Category Archives: Uncategorized

Playing for Change in Los Angeles

The Levitt Pavilions are bringing once again a numerous amount of free concerts with stellar performers all over the country. As a special treat, they had the band Playing for Change on tour on all of their locations over a three week period. Southern California got to have them in their Pasadena and McArthur Park locations.   Playing for Change has become an organization building music and art schools for children around the world.

From the Playing for Change website this is how it all started:

In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley (now deceased) singing “Stand By Me.”  Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around The World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day, the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family.

The evenings began warming up with drum circles for an all ages crowd.  With master drummer guiding the beginning of each evening, adults and children got to drum to the Levitt beat and those who participated even received their own hand drum courtesy of Remo (I got one too and love it!). Band members of Playing for change also joined the drum circles and all engaged in the same beat.  When the time of the performance came, the audience was still vibing with the beat of the drums.

Playing for Change at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena

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More photos of Levitt Pavilion Pasadena show at FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

The difference between both shows, to me, was mainly the setlist.  Levitt LA got to extend themselves a little bit more providing additional music treats with original adaptations AND also got to invite LA’s favorite Ghanaian Mr. Rocky Dawuni to perform with them on stage sweet reggae music.  Songs like Makumba  and Don’t Worry Be Happy had everyone  dancing, while their cover of Etta James I’d Rather Go Blind had the audience inevitably emotional.  Highlight of the night:  their performance of Stand by Me, in English and Spanish (Quedate conmigo).

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More photos of Levitt Pavilion McArthur Park show at FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

The Playing for Change Levitt tour is over.  It was a great gift to those who got to witness it and I am beyond happy to have documented it. But their labor does not end her. To learn even more about their music and organization you can visit their website and social media outlets and if moved by their cause to build bridges and educate through music, you can even participate to fulfill their mission.

 

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3 de Mayo Moombahton Massive

Moombahton Massive is brought to you by Nadastrom and Sabo. Moombahton Massive is the ultimate moombahton live experience, showcasing the music’s sound and movement.  In this occasion, they brought the party to Los Angeles bringing a crowd eager to dance at Los Globos.  

The night developed with the first floor tended by DJ Sabo, Nadastrom and Jeremy Sole and the second floor with San Francisco’s global-cumbia party Tormenta Tropical lead by Oro11 and DJ Theory and also LA’s global bass ambassadors Subsuelo DJs Gozar, Canyonazo and Gazoo.  As a special treat Brooklyn Shanti (NYC) was in town and hoped on the mic each now and then to keep the crowd getting down!  Yeah, no 5 de Mayo celebration here, an awesome line up for a 3 de Mayo hot extravaganza!  For even more photos of the night please visit FARAHSTOP the music photography archive.

 

 

 

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TINARIWEN + The Growlers, 04’17’14 – Review

Since I knew that Tinariwen was coming back to Los Angeles, I was determined to shoot this show.   I’ve been following this Sahara desert rock band since a while ago.  I am dazzled by their strings skills and their Tuareg voices that together feel like nostalgia for far lands with a special vibrancy that can be understood best when you experience them live. The Belasco Theater hosted a wonderful sold out night inviting a multi everything crowd that were there for both The Growlers and Tinariwen.

It was my first time checking out opening band The Growlers and their psychedelic vintage garage surf rock and their audience were pretty knowledgeable of their music.  They even covered a Tinariwen song with a Cali feel and had some brief moments of crowd surfers quickly ended by security.  Even when there are political conflicts in Mali restraining the freedom of manifesting musically, Tinariwen keeps performing outside their homeland  spreding their music coming from the Sahara. They recently recorded in a different desert, Joshua Tree, due to the lack of stability in Mali and are currently promoting their album (in CD and Vinyl), Emmaar produced by the record label Anti.  They even had a show a few days after in Pioneer Town, Joshua Tree… I had to miss it but fear not, we can relive those moments today, thanks to social media.   For even more photos of this fantastic night at The Belasco, please visit FARAHSTOP the music photography archive.

The Growlers

Tinariwen

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