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Audacity of Sound = Epic!


Eric Mendoza @ElGüido
Fotos: © María Madrigal Jul 18, 2019

On a breezy summer afternoon, Grand Performances, the non-profit organization that has been presenting a summer concert series for over 30 years in DTLA, took over Bunker Hill on Grand Avenue with a bold and unique interactive world music festival that only they can produce.

Encompassing and showcasing the diversity of local and global talent, Audacity of Sound provided a unique experience for attendees. The evening was started by iconic troubadour, David Garza who with their set Normalize! Harmonize! which included surprise guest, Margaret Cho took the audience on a literal trip-in-time performing genre-defying cannabis songs ranging from Dylan all the way to the Cypress Hill stoner anthem, “I Want To Get High.”

In between acts and smacked in the middle of the audience, Capoeira Batuque dazzled the audience with their acrobatics, Afro-Brazilian chants and music and provided a great segue between sets.

The drums soon began onstage as L.A.’s own La Marisoul and Gaby Moreno, two emblematic voices that curated Las Musas, a tribute to Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, and Chavela Vargas began to belt the classic “Macorina.”

It was like a siren call to the stage and in their short but epic set they were joined by some of the best voices from L.A.: Nina Diaz’s sultry and seductive voice captivated the audience. As if the guests couldn’t get any better they were joined by Martha Gonzalez from the iconic group Quetzal and the magnificent Dorian Wood who donned a gorgeous gown who payed a moving tribute with their powerful voice and piano to Violeta Parra accompanied by David Garza on guitar.

The guests kept coming and the set toggled between iconic muses and combinations of voices that left us wanting more. These are those moments that Grand Performances is known for helping create. This is a show that could easily sell out Walt Disney Hall down the street yet here it was being offered for free in a surreal setting nestled between LA skyscrapers.   

More entertaining musical antics occurred in the middle of the crowd between acts, from from a honky tonk piano to opera. The highlights of the festival went on and on from Jeremy Dutcher, who enchanted the audience with just a piano and their incredible voice to Dexter Story’s soulful tribute to iconic Angeleno, Biddy Mason and on to DjeuhDoah and Lieutenant Nicholson’s groovy set that created dance circles in the audience.

Cuba's Cimafunk didn’t hold back from beginning to end proving why he was the headliner of the festival, delivering a funky performance that surely caused many sore feet from all the dancing that ensued, Cimafunk had the moves to match the energy of his tight band and was great way to end Audacity of Sound. Grand Performances may not have a home venue at the moment but it didn’t stop them from throwing one hell of a global party.

Stay tuned on more upcoming shows from them as they continue to offer exciting programming through their “GP Amplified” programs in the Fall.

You can find out more on Grand Performances at: grandperformances.org

If you were there and enjoyed the festival, please consider donating so they can keep producing these wonderful free performances for us to enjoy.

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