The 23rd annual Twilight Dance Series, a free multi-genre weekly summer music series on the Santa Monica Pier, will kick off with a concert by The Ventures, a forerunner of the 1960s instrumental surf rock sound.
The Ventures will perform with openers Boom Pam at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28th, on the Santa Monica Pier, at the ocean end of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
The Ventures first hit the Billboard singles chart in July 1960 with Walk, Don’t Run, which peaked at #2. The group continued to dominate the instrumental rock scene throughout the 1960s, landing 14 “Top 100” hits that decade.
From 1960 to 1973, the group sold about a million records per year. Some of the group’s most classic hits include Walk, Don’t Run (which charted in both 1960 and 1964), Secret Agent Man (1966) and Hawaii Five-O (1969).
For the show on the Santa Monica Pier, original rhythm guitarist Don Wilson, who formed the group in 1959 with Bob Bogle (no longer touring), joins lead guitarist Gerry McGee (who has been with the group since 1968); lead guitarist and bassist Bob Spaulding (who has been contributing to the group since 1981); and Leon Taylor, son of original drummer Mel Taylor. Leon Taylor became the replacement drummer after his father’s death in 1996.
The Ventures rhythm-heavy brand of guitar playing is said to have influenced The Beatles, along with rock guitar demigods Jimmy Page and Joe Perry.
JULY 5TH — Week two of the Twilight Dance Series will feature multi-instrumentalist David Lindley, founder of world rock music progenitors Kaleidoscope.
Lindley went on to collaborate with Jackson Browne and to form his own band integrating American roots music with world beat and reggae grooves.
Lindley uses an array of stringed instruments in his performances, including the oud, lap steel guitar, saz and bouzouki.
He will be joined by openers John Cruz and Brandi Shearer.
JULY 12TH — Plena Libre headlines the July 12th concert. The group’s “Afro-Rican” tropical sound and high energy folkloric rhythms have earned it four Grammy nominations. Electronic/Latin/funk/hip-hop hybrid Spam Allstars will open the show.
JULY 19TH — Samba Mapangala, a dominant figure in East African music since the mid-1970s, will headline July 29th. With his band Virunga, named for a volcanic mountain range in Central Africa, Samba recorded the now famous Malako recordings in Nairobi, which became one of the pioneering releases of the newly emerging world music scene in Europe in the mid-1980s.
Zimbabwean guitarist Louis Mhlanga will open the concert.
JULY 26TH — “Tosh Meets Marley,” a traveling musical road show made up of musicians who developed the sound behind the lyrics of Jamaican reggae icons Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, will be the July 26th concert. The lineup of players will include Marley’s guitarist Junior Marvin and Tosh’s bassist Fully Fullwood.
AUGUST 2ND — Louisiana-born accordion player Queen Ida will perform a festive concert of Zydeco and Mardi Gras music with her band.
Western soul group The Hacienda Brothers will warm up the crowd for Queen Ida.
AUGUST 9TH — Progressive hip-hop group Arrested Development, a Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist in the early 1990s, will perform a concert of spirituality-based and introspective rap, hip-hop and R&B.
The Agape International Choir will open the evening’s concert.
AUGUST 16TH — Poet, artist, writer and musician Patti Smith, a pioneer of the New York City punk rock scene and a frequent performer at CBGBs in its 1970s heyday, will headline the August 16th concert.
Smith was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame on March 12th. She is known for her lyrics touching on humanitarian causes.
AUGUST 23RD — The Holmes Brothers, who “mix Saturday night’s roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor and harmonies of Sunday’s church service,” will be the featured performers August 23rd. The group plays roots music with “chilling harmonies,” organizers say. The Holmes Brothers have recorded with Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Levon Helm and Joan Osborne.
Opening the show will be singer, songwriter and violinist Carrie Rodriguez.
AUGUST 30TH — The series finale will be a concert by East Los Angeles rock band Los Lobos, best known for their #1 hit cover of La Bamba. The group fuses blues, rockabilly, jazz and Latin with facets of their own Mexican-American heritage.
Information, (310) 458-8900.