Western touches of blues and psychedelic rock. MacArthur Park, 2230 W. Sixth St., Westlake; 7:30 p.m.; free. concerts.levittlosangeles.org.
Saturday, July 1
Mariachi USA Festival at Hollywood Bowl (with fireworks)
Now in its 28th year, the country's premier celebration of mariachi music returns to the Bowl with performances by Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara, Mariachi Los Reyes and Mariachi Los Arrieros. 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood; 6 p.m.; $39-$80. hollywoodbowl.com.
Tycho, Todd Terje & the Olsens at the Greek Theatre
An evening of mellow but forward-thinking electronic soundscapes, courtesy of San Francisco producer-designer Scott Hansen's bliss-inducing Tycho project, Norwegian nu-disco maven Todd Terje and his jazzy live band, the Olsens, and an opening set by electro-jazz crew Jaga Jazzist. 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; 7:30 p.m.; $29.50-$49.50. lagreektheatre.com.
Chico at Levitt Pavilion L.A. (with fireworks)
This L.A.-based, seven-piece band mixes big-band standards, rock & roll, Tex-Mex, salsa, cumbia, cha-cha and merengue into a party-starting stew, all of which should set the stage for a spectacular fireworks show. MacArthur Park, 2230 W. Sixth St., Westlake; 7 p.m.; free. concerts.levittlosangeles.org.
Vaud and the Villains at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Don't forget the other Levitt Pavilion. This one won't have any fireworks, but with the 19-piece Vaud and the Villains delivering their rollicking, high-energy take on classic Americana and New Orleans juke-joint jams, who needs 'em? Memorial Park, 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena; 8 p.m.; free. levittpavilionpasadena.org.
Frank Waln and The Sampson Brothers will perform as part of Hip-Hop: First Peoples, New Voices.
William Ramos (Sokz Photo)
Hip-Hop: First Peoples, New Voices at Grand Performances
An evening of beats, rhymes and dance, all served up by indigenous performers using the sounds and attitudes of hip-hop to celebrate their culture and tell their own stories of sadness, celebration and resistance. Featuring Frank Waln and The Sampson Brothers, MC RedCloud, Tanaya Winder and Mare Advertencia Linka. Read our full story on this special event for information. California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; 8 p.m.; free. grandperformances.org.
Sunday, July 2
Jessica Fichot at Levitt Pavilion L.A.
L.A.-based singer, songwriter and accordionist Jessica Fichot mixes the French chansons of the country she was born in with her own jazzy, American touches and even elements of her mother's Chinese heritage, for a sound that's enchantingly original. MacArthur Park, 2230 W. Sixth St., Westlake; 7 p.m.; free. concerts.levittlosangeles.org.
Pete Escovedo at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Younger audiences probably are more familiar with this Mexican-American percussionist's daughter, Sheila E. But dad is arguably the more talented one, a Latin jazz pioneer who has performed and recorded with everyone from Carlos Santana to Tito Puente. Memorial Park, 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena; 8 p.m.; free. levittpavilionpasadena.org.
Monday, July 3
July 4th Spectacular With Pentatonix at Hollywood Bowl (with fireworks)
Every year, the Bowl pulls out all the stops for its Fourth of July concerts, and this year should be no exception. Joining the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a rousing night of patriotic sing-alongs will be Grammy-winning a cappella group Pentatonix, perhaps best known for their holiday albums but just as clever with the five-part harmonies on standards ("Can't Help Falling in Love") and modern hits ("Royals"). Also Sunday, July 2, and Tuesday, July 4. 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood; 6 p.m.; $31-$152. hollywoodbowl.com.
Tuesday, July 4
Fourth of July Block Party at Grand Park (with fireworks)
The city's biggest Fourth of July block party returns to Grand Park in DTLA with food, music, a kids play area and most importantly, fireworks — lots and lots of fireworks. Musical entertainment will be provided by Breakestra frontman and funk/soul master Miles Tackett and DJs Akiko Luv, Monalisa, Gingee, C-Minus, Sean O and Jedi, plus performances by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Angel City All-Star Brass Band. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; 2-9:30 p.m.; free. grandparkla.org.
L.A. Freedom Festival in Century City (with fireworks)
A section of Santa Monica Boulevard at Century Park East will be closed to celebrate the unveiling of the Freedom Sculpture, a crowdfunded public monument designed by artist and architect Cecil Balmond that is being billed as a (much smaller) Statue of Liberty for the West Coast, a symbol of L.A.'s respect for cultural diversity and human rights. Music by Iranian singers Ebi and Arash will accompany the event, which will culminate in a fireworks display. Corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East, Century City; 5:30 p.m.; free. freedomsculpture.org.
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