What do the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, composer John Adams and choreographer Daniel Ezralow have in common? You’ll find them all at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre this summer, paired with local L.A. County-based musicians, singers and dancers Dust Bowl Revival, Long Beach Opera and Ezralow Dance. The Zev Yaroslavsky Signature Series, presented by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission with support provided by L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, returns to the Ford for a second season of extraordinary performances. All proceeds benefit the Ford Theatre Foundation.
“Our Ford Theatres venue is one of L.A. County’s treasures, an exceptional outdoor space tucked into the Hollywood Hills that offers visitors a more intimate concert experience than they’ll find in a larger facility,” states Yaroslavsky. “I am thrilled that we can once again support the Ford’s Signature Series. It’s great to see such amazing talent, homegrown and from across the U.S., sharing our John Anson Ford Amphitheatre stage.”
“This will be a fantastic series,” says Adam Davis, Managing Director of Productions, L.A. County Arts Commission. “Dustbowl Revival, a group we have presented before in our Big!World!Fun! family series, pairs perfectly with Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The Ford’s natural setting and excellent acoustics will make John Adams’ earthquake romance as performed by Long Beach Opera quite magical. And to have in this series accomplished choreographer and director Daniel Ezralow, who is creating a piece specifically for the Ford, is truly an honor. ”
The series kicks off on Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Dustbowl Revival. Since its start in the 1960s, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has epitomized the best in New Orleans style jazz. Taking its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the band travels the world spreading the joy of this timeless music. Local favorite Dustbowl Revival fuses old-school bluegrass with gospel and jug band swamp blues.
The Los Angeles premiere of John Adams’ I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, performed by Long Beach Opera, is set for Saturday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. Titled after a quote from someone who experienced the 1994 Northridge earthquake firsthand, the story is set amid the aftermath of L.A.’s last mega quake. Seven young, diverse Angelenos are intertwined on their journey toward love and self discovery. Adams’ opera-musical hybrid is a modern day Threepenny Opera that weds blues, gospel, minimalism, funk and pop. The Los Angeles premiere, marking the quake’s 20th anniversary, will be given by Long Beach Opera, a company known for bold productions of new and rarely performed works. LBO is “opera at its most imaginative” (LA Weekly) and “...deserves a medal for its unequalled history of operatic innovation in America” (Los Angeles Times). Now in its 35th season, the company is led by artistic and general director Andreas Mitisek.
On Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m., Daniel Ezralow brings his L.A.-based Ezralow Dance to the Ford to perform a commissioned world premiere with live music. Hailed as “unforgettably gutsy” by The New York Times and “one of the best American dancer-choreographers now working on an international scale” by the Chicago Tribune, Ezralow has created choreography and aerial choreography for theater, film, opera and television around the world, including the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremonies, The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, the film Across the Universe and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva Dance Company and Paris Opera Ballet. Ezralow is a co-founder of ISO Dance and an original dancer/choreographer of MOMIX.
At 1,200 seats, the Ford Amphitheatre creates an intimate concert experience that is a favorite among Angelenos. Each summer, the Ford hosts a diverse roster of events representing music and dance styles reflective of the communities that comprise Los Angeles County. A county regional park operated by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Ford summer season events are presented in partnership with Los Angeles County based arts organizations and producers. Unlike a traditional presenting model, these organizations apply to be part of the season and receive significant marketing, box office and house management support while keeping the majority of box office proceeds. The historic venue was built in 1920 and is in the Hollywood Hills just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County. The Arts Commission provides leadership in cultural services for the County, encompassing 88 municipalities, including funding and job opportunities, professional development and general resources. For more information, visit lacountyarts.org.
The Ford Theatres’ 2014 summer amphitheatre season is a program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission with core support provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Additional supporters include the Angell Foundation; The Boeing Employees Community Fund; City National Bank; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; Discover Hollywood; The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation; The James Irvine Foundation; KCRW 89.9 FM; Tom LaBonge, City of Los Angeles Fourth District; LA18; L.A. Parent; LA Weekly; Macy’s; National Endowment for the Arts; NBC Universal; The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; SONY Pictures Entertainment; Southern California Edison; Wells Fargo; Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky; and Yelp.com.
The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway, between Hollywood Blvd. and Barham Blvd. in the Cahuenga Pass. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “kiss and ride” area. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink. The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request
Signature Series events take place on Saturday, July 5 (Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Dustbowl Revival), Saturday, Aug. 23 (John Adams’ I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, performed by Long Beach Opera) and Saturday, Sept. 13 (Ezralow Dance) with all performances beginning at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $45-$125. For more information and to purchase tickets go www.FordTheatres.org or call 323 461-3673 (323 GO 1-FORD).