July and August sizzle, crack and pop with Free Outdoor Summer Concerts up and down the 405
Marina del Rey Summer Concerts @ Burton Chace Park, 1350 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey 7 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays (310) 305-9595 beaches.lacounty.gov
Twilight Concert Series @ Santa Monica Pier 7 p.m. Thursdays (310) 458-8901 tcs.santamonicapier.org
Weekend Concerts @ Fisherman’s Village 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey (310) 306-0400
Playa Vista Concerts in the Park @ Concert Park or Central Park Bandshell 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays playavista.com
Boulevard Music Summer Festival @ Culver City City Hall Courtyard 9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays culvercity.org; boulevardmusic.com
Santa Monica Farmers Market @ Heritage Square 2640 Main St., Santa Monica 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays smgov.net
El Segundo Summer Concerts in the Park @ Library Park Main St. + W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo (310) 524-2700 elsegundo.org
Saturdays off the 405 @ The Getty Museum Courtyard 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood 6 to 9 p.m. Saturdays (310) 440-7300 getty.edu
Sound in Focus @Annenberg Space for Photography 2000 Ave. of the Stars, Century City 5 p.m. Saturdays events.kcrw.com
Thurs., July 16: Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles @ Burton Chace Park
The acclaimed Mexican-American folk dance company joins the Marina del Rey Summer Symphony to perform Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” José Pablo Moncayo’s “Huapango,” Mozart Carmargo Gaurnieri’s “Dança Brasileira,” Genaro Codina’s “Zacatecas March” and Carlos Chávez’s” Sinfonía india.”
Thurs., July 16: Real Estate (with Hippo Campus) @ Santa Monica Pier
Real Estate started as a Weezer cover band in New Jersey, but the band’s hazy surf-rock rhythms and poppy guitar melodies couldn’t feel more Californian, with a “Fleetwood Mac meets the Beach Boys” sound fit for a feel-good evening at the beach. Opening performer Hippo Campus is a Minneapolis-based quartet of 20-year-olds with a clean, upbeat pop-rock sound that has drawn numerous comparisons to Vampire Weekend.
Thurs., July 16: George Kahn (with Stone Soul) at Culver City City Hall
Pianist-composer George Kahn leads the Jazz and Blues Revue in upbeat riffs featuring soulful background vocalists and Grammy-nominated Dr. Bobby Rodriguez on trumpet. Stone Soul embodies classic ‘60s Motown.
Sat., July 18: Izmskzm @ Fisherman’s Village
Classic straight-ahead reggae in the vein of Bob Marley.
Sun., July 19: Beatles vs. Stones @ Central Park Bandshell
Travel through time to witness a musical shootout featuring the music of the two greatest rock ’n’ roll bands of all time — the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock.
Sun., July 19: Susie Hansen’s Latin Jazz Band @ Fisherman’s Village
A Fisherman’s Village crowd favorite returns with hot Latin jazz and a side of salsa. Wear your dancing shoes.
Sun., July 19: Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
This Baton Rouge band can do it all — keeping it tight for James Brown-style funk jams and slowing it down for easy going reggae or Isley Brothers-inspired ballads.
Thurs., July 23: ¡Cubanismo! (with Chicano Batman) @ Santa Monica Pier
The 14-piece ensemble ¡Cubanismo! emerged from the Buena Vista Social Club movement with contagious energy and a sound that combines traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms with modern jazz improvisation. As cool as its name suggests, Chicano Batman creates soul-drenched grooves that feel like music out of a ‘70s movie filmed in another dimension.
Thurs., July 23: Hot Lips & Fingertips @ Culver City City Hall
The band fuses elements of Celtic music, country, western, swing, Cajun and blues for a unique sound with deep roots that spread far.
Sat., July 25: KC & the Sunshine Band @ Burton Chace Park
The iconic disco outfit sold more 100 million records and helped mainstream disco with hits like “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty” and “Get Down Tonight.”
Sat., July 25: Bob DeSena @ Fisherman’s Village
Named “Jazz Artist of the Year” at the 24th annual Los Angeles Music Awards, DeSena and his Latin jazz band put a heavy emphasis on smooth brass and tight rhythms.
Sat., July 25: Tropicalifornia featuring the Do-Over All Stars @ The Getty
Deejays Haycock, Strong and MC Aloe Blacc started the Do-Over as a backyard party band and head back to those roots for a tropical dance party featuring classic and contemporary pop jams.
Sat., July 25: TV on the Radio (with Boxed In) @ Annenberg Space for Photography
TV on the Radio’s signature indie rock sound is an eclectic mix of punk, funk, hip-hop and electronic music that’s seen the band collaborate with the likes of David Bowie, Trent Reznor and Blonde Redhead. Boxed In (aka Oli Bayston) has found critical praise for his moody cerebral dance pop backed by a full band.
Sun., July 26: 2Azz1 @ Fisherman’s Village
This jazz-funk, urban-contempo duo must’ve majored in stage chemistry.
Sun., July 26: Double Vision @ Library Park
Far from “Cold as Ice,” this Foreigner tribute band will get you “Hot Blooded” like a “Jukebox Hero” should.
Sun., July 26: Babylon Saints @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
The Babylon Saints’ description of their music — “a gushing, warm groove” — couldn’t be more accurate: their rock/reggae music seems to flow from a far-off, tropical world.
Thurs., July 30: Vanessa Williams @ Burton Chace Park
The singer, dancer, actress, author and mom — nominated for 11 Grammys between 1989 and 1997 — joins Maestro Frank Fetta and the Marina del Rey Symphony to tackle an impressive repertoire of songs.
Thurs., July 30: JD McPherson (with Sarah Gayle Meech) @ Santa Monica Pier
JD McPherson has a voice like Little Richard and a band to match, making for an energetic live show complete with sax solos, rockabilly rhythms, upright bass and ‘50s haircuts. Sarah Gayle Meech is a contemporary country singer who taps into a classic sound influenced by Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and Dwight Yoakam.
Thurs., July 30: The Hot Club of Cowtown @ Culver City City Hall
Hailing from Austin, The Hot Club of Cowtown’s mix of hot jazz and western swing with a heaping spoonful of 1930s Parisian café music is equal parts French bistro and foot-stomping fun. Heavy on fiddle, guitar and bass, the band has toured with Bob Dylan and opened for Willie Nelson.
Sat., Aug. 1: De La Soul (with Quantic) @ Annenberg Space for Photography
Legends De La Soul broke into the hip-hop scene in 1989 and continues to keep things fresh by drawing inspiration from punk, soul, jazz and pop. A welcome alternative to slickly commercialized rap, their sound is upbeat and funky — very vintage “Fresh Prince”— with innovative lyrics and a groove-anchored beat. Drawing on cumbia, funk, bossa nova, soul, jazz and trip hop, Quantic (aka Will Holland) is crafting a special set with guest musicians from arou nd the world.
Sun., Aug. 2: Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca Central Park Bandshell
An Angeleno by way of Angola, Ricardo Lemvo leads his band through a musical exploration that blends traditional African music with Cuban son, creating a lively backdrop for his soaring vocals.
Sun., Aug. 2: The Roustabouts @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
A five-piece blues fiddle band from Washington D.C., The Roustabouts’ stripped-down folk sound will transplant your mind to another time.
Thurs., Aug. 6: Ben Browning of Cut Copy (with DMA’s) @ Santa Monica Pier
Ben Browning has played bass with the Australian electronic group Cut Copy since 2010. Now he’s struck out on his own with the new solo EP “Turns,” an indie take on groovy space-pop bliss
that’s mellow and introspective but still carries Cut Copy’s retro dance feel. DMA’s are a new Australian trio that’s drawn comparisons to Britpop acts such as Oasis and The Stone Roses.
Thurs., Aug. 6: Venice (the band) @ Culver City City Hall
A true family act, brothers Michael and Mark Lennon and their cousins Kipp and Pat Lennon have been performing together since the 80s. They’ve toured and recorded with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Elton John, Cher and Michael Jackson. Known for their perfect four-part harmonies, gentle guitar and raw lyrics, Venice’s sound is distinctive and honest with a dash of beachy charm and a bit of boho country.
Sat., Aug. 8: Meshell Ndegeocello @ Burton Chace Park
The spark of the neo-soul movement, this ever-evolving singer-songwriter, rapper and bassist has been nominated for 10 Grammy awards.
Sat., Aug. 8: Dwight Yoakam (with X) @ Annenberg Space for Photography
Yoakam is country-Western royalty who hung out in Nashville in the ‘70s before heading to L.A. to see his career take off with his platinum album “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” Los Angeles punk rock royalty, X fused roots and rockabilly influences with urban grit and despair to become one of the city’s signature bands.
Sun., Aug. 9: Scott Whyte Band @ Library Park
A Friday- and Saturday-night regular at Shark’s Cove in Manhattan Beach, Scott Whyte leads his band through full-flair covers of songs such as “Could You Be Loved,” “Café Boogaloo” and the Beatles hit “Lady Madonna.” Get ready to clap and sing along.
Sun., Aug. 9: LA Love Band @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
Still going strong into their second decade, Dan Meyer leads the band in eclectic sets covering popular blues, Latin, country, rock, jazz and soul tunes.
Thurs., Aug. 13: “Pagliacci” @ Burton Chace Park
The Marina del Rey Summer Symphony puts on its first fully staged opera production: Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.” Set in Italy, the opera tells the tale of a fatal love triangle.
Thurs., Aug. 13: Sister Nancy (with Jesse Royal) @ Santa Monica Pier
Jamaican singer Sister Nancy is the original female dancehall deejay. Her 1982 single “Bam Bam” topped the iTunes reggae chart last year after being featured in Seth Rogen’s “The Interview.” Jesse Royal carries the torch of classic reggae artists like Sister Nancy with a full sound and modern production touches that break new ground.
Thurs., Aug. 13: Bonne Musique Zydeco @ Culver City City Hall
The name Bonne Musique Zydeco, which translates to “good zydeco music,” says it all. The six-person outfit takes cues from New Orleans music of the 1950s on and blends it with traditional creole music for a positively chilled-out evening of dancing fun.
Sat., Aug. 15: Cold War Kids (with Other Lives) @ Annenberg Space for Photography
One of the early 2000’s essential outdoor concert bands, Cold War Kids came to fame with their ubiquitous indie rock hit “Hang Me Up to Dry” and continue to evolve with touches of blues rock and blue-eyed soul. The music of Oklahoma indie rockers Other Lives manages the incredible feat of being equally atmospheric and precise, giving them the street cred needed to open for of Radiohead
Sun., Aug. 16: De Bois All-Stars @ Concert Park
This local band covers contemporary Top 40 tunes by the likes of Rihanna, Carly Rae Jepsen and Robin Thicke.
Sun., Aug. 16: Christopher Hawley Rollers @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
Venice native Christopher Hawley is a local troubadour who revels in cheekily honest lyrics and on-the-spot improvisation, crafting an authentic down-home feel with plucky guitar licks and original lyrics.
Thurs., Aug. 20: Ariel Pink (with the Mynabirds) @ Santa Monica Pier
Ariel Pink emerged in the mid-2000s on Animal Collective’s 4AD label with his signature brand of DIY psych-pop recordings. He’s since risen to critical acclaim, with Pitchfork naming his “Round and Round” the best song of 2010. The Mynabirds combine solid lyricism and Motown-esque soul with a modern indie-pop sound.
Sat., Aug. 22: Los Lonely Boys @ Burton Chace Park
These three brothers describe their infectiously melodic, continuously expanding sound as “Texican rock ‘n’ roll” and cite Los Lobos, Carlos Santana and Willie Nelson as influences. They won the 2005 Grammy for Best Pop Performance with “Heaven” and recently incorporated elements of conjunto and reggae for their latest album, “Revelation.”
Sat., Aug. 22: Hundred Waters @ The Getty
These four bandmates work on the same song in separate rooms and then combine their individual efforts to create a new whole, taking the results on tour with acts such as Grimes, Julia Holter, alt-J and The xx. Their latest album, “Cavity,” was produced under the DJ Skrillex’s label OWSLA and is a cohesive blend of eerie song lyrics, raspy lilting vocals and synthy soft electronic beats.
Sun., Aug. 23: Baila Baila @ Santa Monica Farmers Market
Aimed at getting families and their children interested in learning Spanish, Baila Baila uses accessible lyrics and catchy dance moves to encourage dancing, singing and — most of all — fun.
Thurs., Aug. 27: Jefferson Starship (with Purple Mountain Majesties) @ Santa Monica Pier
Jefferson Starship evolved from Woodstock headliners Jefferson Airplane — founded 50 years ago in the heart of the psychedelic ‘60s — and is led by original band co-founder Paul Kantner. Purple Mountain Majesties is a large, psychedelic folk band of So Cal youth taking that tradition to new places.
Sun., Aug. 30: Masanga Marimba@ Santa Monica Farmers Market
“Masanga” is derived from an African word that represents the joining of rivers or roads. As a band name it represents the fusion of Latin and Zimbabwean music through layered harmonies crafted by
Cal State Northridge ethnomusicologist Dr. Ric Alviso. Zimbabwean marimbas, drums, trumpets, saxophones and vocals figure into the mix.
— Compiled by Jessi McDonald, Billy Singleton and Joe Piasecki