Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Backstage with the Buzz: Free Fresh Open Air Concert Series

Buzz Contributor Sheila Tepper suggests you spend your summer at free, fresh open air concerts, and fill your summer with music. (Sunset Concerts at the Skirball, photo by Lindsey Best)


Here we are with the 4th of July over but a long summer ahead of us and a cloudy crystal ball regarding COVID. What to do? Many ideas out there for us should we so choose.

Here are some free concert series in the fresh open air to choose from:

That will help fill our time with music.


Skirball Sunset Concert Series

The 2022 Sunset Concerts are presented free of charge and an RSVP is required. RSVPs are now open.  Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to eat, drink, shop and enjoy complimentary admission to the exhibitions beginning at 6:30pm. Parking will be available on-site at the Skirball for $20 on arrival, or $15 if reserved in advance. Skirball members can prepay online for only $5.


MAMAK KHADEM – Thursday, July 21, 8:00pm (doors at 6:30pm).

The Skirball welcomes back Iranian American singer Mamak Khadem to kick off the twenty-fifth Sunset Concerts season. Khadem’s striking blend of classical Persian style and diverse contemporary influences traverses musical traditions from Iran to Eastern Europe to the Mediterranean in search of shared humanity.

Concertgoers have the opportunity to attend an intimate pre-concert presentation from 6:45pm to 7:15pm with Khadem herself, Rumi scholar and author Omid Arabian, and celebrated Iranian filmmaker Sam Javadi, who directed three music videos from Khadem’s new album, Remembrance.


ROCKY DAWUNI – Thursday, July 28, 8:00 pm (doors at 6:30 pm)

Musician and activist Rocky Dawuni who calls both Los Angeles and Ghana home has become a local favorite for his infectious, feel-good reggae tunes and globe-spanning “Afro roots” sound. Dawuni has shared stages with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, and John Legend, and in 2022 he received a Grammy nomination for Best Global Music Album. Through his music and advocacy, he fights for climate justice, champions social causes, and unites generations and cultures.


NEFESH MOUNTAIN – Thursday, August 4, 8:00pm (doors at 6:30pm).

Through klezmer melodies and Hebrew refrains, the boundary-pushing bluegrass Americana band Nefesh Mountain shares the beauty of Jewish culture with the world. Their most recent album, Songs for the Sparrows, was inspired by a life-changing trip to Poland and Ukraine, where band leaders Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg’s families emigrated from. Exploring a range of experiences from an Eastern European Jewish perspective, Nefesh Mountain uses music to tell stories of humanity with what has been called “old soul wisdom.”


BOOKER T. JONES – Thursday, August 11, 8:00pm (doors at 6:30pm).

Groundbreaking soul and R&B artist Booker T. Jones occupies an important place in the history of American music. At seventeen, he fronted the seminal Memphis soul band Booker T. and the M.G.’s a rare integrated group of musicians that served as the house band for Stax Records, working with the likes of Otis Redding, Bill Withers, and Wilson Pickett. Jones will lead the audience through a “Stax Revue” of iconic songs at the Skirball that illuminate an extraordinary career spanning almost sixty years.


ADG7 – Thursday, August 18, 8:00pm (doors at 6:30pm).

Impressing audiences with their “candy-colored costumes and bouncy, upbeat, often swinging songs” (New York Times), South Korea–based ensemble ADG7 connects shamanic ritual music and beloved folk songs of the Hwanghae region to the contemporary sounds and influences of pop. In 2020, ADG7 was a featured artist in the Skirball’s virtual concert series, Skirball Stages, which can be viewed on the Skirball’s YouTube channel.

As part of this very special evening, the Skirball is pleased to welcome the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles, along with Skirball exhibiting artist Aram Han Sifuentes, who will perform with the Korean American drumming group Woori Sori.


SON ROMPE PERA – Thursday, August 25, 8:00pm (doors at 6:30pm).

Founding Son Rompe Pera members Kacho, Kilos, and Mongo Gama add their own grunge and rock sensibility to the marimba they first played alongside their father while growing up in the deep outskirts of Mexico City. While firmly rooted in the tradition of this historic instrument, the Gama siblings bring a punk-rock edge to classic cumbia rhythms. “Cumbia is like punk,” Mongo Gama explains. “It’s barrio, it’s of the working class, it’s of the people who have dreams.”


Jazz at LACMA:



Los Angeles Master Chorale:


Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Annual sing-along. (photo from LA Master Chorale)


This annual sing-along welcomes people of all ages to come together and experience the joy of singing. Led by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, and Jenny Wong, Associate Conductor and special guests.

“Big Sing is a beautiful opportunity for all of us to connect through the joy of singing together,” said Los Angeles Master Chorale Artistic Director Grant Gershon. “Communal singing strengthens our feelings of togetherness and uplifts our spirits. No experience is necessary: all voices are welcome!”

As a prelude to the musical activities people are encouraged to come early to enjoy some of the city’s food trucks and lunch on the lawn. Food will be available for purchase and complimentary water will be provided to participants. A commemorative song booklet will be available for free on the day of the event.



Backstage with the Buzz is written by Sheila Tepper, Producer Cultural Programming. Sheila has lived in the Larchmont area for fifty years; among her passions have been passing legislation for children with disabilities and interviewing outstanding artists appearing in the Los Angeles area.

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