The Annenberg Foundation and KCRW Announce SOUND IN FOCUS FREE, Outdoor, All-ages Summer Concerts in Century Park

SATURDAY, JULY 9
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS
Imarhan
DJ set by Jason Bentley

SATURDAY, JULY 16
BAABA MAAL
Classixx
Brazilian Girls

DJ set by Aaron Byrd

SATURDAY, JULY 23
NAS
Wild Belle
DJ set by Garth Trinidad

LOS ANGELES, CA The Annenberg Foundation and KCRW are pleased to announce the lineup for the 2016 Sound in Focus summer concert series – three, free, all-ages concerts held at Century Park in Century City, home of the Annenberg Space for Photography.

The series kicks-off on Saturday, July 9 with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, openers Imarhan, and KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. The series continues on Saturday, July 16 with Senegalese singer/guitarist Baaba Maal performs a headlining set with L.A. DJ duo Classixx and New York’s free-form, jamming quartet Brazilian Girls, and KCRW’s Aaron Byrd spins a DJ setThe series concludes on Saturday, July 23 with Nas, Wild Belle, and KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad.

The 2016 Sound in Focus concert series will take place in Century Park in the centerpiece park adjacent to the Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios. Both exhibition spaces will stay open late on these evenings so that the concertgoers may enjoy both the concerts and REFUGEE, the current exhibition at the Photography Space, as well as the Skylight Studios installation New Americans. Powerful and timely, REFUGEE features original images commissioned exclusively for the exhibition, and illuminates the global refugee crisis through the eyes of five internationally acclaimed photographers. A documentary short and VR experience accompany the exhibition. The multimedia installation New Americans shares the inspiring stories of refugees who are building new lives after being resettled in the United States.

“At its heart, the Annenberg Space for Photography is a place for people to come together around great art — art that moves us, and astonishes us, and stirs our very souls.  That’s why, for four years running, Sound in Focus has been a natural extension of our core mission,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.  “By showcasing some of the best in music today — by working closely with our great partner KCRW to turn the Annenberg Space for Photography into a dynamic and exciting public space — I believe we can inspire and ignite even more Angelenos with the power of artistic expression.  And we can all have a lot of fun doing it, too.”

“In just a few, short years, Sound in Focus has evolved into the crown jewel of our free summer programs – transforming Century Park into a vibrant space for the community to engage in music and the art of photography,” commented KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. “From any vantage point, I find myself marveling at the wonders of human engineering. The setting feels very futuristic. As people stream into the green space with blankets and family in tow, curious minds explore the space, settling in to enjoy an evening of live music and the adjacent photo galleries.”

Bentley continued, “I’m proud of what we have achieved in establishing Sound in Focus as an anticipated public program, and special credit goes to the collaborative teams at KCRW and the Annenberg Foundation for producing a near flawless experience for the lucky fans who make it out.”

Admission is free; however, RSVP is required for entry. Registered guests must collect wristbands upon arrival at check-in to gain access to the concerts. Advance registration is available at KCRW.com/soundinfocus and is required for every show.

The 2016 Sound in Focus summer concert series launches on July 9 with a headlining set from 10-piece musical extravaganza Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – led by singer-songwriter Alex Ebert. Considered pioneers of the folk-pop revival, the band’s self-produced albums have experienced popular success (plus one platinum song, “Home”). The band’s 4th studio album PersonA was recently released this April, and was recorded almost entirely in one room together in New Orleans. It is the band’s live shows, however, that have seen them celebrated by fans and critics alike. Performed without set lists, the concerts spark spontaneous improvisation, with Ebert often spending a portion of the show singing amongst the crowd.

KCRW DJ Jason Bentley hosts the evening and will spin a set before Southern-Algerian band Imarhan delight with their modern take on Tuareg music, blending the funkier groove of Western Africa, the emptier, subtle tones of Saharan Traditional folk music and the fire and romance of Algerian Rai music.

The Sound in Focus series continues on Saturday, July 16  with Senegalese singer/guitarist Baaba Maal performs a headlining set with L.A. DJ duo Classixx and New York’s free-form, jamming quartet Brazilian Girls opening. To start things off, KCRW’s Aaron Byrd spins a DJ set.

The series closes on Saturday, July 23 with gifted poet, confessor, agitator, metaphor master, street’s disciple, political firebrand, and tongue-twisting genius, Nas. With music in his blood courtesy of famed blues musician father Olu Dara, the self-taught trumpeter attracted crowds with his playing at age 4, wrote his first verse at age 7 and, with 1994’s Illmatic, created one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time before he could legally drink. Two decades on, Nas remains an incendiary, outspoken and brutally candid rapper. His recently released tenth album, Life is Good, was his sixth to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.

KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad hosts and spins a set before brother-and-sister duo Wild Belle perform their brand of folk-, dance-, reggae-, and psychedelic rock-tinged indie pop. Their sophomore release, Dreamland, released this April, saw the pair deliver a deep, full-sounding album and a welcome follow-up to their debut album Isles.

The Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios will remain open until 11 pm on concert evenings, providing exclusive, late-night access to REFUGEE and New Americans. The exhibitions reflect the humanity at the heart of the refugee crisis revealing the courage, strength and hope of people forced to flee their homes to escape violence or persecution.

Concertgoers will have the opportunity to show their support for the thousands of families forced to flee for their lives each day by signing UNHCR’s #WithRefugees petition in the Photography Space, Skylight Studios or online. The petition calls on world leaders to work together and do their fair share for refugees, and will be delivered to UN headquarters for the UN General Assembly in September.

There will also be food and refreshments available for purchase from a wide variety of cafes and food trucks that can be enjoyed on the grassy lawn beneath the shimmering Century Plaza Towers at Century Park and beer gardens for those 21 and over.

KCRW and the Annenberg Foundation first united in 2012 for a string of hugely successful summer music events staged in Century Park, adjacent to the Photography Space, to accompany the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit. 2014’s Country in the City series not only spotlighted emerging and established artists in the genre, but was part of the Annenberg Foundation’s 25th anniversary festivities. Last year’s series saw thousands of concertgoers enjoy headlining performances by TV on the Radio, De La Soul, Dwight Yoakam, and Cold War Kids.

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