The Getty Center
The series is free; a separate reservation is required for each concert. All performances take place in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. Parking $15; $10 after 3:00 p.m.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19, 2017
Time: Saturday, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free, reservation required.
Sounds of LA 2017 launches with a concert by Iraqi-American oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj. His forthcoming album, Letters from Iraq, features eight original compositions inspired by a collection of recent letters by Iraqi women and children, which range from the banal to the brave. AlHaj says this stunning labor of love is written "with tears that lead to hope." Joining him for the project's California debut are David Felberg (violin I), Ruxandra Marquardt (violin II), Shanti Randall (viola), James Holland (cello), Jean-Luc Matton (bass-viol), and Issa Maluff (percussion). This concert is presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
Rising Star Fife and Drum featuring Shardé Thomas
Date: Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, 2017
Time: Saturday, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free, reservation required. Available February 21, 2017.
April 9 and 10, 2016
Austin-based Riyaaz Qawwali is committed to sharing a centuries-old devotional genre with new audiences around the globe. Reflecting the extraordinary cultural landscape of South Asia, the ensemble comprises musicians hailing from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. At the heart of their performances are sacred poems of love and longing created by both venerable and new writers. Whether singing in Urdu, Punjabi, Farsi, Gujarati, or Hindi, Riyaaz Qawwali uses their music to connect and transcend.
Uxía & Narf and António Zambujo
March 12 and 13, 2016
The music of the Iberian Peninsula is rich in character, often linking the sacred and profane in ways both subtle and vigorous. This concert illuminates the soulful dynamism of that music with a double-bill featuring celebrated Galician duo Uxía & Narf and acclaimed Portuguese fado singer António Zambujo. Together, they bring a fresh voice to sounds with deep roots connecting Europe to North African and beyond. Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
February 13 and 14, 2016
Sounds of LA kicked off with a return visit by local favorite Mamak Khadem. Her latest album, "The Road," invites us on a journey that includes her native Iran, as well as Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and Arab-Andalusia. Ever searching for threads of connection, she draws upon a treasure trove of traditional melodies, rhythms, and poetry to create a lush sonic landscape that is nothing short of intoxicating.
Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca
March 14 and 15, 2015
L.A.'s very own ambassadors of Angolan soul, Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, return to the Getty Center with their signature mix of African soukous and Cuban rumba. Their latest project, La Rumba Soy Yo, has been called "a street party you have to dance your way through, [filled with] bright horns, fantastic bass lines, amazing percussion, and melodies that linger for days." These local favorites are the perfect end to this season of Sounds of L.A.
Yuri Yunakov and the Yunakov Ensemble
February 7 and 8, 2015
The hallmark of Bulgarian wedding music is virtuosic technique, dynamic key changes, and eclectic musical influences. Turkish-Bulgarian Roma saxophonist, Yuri Yunakov, is one of the genre's pioneers, a NEA National Heritage Fellow, and a tireless champion of this music and the extraordinary culture from which it comes. Simply put, Yunakov's concerts are an untethered celebration of what makes life worth living.
Christine Balfa and Balfa Toujours
January 17 and 18, 2015
The Balfa name conjures up memories of the famous Balfa Brothers, who took their soulful music from the prairies of Mamou, Louisiana, to the far corners of the earth. Balfa Toujours ("Balfa always") is making sure the name will maintain its place for generations to come. Led by Christine Balfa, daughter of the legendary Cajun fiddle ambassador Dewey Balfa, the group has taken generations of inspiration and created a vibrant sound all their own.
Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan
March 15 and 16, 2014
Ayaan Ali Khan and Amaan Ali Khan are seventh-generation sarod (a 19-stringed lute) virtuosi, part of a lineage that includes the legendary Indian classical musicians Amjad Ali Khan and Haafiz Ali Khan. Like their father and grandfather before them, the brothers are known for a dazzling technique that enables them to flow effortlessly between the sarod's sweet melodic tones and explosive rhythmic dynamism. Called "the coming masters" by the music press, they are well on their way to charting new musical paths as they share the sublime sound of the sarod with audiences around the globe.
On Ensemble with special guest artist Sumie Kaneko
February 8 and 9, 2014
Widely considered leading lights of Japanese-influenced music in the United States, On Ensemble is known for infusing traditional taiko with jazz and world music elements. With a completely original and brilliantly conceived sound, the L.A.–based group is at the forefront of young musicians who seamlessly—and exuberantly—bridge East and West, old and new. Joining these sonic adventurers for their Getty debut is koto and shamisen virtuoso Sumie Kaneko.
January 18 and 19, 2014
Dubbed "the White Stripes of Ethiopia" for its minimalist rock sound, Krar Collective bases its repertoire on traditional Ethiopian songs while creating a style "unlike any music coming from Africa in recent years." Hailing from London via Addis Ababa, krar (a 5- or 6-stringed lyre) player Temesegen Zeleke, vocalist Beli Nigussie, and percussionist Grum Begashaw offer a unique and powerful take on Ethiopian music. Rooted in tradition, soaked with attitude, and rising in the world-music community, Krar Collective provides a fitting start to Sounds of L.A. 2014.
Chaksam-Pa: Classical and Folk Music of Tibet
September 28 and 29, 2013
Sounds of L.A. welcomes Alliance for California Traditional Arts to the neighborhood! Founded in 1997, ACTA promotes the diverse cultural traditions found throughout the Golden State. To mark the opening of their LA office, the Getty presents Chaksam-Pa, a Bay Area based group of Tibetan master musicians and dancers, whose goal is to preserve and protect folk opera and dance of Tibet. Recipients of an ACTA 2011 Living Cultures Grant, Chaksam-Pa, which means "bridgebuilder," connects with audiences through performance, documentation, and language programs. As Sounds of L.A. wraps up its 14th season, we welcome ACTA to our city with music that speaks to the importance of their work and the best of California's traditional arts.
The Holmes Brothers
February 16 and 17, 2013
Over the course of their 30-plus year career, the Holmes Brothers (bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Wendell Holmes, drummer/vocalist, and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon) have been feeding the souls of their devoted and ever-growing fan base with a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R and B, rock 'n' roll, and country.
Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca
January 19 and 20, 2013
Sounds of L.A. kicks off with local favorites Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, who never fail to delight with their signature mix of Afro-Cuban rhythms, Angolan semba, and Congolese soukous. Shake off the winter blues at this high-octane concert featuring new music from their latest release.
October 6 and 7, 2012
Sounds of L.A. presents the West Coast debut of Oaxaca-based Pasatono Orquesta. In addition to handcrafting the indigenous instruments on which they perform, the ensemble is known for its extensive research into the culture of Mexico's Mixtec people and their once-ubiquitous rural folk orchestras. Under the direction of Rubén Luengas, the resulting sound is rooted in the music of "the people of the clouds" and informed by American jazz of the 1920s and 1930s when the region first gained access to wireless radio.
April 14 and 15, 2012
For over ten years, the superb singers comprising Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer—the little coalminers from hell—have been raising roofs and wooing audiences throughout Quebec and beyond. Avid researchers, the tight harmonies and exuberant footwork of this a cappella ensemble breathe new life into the region's traditional Celtic music. These enduring favorites of critics and fans alike made their West Coast debut as Sounds of L.A. marked the end of its 2012 season.
Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts and the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles with Special Guest Vocalist Charmaine Clamor
March 17 and 18, 2012
From traditional gong-and-drum ensembles to string rondalla to contemporary jazz, Los Angeles's acclaimed Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts is recognized for its commitment to presenting, promoting, and preserving Philippine culture. This program paid homage to the stunning creative diversity flowing from the Philippine islands to America's shores.
Halau Keali'i O Nalani
March 5 and 6, 2011
Under the direction of kumu hula (hula master) Keali'i Ceballos, west Los Angeles-based Hula Halau o Keali'i o Nalani is celebrated for its vibrant warmth and lyricism. Marking its 20th anniversary, the halau closed Sounds of L.A. 2011 with a special program exploring the interconnectedness of music and dance from ancient hula kahiko to modern hula 'auana.
February 12 and 13, 2011
Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan is an extraordinary ensemble that features master musicians on rubab, doyra, tabla, and vocals. Together, these kindred spirits effortlessly wove diverse traditions of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and North India to evoke the startling wonders of this culturally rich region.
January 15 and 16, 2011
With its dense percussive array and emphasis on vocal artistry, the music of the Garifuna people is unlike any other in Central America. Acclaimed Honduras-born singer Aurelio Martinez opens Sounds of LA 2011 with a stunning blend of African and Latin acoustic roots music.
March 20 and 21, 2010
Bassekou Kouyate is an incomparable master of the Malian ngoni, a lutelike instrument from West Africa, and has performed with everyone from the late Ali Farka Touré to Taj Mahal. With a repertoire that illuminates the soul of Bambara culture, Kouyate's stellar ensemble made its Southern California debut at the Getty.
February 13 and 14, 2010
As one of the leading young exponents of Bharata Natyam, the classical dance of South India, Mythili Prakash brings an intrepid dynamism to the form. In a special program celebrating the interconnectedness of music and dance, Prakash performed with an outstanding group of musicians from India and the United States.
January 16 and 17, 2010
Vocalist Mamak Khadem draws inspiration from the ecstatic roots of Persian melodies and poems. Working across traditional and contemporary idioms found in the Middle East and beyond, Khadem's richly atmospheric music is an unswerving testament to the power of artistic exploration.
April 4 and 5, 2009
The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Chango Spasiuk is the unquestioned master of chamamé from northeastern Argentina. Spasiuk unleashed wild howls of creative fervor coupled with an almost terrifying mastery of the accordion.
March 14 and 15, 2009
Born in Seattle, raised in Zimbabwe, this defiantly optimistic singer made her Getty debut in a concert featuring her trademark electrifying mbira-driven sound.
February 7 and 8, 2009
For this rare L.A. concert, the Grammy-nominated oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj joined forces with Lebanese percussionist Souhail Kaspar to present music from his latest release, Home Again.
January 17 and 18, 2009
For more than 30 years, clarinet and mandolin master Andy Statman has broken new ground by skillfully integrating klezmer, bluegrass, and jazz.
How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.