Poncho Sanchez, Daymé Arocena, and Dayren Santamaria announced as part of Ford Theatres 2017 Summer Season



The Ford Theatres announced today a spectacular season for Summer 2017 at the fully transformed John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. The 2017 season will open on Saturday, July 15, and will continue through October 16, 2017. Part of the fantastic line-up are the Poncho Sanchez Latin Band on July 29, Cuban singer-composer Dayme Arocena and her Cubafonia on August 17, and Dayren Santamaria and her Made in Cuba on August 25. Additionally, a Salsa dance jam session with Contra Tiempo Dance Group is scheduled for August 28.

The full summer schedule follows. Tickets can be purchased at FordTheatres.org or by calling (323) 461-3673.


JULY 15 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Savion Glover in Concert* A live sound mosaic, Savion Glover in Concert will kick off the Ford Theatres’ celebratory 2017 summer season in style. Savion’s rhythmic genius will be accompanied by band Dance Candy and his renowned dance ensemble, featuring Marshall Davis, Jr., Robyn Watson and Karissa Royster. Through the interplay of song, melody and percussion, this acoustic virtuoso will present a dynamic and uplifting evening centered on a message of hope.


JULY 16 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Culture Clash’s OG Summer Desmadre* Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza are the LA-based Latino/Chicano performance trio known as Culture Clash. Commissioned by the Ford Theatres, Culture Clash will turn their satirical gaze upon the events of this past year with a curated post-Independence Day celebration bash that will cure your political hangover by causing a desmadre (wild, chaos rave) this post-election summer. Culture Clash will be joined by legendary Latin R&B band Tierra, Chicana punk rocker Alice Bag, standup comedians Rudy Moreno, Emilio Rivera and Sandra Valls, and a special appearance by Pacífico Dance Company.


JULY 21 Bellydance Evolution: Fantasm – Odyssey of Dreams The timeless tales of Scheherazade and the heroes of Arabian folklore will be reimagined for the Ford stage. More than 20 dancers will pull from a variety of Middle Eastern and contemporary folkloric dance styles to bring these mythical characters to life, set to an original score by Paul Dinletir, audiomachine’s head composer.


JULY 23 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination Presented with the Skirball Cultural Center, in association with The Lincoln Center Festival* Acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai blends the words of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s widow, Leah, with music and projected imagery to create this intimate theatrical counterpoint to his 2015 investigative film Rabin, the Last Day. As two actresses (Hiam Abbas and Sarah Adler) read from Leah’s memoirs, they travel back through time to explore the violence that led to Rabin’s assassination, traumatizing a country and sending shockwaves across the world. Premiered at the world-renowned Festival d’Avignon last summer and coming to the Ford directly from the acclaimed Lincoln Center Festival, the piece exists between elegy and lullaby.

In conjunction with this performance, the Ford has partnered with the Skirball Cultural Center to co-present a screening of the Gitai-directed documentary Rabin, the Last Day, taking place at the Skirball on Thursday, July 20. In this political thriller, Gitai documents the November 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Through staged re-enactments and archival news footage, Gitai illuminates the subculture of hate—fueled by hysterical rhetoric, paranoia, and political intrigue—that led to Rabin’s untimely death.


JULY 28 Syncopated Ladies: Live in LA** Syncopated Ladies: LIVE is a ground-breaking all-female tap show that propels women onto a re-invigorated stage, weaving their inspiring stories with intricate footwork and life-renewing energy. Dancing to music from salsa to Beyoncé to funk, this non-stop action-filled show features live music.


JULY 29 Musicians at Play Foundation: Poncho Sanchez & his Latin Jazz Band For more than three decades, Grammy Award-winning conguero Poncho Sanchez has stirred up a fiery stew of straight ahead jazz, gritty soul music, and infectious Latin and South American melodies and rhythms. Musicians at Play Foundation presents a special concert with Grammy Award-winning Sanchez and his 10-piece band.


AUG 4 Samba Society: Brasil 70: Samba / Soul / Resistance** Samba Society, a collective of musicians deeply rooted in traditional Brazilian music yet influenced by the global rhythms of Los Angeles, has put together an evening featuring artists at the forefront of the LA Brazilian music scene, including MôForro, Os Zagueiros and Samba Society, with special guests Diana Purim, Thalma de Freitas and Marcel Camargo. Brasil 70: Samba / Soul / Resistance will take the audience on a musical journey of socio-political turmoil, viewed through the lens of the 1970s.


AUG 5 7th Annual Flypoet Summer Classic Flypoet Entertainment brings together some of the most highly regarded spoken word artists in a take-no-prisoners evening of poetry, music, comedy and live visual art. As part of a dynamic multimedia collaboration, painter Norton Wisdom will draw inspiration from the poets throughout the evening, creating original artwork on an expansive backlit canvas live on stage.


AUG 6 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Youssou N’Dour* Grammy Award-winning Youssou N’Dour will make his Ford Theatres debut, performing songs off of his recent album, Africa Rekk! (Africa and that’s final!). Throughout his thirty-year career, this Senegalese vocalist – who has performed alongside such greats as Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Branford Marsalis, Sting and Neneh Cherry – has created some of the most exciting sounds to come out of Africa. A daring innovator, Youssou brings a sound that is both African and outward-looking, a contagiously exciting synthesis of musical languages.


AUG 12 Pacífico Dance Company: Mexico, de Tierra a Mar

Pacífico Dance Company will present an evening exploring early Mexican history, myth and folktales through a signature blend of traditional and contemporary dance movements. Pacífico will be accompanied by the musical talent of Mariachi Los Toros, a dynamic group of professional musicians whose passion for music is as evident as Pacífico’s devotion to the preservation of cultural roots through dance.

AUG 17 Daymé Arocena*

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049

The Skirball Cultural Center and Ford Theatres present a night of contemporary Cuban music with Daymé Arocena, “an artist for the ages” (NPR). The critically hailed singer-composer will perform songs from her latest album, Cubafonía, combining Santerian chant, rhythmic complexity, fluid jazz styling and a nuanced Afro-Cuban soulfulness. Part of the Skirball’s annual outdoor Thursday night summertime series, Sunset Concerts at the Skirball.


AUG 18-20 IGNITE @ the FORD!: The Music Center On Location* The Music Center takes its creative vision beyond the places and spaces of its Downtown Los Angeles home and into the diverse venues and locales of greater Los Angeles with The Music Center On Location.


AUG 18    Aszure Barton & Artists* Critically-acclaimed Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton will present Awáa for the first time in Los Angeles, where she has recently relocated from New York City. This work, created together with her world-renowned multidisciplinary dance company Aszure Barton & Artists, is a tribute to life-giving forces, celebrating femininity and Mother Earth. Meaning “one who is a mother” in the language of Haida Gwaii, a chain of islands on the north coast of British Columbia, Awáa is “an extraordinary work, full of fantasy and surprises.” – Washington Post. Hailed by critics and audiences alike, Aszure Barton has created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater and Martha Graham Dance Company, among many others


AUG 19    An Evening with Jacob Jonas The Company and Tim Hecker* This double bill features two groundbreaking artists in contemporary dance and music.


Named “Best New Force in L.A. Dance in 2016” by LA Weekly, Jonas creates visceral original work based on real-life situations.  He will premiere new work, commissioned by The Music Center On Location, exploring the idiom, “to carry the weight of the world on one’s shoulders.”  Jonas and his company have performed at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival and The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts. According to the Los Angeles Times, “When Jacob Jonas the Company performs, energy doesn’t just seem to bounce off the walls it reverberates off bodies.”

Tim Hecker with Kara-Lis Coverdale: Juno award-winning Canadian composer and sound artist Tim Hecker has spent the last decade inhabiting a unique intersection between noise, dissonance, and melody. In his varied and celebrated works, digital and organic sources tightly intertwine. The result is a hybrid aesthetic that recalls electronic abstraction and psychedelic American minimalism. As the New York Times put it, he plays “foreboding, abstract pieces in which static and sub-bass rumbles open up around slow-moving notes and chords, like fissures in the earth waiting to swallow them whole.” Hecker will be joined by Kara-Lis Coverdale, a fiercely independent voice in new music. Coverdale creates colorful and dense arrangements that blur the line between the human and the data with a unique penchant for long-form melody, harmony and sonic detail. She has been named “one of the most interesting composers in North America” by The Guardian, and her works and performances have been widely acclaimed by NPR, The Wire and more.

AUG 20    Northern Stars, an evening with Rufus Wainwright* Giving his only U.S. performance of Northern Stars, in honor of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, and first performance in Los Angeles in three years, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright sings an intimate evening of curated songs by Canadian musical icons Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, among others. Praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his time. This special evening features the work of Canadian musicians beloved across generations, selected and sung by Wainwright with his own distinct interpretation.


AUG 25 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Síntesis Cuba & Dayren Santamaria* Named “Cuba’s great black progressive rock group” by AfroCubaWeb, Síntesis is among the most avant-garde Cuban music ensembles, has become an icon of Cuban contemporary music and has defined a genre of music that blends African root music with jazz and rock. Their sound is based on an ethno-fusion of prominent African-American-Cuban roots with elements of Cuban rhythms, creating a world beat that resonates. Cuban-born, LA-based violinist Dayren Santamaria will open the evening with her band Made in Cuba. Trained in classical music, jazz, R&B, salsa and Cuban folkloric music, Dayren appeared on Latin jazz ensemble Mongorama’s Grammy-nominated 2012 CD.


AUG 26 WordTheatre: In the Cosmos: Where We Come From, Where We Are, and Where We Are Going WordTheatre® takes you on a wild ride through the universe, from creation myths to the Big Bang to black holes to alien life forms. A large cast of celebrity actors, musicians and dancers will weave the words of great poets, philosophers, fiction and comedy writers together with excerpts from iconic popular writing on astronomy, cosmological physics, mysticism and more. Rousing renditions of classical contemporary music from Shchedrin’s Basso Ostinato, Holt’s Mars, Barber’s Adagio and others will accompany the writings of Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Monty Python, David Bowie and many more.


AUG 27 Chris Isaacson Presents: Thelma Houston: My Motown, Memories & More

Grammy Award-winning legend Thelma Houston will take the audience on a musical and inspirational journey, from her time with the Art Reynolds Singers through to her solo career, sharing intimate stories and behind-the-scenes adventures against a tapestry of 23 classic Motown hits, including “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Heatwave,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” and many more. After 45 years of performing, 23 studio albums and a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Houston continues to celebrate her long and outstanding career.  As an added bonus, singer and trumpeter Johnny Britt (La La Land) will open the evening.


SEPT 2 Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company: Mexico, Al Son de la Banda Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company will present an evening of storytelling rich in culture and tradition from the distinctive regions of Morelos, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Jalisco. A live traditional wind ensemble will accompany the dances, which will be performed along with elaborate props and sets.


SEPT 8 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Jesús Carmona – Impetus

Presented in association with the Fountain Theatre* Flawless in his footwork, celebrated flamenco dancer Jesús Carmona makes his Ford Theatres debut with the West Coast premiere of his newest piece. Jesús and his company of 11 dancers, musicians and vocalists will perform this innovative and emotionally charged program, titled Impetus (“bursting with energy”). The piece stars Jesús, who also choreographs and directs this powerful dance interpretation of the most famous scores from Spain’s beloved composers, including Albeniz, Riqueni and Escudero. A dance prodigy – he began his career at age seven – Jesús has shared the stage with Spain’s most legendary dancers and was a principal dancer with the prestigious Ballet Nacional de España before creating his own award-winning company.


SEPT 9 KJAZZ 88.1 FM and Rum & Humble present Hollywood Blues Bash featuring Booker T’s Stax Revue and Arthur Adams** KJAZZ 88.1 FM and Rum & Humble present the Hollywood Blues Bash featuring organ legend Booker T. Jones’ Stax Revue, prince of the blues guitar Arthur Adams and blues belter Karen Lovely in an evening that will pull on the heart and stir the soul.
SEPT 10 Star Entertainment: Fiesta Mexicana: Tequila con Limón Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar and Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles de Kareli Montoya will bring to life the iconic ranchera, sones and corridos songs and dances of Mexico’s golden age. One of California’s premier mariachi ensembles, Mariachi Garibaldi is led by composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Jimmy “El Pollo” Cuéllar, son of founder Jaime Cuéllar.


SEPT 15 Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts: “Tao Po!” – We Are Here! featuring Mama Bares and guests “Tao Po!” – We Are Here! is a full-length production that will cover the breadth of Philippine folk-based dance, music and song, juxtaposed with contemporary dance forms and musical stylings with underlying positive social messages. The show declares that Filipinos are here, there, and everywhere, adding to the richly diverse cultural landscape of America. The evening will feature guest stars Mama Bares, original music by Anthony Federov, Glendale College Concert Singers and more.


SEPT 17 Go As If: Astral Progressions Astral Progressions celebrates the exploration of jazz and soul music. Trumpeter and composer, Josef Leimberg, will bring along some of his favorite musicians and collaborators to perform a hybrid of jazz fusion, world music, R&B and golden era hip-hop instrumentalism.


SEPT 22 Viver Brasil Celebrates 20 Years: Agô Ayo/Spirit Rising Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Viver Brasil will feature premieres by choreographers Marina Magalhães and Vera Passos, with new musical compositions by Kahlil Cummings and Simon Carroll. These works will illuminate the Afro-Brazilian ancestral wisdom of orixa dance and music, the social dances of frevo, samba and the spectacle of the bloco afro. This anniversary concert highlights Viver Brasil’s joy and jubilance and artistic range as the company explores the contemporary themes of race, gender and social equity.


SEPT 23 The Music Circle: Wind Whisperers from India Uniting North and South India on one stage, Wind Whisperers from India will be a meeting of instruments from the woodwind and the chordophone sections and will feature bansuri (side blown flute) master Ronu Majumdar from North India and saraswati veena (multi-stringed chordophone) virtuoso Rajhesh Vaidhya from South India in the ancient art form of jugalbandi, a duet performed by musicians of different instruments and styles.


SEPT 24 IGNITE @ the FORD!: 100: The Apollo Theater Celebrates Ella’s 100th Birthday! Presented with The Apollo Theater* Grammy-winning artist Patti Austin hosts an all-star evening celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th Birthday, part of The Apollo Theater’s year-long celebration of this iconic jazz singer. The Apollo introduced Ella to the world in 1934, during the Harlem Renaissance, when she won the Amateur Nights at The Apollo contest at the age of 17, making her the first female performer to earn such a distinction. During her life-long career, she made her mark as one of the greatest scat singers in jazz history. She earned 14 Grammy Awards and collaborated with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, among many others. Patti Austin has been wowing audiences since her own childhood debut at the Apollo. In celebration of Ella’s centennial birthday, Patti and friends will pay tribute to the First Lady of Song. Produced in collaboration with eight-time GRAMMY® – winning producer Gregg Field, who at the age of 24 toured as the drummer for Ella Fitzgerald.


SEPT 30 Colibrí Entertainment: ¡Viva La Tradición! 30 Años de “Canciones de Mi Padre” Some of LA’s favorite artists will come together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Linda Ronstadt’s hit album “Canciones de Mi Padre,” a milestone for Mexican traditional Mariachi music in the United States. The night includes performances by Linda’s niece, solo artist Marisa Ronstadt; Los Angeles’ favorite all-female stringed mariachi, Las Colibrí; the first all-female youth mariachi academy, Las Jovencitas; and Ballet Folklorico Ollín, who will recreate scenes from the original “Canciones de Mi Padre” tour. Host José Armando Ronstadt will add personal insight into the Ronstadt family and legacy, his cousin Linda’s success and how cultural identity took on a new meaning for Mexican-Americans all because of one multiplatinum-selling album.


OCT 1 Angel City Jazz Festival – Monk Centennial Edition For its 10-year anniversary, the Angel City Jazz Festival presents a special tribute to innovative jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk in celebration of his centennial. Performances by Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Manuel Valera, Ruben Rodriguez, Richie Flores and Robby Ameen, and reimaging Monk DJ style: DJ Logic and Mark de Clive-Lowe.


OCT 7 Chris Isaacson Presents: Broadway Under the Stars Now in its fifth year, Broadway Under the Stars is a musical revue featuring songs from many of the most beloved musicals of our time, as well as new favorites from the 2016-17 Broadway season including The Color Purple, Dear Evan Hansen, Come Away with Me, Anastasia, Sunset Boulevard and more. Past artists include Frenchie Davis, Matt Zarley, Levi Kreis, Erich Bergen, Tony-nominee Chad Kimball and last year’s dreamy Dreamgirls trio Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday.


OCT 8 Back East Entertainment: La Sorgente: Arias Inspired by the Poems of Pope John Paul II, Composed and Conducted by Victor Vanacore** Grammy-winner, composer, arranger and conductor Victor Vanacore will lead a world-class orchestra, choir and well-known tenor soloists in the world premiere of La Sorgente, a concert of neo-classical arias written to the poems of Pope John Paul II.


OCT 11 IGNITE @ the FORD!: The Hubble Cantata In association with LA Opera* The Hubble Cantata is an unprecedented live experience that pushes the boundaries of art and science as it takes audiences on a journey of wonder and exploration. Framed by the birth, life and death of a star – and connected to a narrative of a couple experiencing loss – this hour-long, space-inspired cantata features music by composer Paola Prestini, libretto by Royce Vavrek and a cutting-edge virtual reality film, Fistful of Stars, by Eliza McNitt. Through his narration, NY Times best-selling author and astrophysicist Dr. Mario Livio explains the larger celestial implications at stake, placing the characters’ story within the grand scheme of the cosmos. Brought to life by Metropolitan Opera stars Nathan Gunn and Jessica Rivera, an instrumental ensemble of members of the LA Opera Orchestra, and members of the LA Opera Chorus, The Hubble Cantata seeks parallels between human life on Earth and the stars in the heavens. The Hubble Cantata received its World Premiere at the 2016 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.
OCT 14 IGNITE @ the FORD!: Bang on a Can All-Stars: Road Trip* In celebration of their 30 years working together, Bang on a Can co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe have collaborated to create Road Trip, an evening-length work performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars (Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, guitars; Ken Thomson, clarinets). This world premiere production is directed by Michael Counts. Road Trip is about journeys – physical, emotional and spiritual – and the people who make them. “There is a road, no simple highway.”


Programs and dates subject to change.


JAM Sessions at the Ford

These free and interactive events take place at the Ford Theatres on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m.





AUG 14

AUG 21

AUG 28


SEPT 25 OCT 16


Hip-hop Dance with Versa-Style Dance Company

Broadway Sing-along with Karen Hogle Brown

Celtic Dance with Céilí Rua and the CnaG Gaelic League of LA

Bollywood Dance with Achinta S. McDaniel and Blue13 Dance Company

Line Dance with Mike’s Country Dancing

Caribbean Dance with Betty Rox

Salsa Dance with CONTRA-TIEMPO

Japanese Folk Dance with Christine Inouye and Minyo Station

Chicago Style Stepping with LA Steppers Connection

Tango Dance with Oxygen Tango

Drum Circle with Christopher Ramirez


Big World Fun: Family Series These one hour music and dance events take place at the Ford Theatres Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.


AUG 12

Mexican Folk Ballet with Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Dance Company

Hip-hop Dance with Versa-Style Dance Company Taiko Drumming with TAIKOPROJECT

Micronesian Pacific Island Chamoru Dance with Kutturan Chamoru Foundation