Rhythm Planet Recommends: 6 L.A. Concerts & Festivals to Watch for in June

The summer concert season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start circling those dates in your calendars. Needless to say, there are a number of terrific shows already coming up this month, so I thought I’d share some of the ones that caught my attention.

Sunday, June 4 | Cuban American Music Festival (La Plaza, Downtown LA)

LA’s own Rumbankete will perform their contemporary Cuban dance music, known as timba, at this weekend’s Cuban American Music Festival at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown LA.

Tropical Latin fans are in for a treat this weekend, as the Cuban American Music Festival heads to La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown LA. Catch four spirited acts by artists Yeni Valdés, former vocalist of the legendary orchestra, Los Van Van; La Charanga Cubana; Changüí Majadero; Rumbankete; and the Arsenio Rodriguez Project.  This show is a must for all lovers of Cuban music. For tickets and info, click here.

Tuesday, June 6 | Chris Potter Quartet (Blue Whale, Little Tokyo)

Chris Potter is what we’d call a saxophonist’s saxophonist, known for his edgy sound and breaking boundaries. Jazz lovers won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear him perform with his band: phenomenal Cuban pianist David VireillesBen Street on bass; and Dan Weiss on drums. You can catch the Chris Potter Quartet on Tuesday, June 6, at the Blue Whale—Downtown LA’s mecca for jazz and creative music. For tickets and info, click here.

Saturday & Sunday, June 17–18 | Django Reinhardt Festival (Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz)

Django Reinhardt lovers will want to gypsy swing their way over to Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz in West Los Angeles to celebrate the legendary Belgian-born French guitarist. Artists Yorgui Loeffler, Samy Daussat Quintette and Trio Dinicu will treat audiences to a taste of “jazz manouche,” accompanied by scheduled film screenings, lectures, workshops, a jam session and more that will take place the weekend of June 17 and 18. For tickets and info, click here.

Saturday, June 24 | Buster Williams (Nate Holden Repertory Theatre)

The Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast presents veteran bassist and bandleader, Buster Williams, who has played with nearly every jazz great imaginable. This month, he brings his top-notch jazz group—Steve Wilson, sax; George Colligan, piano; and Lenny White, drums—to the Nate Holden Repertory Theatre in Culver City. For tickets and info, click here.

Saturday, June 24 | Miguel Atwood Ferguson (Cal Plaza, Downtown LA)

Violinist, arranger and conductor extraordinaire Miguel Atwood-Ferguson performs his Suite for Ma Dukes for Grand Performances at Cal Plaza on Saturday, June 24. His contemporary orchestral suite pays tribute to the influential underground rapper-producer, J Dilla, whose beats inspired everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Robert Glasper. Pack up your picnic boxes and gather your friends and family for this one because Grand Performances’ free outdoor concerts make Summer in LA something to look forward to. For more info, click here.

Sunday, June 25 | Grupo Fundo de Quintal with Thalma de Freitas (The FIFTH, Anaheim)

Carnaval celebrations may have ended with Fat Tuesday, but the 22th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival brings the samba energy of Rio and Bahia to Anaheim, featuring top samba band, Grupo Fundo de Quintal, with special guest Thalma de Freitas. Don’t miss other blowout performances atop the rooftop bar and lounge of Grand Legacy at the Park by Los Angeles Samba Dancers, along with capoeira martial arts demonstrations and sets by DJ Potira. For tickets and info, click here.

Photo of Chris Potter (top) by Jose Nieto