Something GRAND for everyone / 7.11-7.14

Thank you to everyone that celebrated July 4th’s festivities with us last weekend at Grand Performances. We had around 4,000 people enjoy the legacy of Nina Simone at Young, Gifted and Nina! This week, we have something GRAND for everyone, from 20th century classical music and Broadway fans to comedy lovers to DIY string puppeteers…and an opportunity to belt out Bernstein for a chance to win Hollywood Bowl tickets!


 Starting the weekend early on Thursday, July 11 @8PM is the Soba Noodle Demonstration with food writer and instructor, Sonoko Sakai. This event was the only show that required an RSVP and is now sold out.

 On Friday, July 12th @ noon, have your lunch date while watching Las Cafeteras jam traditional and modern beats with timely stories from East L.A.’s streets. Sample their Afro-Mexican rhythms, zapateado and Spanglish below.

Later in the evening @ 8pm, Beth Lapides’ UnCabaret brings an array of original talent to the mic for enlightening music and conversational comedy that is, at turns, risky, idiosyncratic, fast-paced, and introspective.

 On Saturday, July 13th @ 8PM, treat yourself to the lush and lyrical compositions of America’s treasured composer, Leonard Bernstein, co-presented by Songfest Sings America. You can sing along to selections from West Side Story, as well as listen to art songs of sweeping American poems. Capture yourself belting out your favorite Bernstein song on Instagram, add #grandperformances, and you will be entered to win a pair of tickets to Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl! Here's an example of our puppets demonstrating a 15 sec Bernstein song!

For all the DIY fans and kid-at-hearts, bring your children to Bob Baker’s Marionettes on Sunday, July 14th @ 3PM for an interactive afternoon with L.A.’s longest-running children’s theater company. After a lively set, they’ll lead a workshop demonstrating the basic technique of string puppeteering so bring your own makeshift scarf marionettes. We have a tutorial especially made for all aspiring young and old puppeteers!



Purely Puppets

We've been up to our ears with puppets. Yesterday, we took the puppeteers from Brujerias de Papel to meet and talk shop with the Bob Baker Marionette puppeteers (Bob Baker himself was even there!)

Bob Baker Marionettes meet Brujerias de Papel

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is truely a magical place. We'll do a blogpost with more photos from our visit, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, you can join in on the puppet mania by making your own scarf marionette in preparation for Bob Baker's Marionettes performance on July 14 @ 3pm. After the performance, the puppeteers will teach you how to work your own scarf marionette!

Here's the scarf marionette how-to video from Rose and Happy the dog.



Strong women, strong voices

If last weekend’s performances were not spectacular enough, we have an even more dynamic and explosive line-up for this weekend, just in time for Fourth of July! Come celebrate Independence Day weekend with the powerful voices and poetry of strong women.

On Friday, July 5th @ 8PM, we honor The High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone. Young, Gifted & Nina is a must-see tribute to one of the most revolutionary artist, storyteller, and icon of all time. This heartwarming and fiery celebration features an energetic and empowering lineup of passionate vocals.

Bike valet will be available on the Upper Plaza.


Featuring three more storytellers on Saturday, July 6th @ 7PM is Nigerian a capella group Adunni & Nefertiti, Martha Redbone’s “Roots Project”— based on William Blake’s poems in Appalachian-and Americana style, and Dessy Di Lauro’s kinetic neo-ragtime sound.  Below is Dessy Di Lauro’s first single selected by ESPN!

Bike valet will be available on the Upper Plaza.


Visual spectacles and electronic soundscapes

Just like that, the first week of our 27th season is over! However, the fun is just getting started with this weekend’s visual spectacles and electronic soundscapes, including a “must-see summer show” according to the Los Angeles Times

We launch the weekend on Friday, June 28 @ 8PM with the Department of Cultural Affairs (COLA) Artist Project, featuring Malathi Iyengar and Michael White.  The Bangalore-born choreographer/dancer Malathi Iyengar explores the classical dance of India, the Bharatanatyam, moving beyond the traditional confines of Indian women with a modern touch. The living legend jazz violinist Michael White premieres “Orbit,” bringing in an organic essence of Jazz.


On Saturday, June 29 @ 8:30PM, we enter an enchanting and sophisticated evening of puppetry and multimedia performance with Brujerías de Papel and Miwa Matreyek. Miwa Matreyek traverses oceanscapes, cityscapes, and domestic spaces as she conjures dreamlike scenes with light and shadow. Take a sneak peek into her world, where the lines between the real and surreal blur together. 

Later in the evening, Italian style wooden marionettes inspired by Latin American culture are brought to life through the captivating puppeteer, Brujerías de Papel.


On Sunday, June 30 @ 7PM, we celebrate Green Galactic’s 20th year anniversary with electronic music artists, Pole, John Tejada, and Plaid, named “a must-see summer show” according to the Los Angeles Times. Dive in a pool of dub-laden intricate rhythms of Berlin-based Pole, visceral experimental soundscapes by the UK’s Plaid, and the melodic handcrafted techno of L.A.’s very own John Tejada. Check out below a sample of John Tejada’s golden beats and spoken dialogue!



Bike valet is back!

Just like last year, we've contracted the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to handle the complimentary bike valet at our concerts.

All of the concerts on our website with this icon will have a bike valet located on the Upper Plaza. You can also see a full list of bike valet shows below.

Friday, June 21 @ 8pm - Scored presents The Final Frontier: An Improvised Sci-Fi Soundtrack with Mark de Clive-Lowe
Saturday, June 22 @ 8:30pm - Inequality for All
Friday, July 5 @ 8pm - Young, Gifted, and Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone
Saturday, July 6 @ 8pm - Adunni and Nefertiti | Martha Redbone | Dessy DiLauro
Friday, July 19 @ 8pm - Fanfare Ciocarlia | Mucca Pazza
Saturday, July 20 @ 8pm - Rufus and Friends
Friday, July 26 @ 8pm - University of Gnawa | Ethio Cali
Saturday, July 27 @ 8pm - Chico Trujillo | Las Cafeteras
Friday, August 2 @ 8pm - Songs in the Key of L.A. with Ozomatli and Friends
Saturday, August 3 @ 8pm - Novalima | Palenke Soultribe
Sunday, August 11 @ 3pm & 4:30pm - Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater presents Cinderella
Saturday, August 17 @ 8pm - A Tale of Two Nations: Nação do Maracatu Estrela Brilhante & Nation Beat
Saturday, August 24 @ 8pm - Fared Shafinury