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)


The Rewind: South African Arts Festival 

After months of coordination with the South African Department of Arts and Culture, Grand Performances was proud to be the L.A.-based homesite for the inaugural South African Arts Festival (October 4-6). Other local venues included the Omni Hotel and L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, which hosted industry-oriented film and music panels, and an afternoon of South African movies, respectively.

The festival kicked off Friday with an opening reception for artists, officials from the South African government, and others. On Saturday, our plaza came alive with the diverse sounds of modern South African music - from Wouter Kellerman's flute-driven African sounds; to the The Soil's powerful acapella; to xhosa rapper iFani's energetic and cheeky rhymes; to the seamless and captivating blend of the Mahotella Queens' beloved voices with Jozi's distinctly urban-pop beats. The 6+ hours festivities went into the evening - with Simphiwe Dana's hypnotic Afro-Soul, The Parlotones arena-rock energy, and jazz trumpet legend Hugh Masekela.

As the sun went down, Masekela (no strange to the WaterCourt stage) energized crowd going with some call and response singing. L.A. was such a good crowd, that he promised he'd take us on the road with him!

Sunday focused on the broad range of films coming from South Africa with everything from uplifting family-friendly to gritty dramas and more. Hundreds came out to the L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas to enjoy an afternoon at the movies, with some continuing on to watch an outdoor screening of Khumba back at California Plaza.

We said goodbye to the festival with a closing reception on Sunday night that included sweets from Heirloom LA and an intimate performance by Simphiwe Dana. She even had people up doing the electric slide by the end of the night.

Many thanks to the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the Grand Performances staff and crew, and volunteers for helping to make this festival possible.











































Photo by Christopher Alvarez and Shawn Ahmed


4 burning questions with our 2013 interns

We're still having intern withdrawls. Every year our interns help us get through the our 10 week summer concert series and without them we'd be beat. They definitely worked hard, but they managed to have some fun too ;) Keep reading to find out about their experience at Grand Performances (We took creative liberties and added in the fun photos.)  

They even made this Red Bucket animated photo to leave as their legacy. Bucks in the bucket, yeah!

4 burning questions with Josh
Artist Relations Intern

1. Favorite concert?
I truly enjoyed Green Galactic's 20th Anniversary Celebration at the beginning of our season.  John Tejada, Plaid, and Pole each had unique sets that were beautifully complemented by our production team's awesome lighting rig around the Marina Amphitheater.   

2. What did you learn at GP that you'll take with you to your next job?
My summer has taught me to be flexible in regard to artist/event coordination and to anticipate the needs of the people I work with.  I know that the multitasking and ability to prioritize will help me wherever I go in life.  

3. What is one thing you'll miss about GP?
I will miss having sock puppets as an integral part of my work environment.

Sock puppet mania at work 

4. Has this internship given you more clarity on what you're looking to do next?
Grand Performances has helped to deepen my appreciation for free, accessible performing arts to the public. While I'm uncertain of one particular life-long career path at the moment, I know that I will always advocate, support, and be involved in performing arts.  

4 burning questions with Jamie
Development Intern

Working hard for the money

1. Favorite concert?

2. What did you learn at GP that you'll take to you next job?
Time Management and Communication. One thing GP taught me is that behind every amazing event is an effective team that communicates well with one another and works in a timely fashion. 

3. What is one thing you'll miss about GP?
I honestly adore everyone who works at GP and on the plaza and comes to GP events. Everyone has been so nice and I have met so many funny people. I am going to miss everyone so much.

4. Has this internship given you more clarity on what you're looking to do next?  
This internship definitely helped me solidify my plans of what I want to do in the future. My past jobs and school activities revolved around bringing ticketless, quality programming to students. Grand Performances allowed me to see that mission worked on a bigger scale, the Los Angeles community. Seeing the positive impact these performances left on so many has definitely compelled me to keep working in organizations and companies that really focus on benefiting the entire community. 

4 burning questions with Annie
Marketing Intern

1. Favorite concert?
Miwa Matreyek/Brujerias de Papel was unlike our usual music concerts but it was very intriguing and whimsical. Both Miwa’s installations and Brujerias’ marionettes came to life right before my eyes.

2. What did you learn at GP that you'll take to you next job?
Being in the marketing team, I learned to not be afraid of testing out new ideas and projects – you never know what surprisingly works well or doesn’t. And if an idea didn’t work out as planned, don’t be discouraged but think of more creative (with some practicality) ways to outreach! 

3. What is one thing you'll miss about GP?
Most definitely the Grand Performances’ staff and crew. Everyone was tremendously caring, funny, and full of personality. And wearing airplane hats and crowns at work. 

This is what she means by airplane hats. PS. We're looking for sponsorship, Alaska Airlines, call us!

4. Has this internship given you more clarity on what you're looking to do next?  
My internship this summer has given me a great exposure of what marketing in the non-profit arts world looks like. Not only have do I have a better idea of how a non-profit organization functions but also how different organizations cater to its specific goals, audiences, and beliefs. I’m super thankful for the mentoring I received at Grand Performances – and will definitely take all that I learned to my next job. 


REWIND: 2013 Gala

On July 20, Grand Performances welcomed more than 350 guests for our 11th Annual Gala Fundraiser with Rufus and Friends. The event chaired by Board Member Jennifer Fisher began with cocktails, including handcrafted sweet beet lemonade, and comfort/soul food, 70s-inspired dishes created by Chef Travis Hooper of the Omni Hotel.

"John Jones, Heather Jones, Gala Chair Jennifer Fisher and Kelvin Golden"

During the silent and live auctions guests vied for several exciting prizes such as “An Escape to the Big Apple for Fashion Week,” “Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival VIP Package” and “Discover Brazil” courtesy of The Brazilian Consulate of Los Angeles and its partners. Honorary Host Committee Member and sponsor Tom Gilmore was our fab “celebrity” auctioneer.

"Tony Maiden, Sly Stone, Tom Gilmore and Michael Alexander"

However the night would not have been complete without Grand Performances’ signature free programming. Rufus was one of the most important funk ensembles of all time and they burned up the dance floor 70s style for a free public performance - their first show in Los Angeles in nearly 30 years – with a special appearance by Sly Stone. More than 2500 Angelenos, from all walks of life, came together to share a rich moment of cultural history, inspiration, introspection, and most importantly, celebration.

Funds raised from this special evening help Grand Performances continue to bring the best of global culture and local talent to our diverse community. With your help we raised nearly $100,000 - thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for helping to KEEP THE BEAT ALIVE!

For more photos of the celebration that evening, click here!

Platinum Sponsors: City National Bank, Omni Hotels
Gold Sponsors:
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Dickerson Employee Benefits
Natalie & David Bergeson, Broad Arts Foundation, Gilmore Associates, Alan Sieroty, Union Bank, U.S. Bank

Honorary Host Committee: Sly Stone, Honorary Chair, Bette & Wylie Aitken, Dee Dee Dorskind & Bradley Tabach-Bank, Kathy Faulk, Tom Gilmore, Rosey Grier, Bob L. Johnson, Janice Pober, Heidi Duckler & Dan Rosenfeld, Dominique Shelton, Malissa Shriver, Alan Sieroty, and Gary Stewart.

Auction and Raffle Donations: Special thanks to Joyce Azria, the Brazilian Consulate of Los Angeles, City National Bank, Coastal Luxury Management, Fogo de Chão, Korean Airlines, John A. Martin & Associates, MOCA, Omni Hotel New York, Orient Express and El Encanto Santa Barbara, our friends Pam, Amanda, Lianna, and Eddie, Pasadena Playhouse, Ralph’s, Rivera, Bernard Silva, Stella Rosa Wines, Sugarfly Events and Janet Roston, Tivoli São Paulo Mofarrej Hotel, and The Wine House.

"Guests of Sony Pictures Entertainment - Gold Sponsor"