After the SXSW Music Conference in March, my thoughts always turn to summer. And one of my favorite things about summer is, undoubtedly, seeing some incredible shows at the Hollywood Bowl.
KCRW’s World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl is its 13th season and is better than ever.
Beck and others will pay tribute to the provocative sounds of superstar Serge Gainsbourg on August 28, while Stevie Wonder tops an all-star group of musicians celebrating the 40th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s classic record, What’s Going On, on July 24 (led by Musical Director Ricky Minor).
We also celebrate the sounds of Japan, a timely showcase if there ever was one, with a performance by iconic Japanese electro-pop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra and others to kick off the World Festival series on June 26.
A.R. Rahman will perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (!), as part of Journey to India on July 10 while The National, Neko Case, and Sharon Van Etten bring it on home for our final show on September 11.
KCRW’s WORLD FESTIVAL — HOLLYWOOD BOWL
SUNDAYS, 7 PM
KCRW’s World Festival celebrates its 13th season with one-of-a-kind programs showcasing sounds from around the globe. Created in partnership with KCRW and the LA Phil, the six Sunday programs highlight established and rising artists from diverse backgrounds.
Big In Japan – Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cibo Matto, Towa Tei, Buffalo Daughter and Taiko Center of Los Angeles, Hosted by Eric J. Lawrence – A gathering of the biggest names in Japanese pop music, this once-in-a-lifetime concert spans genres and generations. Iconic Japanese electro-pop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra (with original members Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi) return for their first show in L.A. since 1979; and after 10 years, Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori reunite Cibo Matto for this special night, which will also feature rare appearances from Tokyo’s Buffalo Daughter and Deee-Lite DJ Towa Tei, plus traditional taiko drumming, kabuki dance, experimental contemporary visuals and more for an unforgettable evening celebrating Japan. (June 26)
Journey to India with A.R. Rahman and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Special guest, Shreya Ghoshal, additional special guests to be announced, Hosted by Tom Schnabel – India’s most prolific and successful movie composer (five time Oscar nominee including 127 Hours, and two Oscar wins for Slumdog Millionaire), A.R. Rahman returns for an evening of his atmospheric film scores – performed by the LA Phil and enhanced by scenes from his films – plus traditional Indian music and some of Rahman’s spectacular Bollywood hits, with dancers. Indian playback singer Shreya Ghoshal, winner of numerous Playback Singer awards and the coveted Sa Re Ga Ma Pa TV contest (India’s equivalent of American Idol), appears as a special guest. A.R. Rahman, hailed by Time as the ‘Mozart of Madras,’ is one of the most successful artists of all time and, according to a BBC estimate, has sold more than 100 million albums of his works, comprising music from more than 50 movies. (July 10)
Global Soul with Rickey Minor, Stevie Wonder and Friends, Special guests Janelle Monáe, Grace Potter, Rocky Dawuni, Sharon Jones, Ceci Bastida, Bombino, The Soul Seekers and additional artists to be announced. Hosted by Garth Trinidad – In a celebration of soul music from around the world, musical director Rickey Minor (American Idol, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), Stevie Wonder, and guests takes us on a tour of soul sounds across cultures, genres, and generations…our final stop is a 40th anniversary tribute to Marvin Gaye’s classic record, What’s Going On. (July 24)
Reggae Night X – Tuff Gong Worldwide & Ziggy Marley Salute Legends of Reggae, Special guests I-Threes featuring Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, Toots Hibbert, Mighty Diamonds, and Ras Michael. Hosted by Jeremy Sole – Celebrating the 10th year of Reggae at the Bowl, Ziggy Marley brings his band and a host of all-star roots reggae legends for a unique, not to be missed event. (July 31)
Serge Gainsbourg Tribute with Jean Claude Vannier – Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; Special guests Beck, Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear), Victoria Legrand (Beach House), Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger), China Forbes (Pink Martini), Mike Patton (Faith No More), Nika Roza Danilova (Zola Jesus), and additional special guests to be announced. Hosted by Anne Litt – The provocative and mystical music of the late French superstar Serge Gainsbourg is brought to life. Led by Jean Claude Vannier, French composer, arranger and longtime Gainsbourg collaborator, the legendary concept albums Histoire de Melody Nelson and L’enfant assassin des mouches will be performed in full with orchestra and guests, plus more Gainsbourg classics throughout the evening. (August 28)
The National, Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten – Hosted by Jason Bentley -In an evening of triumphant, powerful and poetic rock music, three American artists celebrate the collective spirit and resolve of the nation under the stars of the summer sky. (September 11)