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Free Century City concert series Sound In Focus announces lineup

TV on the Radio leads an all-star lineup of artists for the free Century City concert series Sound in Focus that begins July 25.
TV on the Radio leads an all-star lineup of artists for the free Century City concert series Sound in Focus that begins July 25.

The lineup for Century City’s Sound in Focus, a free, all-ages concert series inspired by the Emerging exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography was announced Monday by The Annenberg Foundation and KCRW.

The line-up features TV on the Radio/Boxed In (July 25), De La Soul/Quantic (Aug. 1), Dwight Yoakham/X (Aug. 8), and Cold War Kids/Other Lives (Aug. 15).

Organized in partnership with Photo District News (PDN), the award-winning publication for professional photographers, Emerging presents images by more than 90 emerging photographers from around the world who bring fresh perspectives and creative techniques to professional photography.

This exhibition explores how a new generation of photographers examines a variety of topics, from the personal to the global: youth culture, family, the environment, economic uncertainty, conflict and civil unrest, and the nature of the photographic image.

With concerts held at Century Park in Century City, the Annenberg Foundation plans for Sound in Focus to be an annual series, bringing the community to the intersection of music and photography as a way to use the arts and public space to engage and connect.

The Annenberg Foundation first sought to explore the ways music and photography interact while planning for the 2012 exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll.

Continuing the partnership with KCRW, the successful Who Shot Rock &Roll summer concerts were followed by last year’s Country in the City series.

“We created the Annenberg Space for Photography to showcase the most extraordinary photographic art. But we’ve also worked to make it an extraordinary public space – a place for the entire LA community to engage with creativity, and with each other,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “That’s why I’m so pleased to announce our third concert series. It’s been said that great music, like the greatest art, gives soul to the universe and flight to the imagination. That’s what Sound In Focus is about. And I’m grateful to KCRW for their partnership.”

Music Director Jason Bentley said KCRW was thrilled to partner with the Annenberg Foundation for the third time to build an exciting music series this summer.

“This year my creative direction was to represent a broad spectrum of tastes, reflecting the interests of the LA community at large,” Bentley said. “Each concert has a different story and musical identity, yet the series as a whole resonates as a unified and thoughtful program. This is truly what we’ve come to love from a KCRW-Annenberg music festival, spread out over four weekends.”

The Line Up

TV on the Radio leads an all-star lineup of artists for the series. Always dynamic and unique, the quartet continues to conquer music on their own terms. They delivered a planetarium of music with every song on their most recent release, “Seeds,” and their live shows are always emotional and engaging.

KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley hosts the evening and will spin a set of tunes before one of his favorite new bands of the moment, Boxed In, opens the show. Producer/songwriter Oli Bayston is the mastermind behind the project and brings his mix of moody, cerebral dance pop to life with the help of drummer Liam Hutton, multi-instrumentalist Jack Benfield and Mark Nicholls on bass. With sold out shows in his native UK and an impressive turn at SXSW, it’s clear this artist is on the rise.

Groundbreaking Long Island trio De La Soul have been leaders in the hip-hop scene since their founding over 25 years ago. They have a new album on the horizon and the Kickstarter campaign to fund it made headlines in the New York Times due to the overwhelming response from fans. They’ll bring crafty beats, lyrics with a social conscience, and much more to the stage for this special show on Aug. 1, hosted by Garth Trinidad.

Opening the show will be prolific musician and DJ Will Holland, aka Quantic. He explores the world through music and, over the course of 17 albums, has earned a large international fanbase. On this evening, he will give a special performance of classic and brand new Quantic sounds with a 10-piece band, including guest singers from Colombia, Brazil and Los Angeles.

On Aug. 8, KCRW brings cow-punk to Century Park. A uniquely Los Angeles movement merging punk, country, and Americana, it can only be celebrated by the two legendary artists who define it: Dwight Yoakam and X.

Grammy award-winning songwriter Dwight Yoakam has sold more than 25 million records. He’s kept his sound fresh by embracing a wider range of sounds on recent recordings, including his latest “Second Hand Heart.”

The groundbreaking quartet known as X formed during the first wave of American punk music in the late 70s. Featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake, the band celebrates the trials and tribulations of living in Los Angeles. The entire original lineup returns for this show.

Cold War Kids, one of the most exciting rock bands to emerge from the LA music scene in the last decade, will close the series on August 15. The three-chambered heart of the band – Nathan Willett, Matt Maust and Dann Gallucci – makes honest songs about the human experience. It’s a raw, bluesy take on rock ‘n’ roll with an extra level of intensity when they bring it to the stage.

Openers Other Lives cast a spell with their layered, atmospheric orchestral rock. KCRW has championed the band since their 2011 debut and — after a relocation from their hometown of Stillwater, OK to Portland. OR — they’ve released one of their best albums yet with 2015’s “Rituals.”

The concerts will take place in the park adjacent to the Annenberg Space for Photography. The Photography Space will stay open late on these evenings (until 11 pm) so that the concertgoers may enjoy both the concerts and the exhibition.

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 and is required for every show.

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 two shimmering Century Plaza Towers in Century Park. There will also be beer gardens for those 21 and over to enjoy.
For more information, visit www.kcrw.com/events/sound-in-focus.

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