“Refugee” and “New Americans” Are The Themes of KCRW & the Annenberg Foundation’s 2016 Sound In Focus Concert Series HOME PAGE: Sound In Focus 2016 Concert Series
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KCRW and the Annenberg Foundation’s signature concert series is back; bringing the Summer season three Saturday’s of world class music to Century Park. To top it all off, each concert if FREE and all-ages as long as you RSVP, and arrive early.
The Sound In Focus concert series is always held in conjunction with an Annenberg Space for Photography photo exhibit, and KCRW thematically connects the musicians performing with the featured photo exhibit’s themes. This year there are two themes: “REFUGEE” (which will be presented at the Anenberg Space for Photography) and “NEW AMERICANS” (which will be presented at Skylight Studios). We were able to view the REFUGEE exhibition and it was one of the most moving photo exhibits that we have ever viewed.
Links to our coverage, reviews and photo galleries, of this year’s concert series will be posted on this page, so stay tuned for updates.
EDITORS NOTE: The demand and popularity of the shows in this concert series has always been very high. RSVPing to a concert will NOT guarantee admittance into the concert. The only way to ensure that you will get in to get there early and wait in line. May be a little hassle, but it’s totally worth it.
JULY 9th: EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS & IMARHAN
Perhaps there is no other indie rock band that personifies what being “New Americans” is more than Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Shunning the way major labels were telling them how to record albums, the band has embraced the DIY approach of recording music, releasing their latest album, “PersonA”, on Community Music, a record company whose missions statement is “[…] always […] about – collaboration, celebration, transparency and trust. The idea is not look for bands to sign, but for friends to support”. The freedom of their recorded music in brought to live through their live performances, with critics and fans raving about the energy and positivity that is expressed through their performance.
Also performing is Imarhan, a band consisting of members who grew up in Southern Algeria, in a Taureg community of Northern Malian descent. Their music defies classification, as it melds so many different types of regional genres to create a unique sound that has not be heard before.
JULY 16th: BAABA MAAL, CLASSIXX & BRAZILIAN GIRLS
A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Though Baaba Maal is not per se a refugee, his calling to perform the music of his homeland around the world demanded that he leave his homeland of Fouta almost 40 years ago. The title of his latest album, “The Traveller”, seems appropriate. Baaba Maal is an activist, campaigning for women’s rights, debt relief, and education, among other serious global matters, and his music focuses on themes of communication, reconciliation and responsibility.
Also performing are the indietronica duo Classics, who just released a new album, “Faraway Reach”, earlier this year,and Brazilian Girls, an alternative dance band from New York City.
JULY 23rd: NAS & WILD BELLE
One of hip-hop’s most politically outspoken lyricists is Nas. With over 20 years and 10 studio albums under his belt, Nas has taken active steps to make a global impact by actively supporting UNICEF and working with others, like George Harrison’s family for the the organization’s Month of Giving. Perhaps Nas’ most notable charity action was the release of the album “Distant Relatives”, a collaboration with Damien Marley that had the proceeds of which used to build schools in Africa to build empowerment. If there’s anybody that will have something significant to say, it will be Nas.
Also performing is the brother and sister duo, and Chicago natives, Wild Belle. The will be performing in support of their new album “Dreamland” which was released earlier this year.
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.