From Germany to L.A. for I am Big Bird

Sesame Performers (from left to right): Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Sesame Street), Julian Kleibeler (Sesamstrasse), Caroll Spinney (Sesame Street) with wife Deb, Travis Frost (Sesamstrasse)

Last week we got a phone call from two guys who were planning on flying from Germany to L.A. just for our screening of I am Big Bird (whaaaat?). As we kept talking, Travis and Julian told us that they are puppeteers on Sesamstrasse, the German version of Sesame Street. 

We've had audience members from all over, but it's pretty rare to have international vistors fly to L.A. just for one of our shows. Travis and Julian landed in L.A. Saturday afternoon, just a couple hours before the screening. We hooked them up with reserved seats and they had a great evening watching I am Big Bird. They re-connected with Caroll Spinney and even met Leslie a puppeteer on Sesame Street (she performs fairy in training, Abby Cadabby).

So cool to see the international Sesame Street connection! Are you coming to us from out of town? Give us a shout, we'd love to hear your story. 


Preview: Movies and music

Is it summer yet? Come this Friday, the answer to that question will be an astounding, YES!

We kick off our season on Friday, June 13 with a weekend of outdoor movie screening (we're gonna ease you in first). On our second weekend, we'll be turning up the heat with performances from Angelique Kidjo, Panoptica Orchestra and Federico Aubele.

If you're a Grand Performances newbie or need a refresher on where to park, how to get here or what to bring, click here (and yes, BYOB is back on).

Keep reading to get the who's who on our first two weekends of shows.

Friday, June 13 @ 8:15pm

Who: Sherlock Jr. with a live improvised score from the French rock duo, The Magnetix
Why you won't want to miss out:
It's our opening night. Why not start summer off with this classic film?!

I AM BIG BIRD Trailer from Copper Pot Pictures on Vimeo

Saturday, June 14 @ 8:15pm

Who: I am Big Bird

Why you won't want to miss out: If you're a Big Bird fan, this documentary about Caroll Spinny's life will tug on your heart strings. Plus, we'll be joined by Spinny for a post film Q&A long with a special guest you might recognize ;)


Friday, June 20 @ 8:00pm

Who: Angelique Kidjo
Song Sample: Youtube / Spotify
Street cred: She won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album
Why you won't want to miss out: She's an African legend, need we say more? Our Programming Director says Angelique gives one of the most high-energy and infectious live shows.
GPeep tip: We suggest arriving early for this one

Saturday, June 21 @ 7:30pm

Who: Panoptica Orchestra
Song Sample: Youtube / Spotify
Claim to fame: He's a founding member of the Nortec Collective
Why you won't want to miss out: We got the chance to hang out with Panoptica in his hometown of Tijuana, and he's promised us a night of dance beats that just might blow out our speakers.

Who: Federico Aubele
Song sample: Youtube / Spotify
Street cred: He's a Thievery Corporation protege
Why you won't want to miss out: He's just that cool. Fede takes bolero and cumbia and mixes it in with electro downtempo.


Looking for 2014 summer interns 

Love the arts and culture?
Love music and watching concerts?
Wanna see the behind the scenes on how it's done?
Are you willing to sacrifice most of your summer weekends? 

Wanna know more? Read up on last year's season in our 2013 Annual Review.

Grand Performances, L.A.’s premiere outdoor summer performing arts presenter, is looking for interns to work from June-August 2014. Over the course of ten weeks, Grand Performances presents more than 30 FREE high-quality performances that span different genres and cultures - but we need highly motivated interns to help us.

Here's the skinny. We have 2 positions available:

Our interns are supported by the Los Angles County Internship Program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, these positions are limited to currently enrolled undergraduates who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County, and will have completed at least one semester of college by June 2014. Click link for more details!

Our summer internships are an awesome gig. Don't believe us? Just ask our former boomerang interns (they even come back to volunteer).  Read what they had to say about their summer at GP here and here.

2013 Marketing & PR intern, Annie, holding down the Info Cart


Giving Thanks



I hope you've enjoyed looking at what some of our artists (and GP staff) were thankful for this year. Now, during this season of gift giving and thankfulness, I want to ask you to tell us how Grand Performances has impacted your lives - not just yours personally, but your family's as well.

I invite you to connect with us - whether through on FacebookTwitterYelp, or email - and share your thoughts about our artists and your experiences.

I want to hear from YOU as we make plans for the future. These future plans aren't only about who we put on stage, but also how our programs can better serve the cultural needs of you as both an individual, and as a community member.

Many cultures have holidays that fall this time of the year. From everyone on the Board and the Staff of Grand Performances, we send Happy Holiday greetings to all of you. Join us for the remaining holiday shows and remember that we will be back with another full summer starting in June 2014.

- Michael

Executive Director, Grand Performances


Office Sounds / 01

Photo credit: WOMEX

It's the off season, but we're still here thinking about summer 2014- the work never stops! We figured we'd take this time to do a couple blogposts about what we're listening to in the office. Psst, some of it might be hints as to what's coming next year (but we're not making any promises). Some of our GP staffers just got back from the World Music Expo (WOMEX). It's an annual world music conference that travels throughout Europe and this time it was in Cardiff, Wales. They chatted it up with other performing arts presenters, managers and agents, and of course saw lots of artist showcases.

So, what better way to kick off this series of Office Sounds than with some WOMEX favorites!

Leigh Ann's pick / Fanfara Tirana meets Transglobal Underground (Albania)

Michael's pick / Ebo Taylor (Ghana)

Christie's pick / Fanfari (Algeria)