Grand Performances will make the summer sizzle with free concerts

California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles will become a hot music venue this summer with the return of the Grand Performances free concert series.

The recently announced lineup for the annual series will range from groups performing modern and traditional sounds from places like Latin America, Asia, Africa in all sorts of genres, from Afrobeat to cumbia to classic jazz to ambient electronica and salsa.

“We are going to have some spectacular performers and we are representing the many cultures that make up Los Angeles,” said Rafael González, president and CEO of Grand Performances.

A tribute to the late Celia Cruz will be part of the Grand Performances free concert series this summer. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)

California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles will be the spot for free music this summer with the return of Grand Performances concert series. (Photo courtesy Grand Performances)

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The season kicks off June 1 with Grammy-winning singer iLe, who previously performed with her brothers in the Puerto Rican alternative hip-hop band Calle 13 before going solo.

Other highlights include an Aug. 3 tribute to the late Celia Cruz by the band Havana Secret, which was the backing band from her final US tour.

“I love that we’re paying a tribute to Celia Cruz. The multi-generations that have grown up with Celia Cruz is incredible and for us it’s about honoring her and moving her legacy forward,” he said.

Another tribute will take place June 22 when more than 25 musicians take the stage to honor  jazz drummer, composer and bebop pioneer Max Roach. The series also includes poetry nights and classical music nights.

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Here’s the complete list of performances this summer, all taking place at California Plaza through Aug. 24.

Concerts

June 1: iLe / Mestizo Beat / DJ José Galván

June 8: To be announced

June 15: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band / DJ Bennett

June 21: COLA (City of Los Angeles) Artist Fellows

June 22: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes Centennial Celebration

June 29: Cali Soul Jam

July 13: The 11th Annual International Mariachi Women’s Festival

July 20: Daymé Arocena / Pan Dulce with Alan Lightner / Wyldeflower

July 27: Okwy Osadebe / The Neighborhood Orchestra / Kevin Lincoln

Aug. 3: Celia Cruz Tribute featuring Havana Secret

Aug.10: Listen to Music Outside with Leaving Records. The concert will showcase experimental music

Aug. 17: To be announced

Aug. 24: Chucho Ponce Y Los Daddys De Chinantla / Turbo Sonidero

Poetry Nights

June 28:  Poetry of Pride and Legacy with poet Jen Cheng

July 26: Music is History with Mike the Poet

Aug. 16: Home with writer Carribean Fragoza

Classical Nights

July 12 and Aug. 9

Grand Performances

When: 6-10 p.m. June 1-Aug. 24

Where: California Plaza, 350 S Grand Ave., Los Angeles

Cost: Free

Information: grandperformances.org

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