Angelenos will celebrate America L.A.-style with music, dancing, fireworks, food and more at the fourth annual Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party on Monday, July 4, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. For the first time, the family-friendly event will include The Music Center Plaza as a site for entertainment and the best viewing location for an all-new fireworks show set to patriotic and contemporary music that will put L.A.’s iconic City Hall in the spotlight. The block party will cover five city blocks from Spring Street to Hope Street and from Temple Street to 1st Street.
Two high-profile stages –The Fireworks Stage on The Music Center Plaza between Hope Street and Grand Avenue and The Backyard on Grand Park’s Performance Lawn between Grand Avenue and Hill Street – will honor Los Angeles County’s unique cultural identity with L.A.-based artists who represent diverse musical styles. Families will appreciate a dedicated play area on Grand Park’s Event Lawn between Broadway and Spring Street, where children age 4-14 can enjoy free games, such as themed tag, soccer and parachute play. Delectable summer food choices will be available for purchase from more than 25 local vendors, including tacos, barbecue, burgers, ice cream and more.
Rachel Moore, The Music Center’s president and CEO, said Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party will offer an environment where all are welcomed and appreciated. “Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party will celebrate America’s birthday by saluting the values of the country we live in today, a pluralistic community made rich by its diversity of talent,” Moore explained. “From enjoying the sounds and rhythms rooted in many heritages, to the music that will get us up on our feet, Angelenos will experience a Fourth of July to remember,” she added.
Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera offered that this year’s fireworks show will light up the night, as the civic center comes alive in grand style. “After a day experiencing the sounds, sights and tastes of summer, we will see our own City Hall take on a starring role for the first time in a fireworks show that will surprise, delight and amaze,” Rivera said.
The entertainment line-up* at Grand Park + The Music Center’s Fourth of July Block Party includes:
THE FIREWORKS STAGE (located on The Music Center Plaza between Hope Street and Grand Avenue)
Mario Hernandez (Host): Mexican-American comedian, actor and writer, Mario Hernandez was born in Texas, became a man in Brooklyn and became a father in L.A. Hernandez’s voice can be heard in commercials, movies and websites in both English and Spanish. He has hosted the main stage at many Grand Park events, including the highly popular Grand Park + The Music Center’s N.Y.E.L.A.
Kotolan: L.A. indie pop band Kotolan plays a mix of eclectic rock with a global influence with music rooted in vocal melodies and cinematic textures. The band is led by audiovisual artist Otto Granillo, who has performed and/or recorded for The Lions, Monophonics, Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, Marc Anthony and Ozomatli, among others, along with lead singer Junko Seki. Seki, who sings in Spanish, English and Japanese, has performed as a solo artist in Mexico, Japan and the U.S., sharing the stage with the likes of Chicago icon Lalo Guerrero, Linda Ronstadt, Mariachi Cobre and Mariachi Sol de Mexico among others. Kotolan has appeared in both film and television and is currently in production of a string of boutique 45 vinyl records.
108 Hill: 108 Hill is a brand new Los Angeles-based studio project making its live performance debut during Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party. South-Asian American collaborators Peter Madana, Aalok Mehta and Anisha Nagarajan draw from their eclectic backgrounds in creating a sound that spans many genres. Having studied and performed Indian classical music, Hindi film music, as well as Pop, Indie, Rock, R&B and New Wave, 108 Hill writes songs that explore the stories and sounds from Bombay to L.A.
Jenny O.: L.A.-based singer-songwriter Jenny O. performs her own pop music compositions that have been recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame for exhibiting the qualities of Buddy Holly’s music that is “true, great and original.” Jenny O. recently returned to California to complete her second full-length album after spending a year writing and reading in Nashville. Starting out as a teenager recording on her father’s reel-to-reel tape machine, she kick-started her career with the self-produced Home EP and is now finishing a second full-length album. Jenny O. has toured with Father John Misty, Rodriguez, Ben Harper, Leon Russell and Rodrigo Amarante.
Dexter Story: Dexter Story and his Wondem band are a fresh, exciting face on the world music scene. Their debut album on Soundway Records fuses Soul, Funk, Jazz and Folk music with musical elements from East Africa. Wondem, which means “brother” in Amhari, is Story’s ode to Ethiopia, Eritea, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya and features a mix of musicians from Ethiopia and the U.S. on stage. Story is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, songwriter, producer and music director who has performed with a diverse array of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Ernie Watts, John Stubblefield, Slide Hampton, Jeff Narell and Eric Reed.
Echo Park Project and the dancers from the World Salsa Congress: Started in 2006 by Carlo Lopez, who brought the New York Salsa sound to Los Angeles, the Echo Park Project has backed traveling Salsa superstars Adalberto Santiago, Cano Estremera, Tony Vega, Choco Orta, Herman Olivera, Frankie Vazquez, Cita Rodriguez and The New Swing Sextet. The Echo Park Project has issued two CDs, Retro New York Salsa and El Viernes Social. Born in New York but living in Los Angeles since 1992, Lopez is a self-taught percussionist who has played Latin music for most of his life. As director of the band, Lopez infuses the legendary sounds near to his heart with a modern twist.
THE BACKYARD STAGE (located in Grand Park between Grand Avenue and Hill Street)
Kristin Rand (Host): Called the “next comic to watch” by Splitsider and a “force of nature” by LA Weekly, Kristin Rand brings high energy to some of the best stages across the U.S., including festivals such as Riot LA, Bridgetown and High Plains Comedy Fest. Rand is also a Moth StorySLAM champion.
LA JUNTA: LA JUNTA, or “the gathering” in Spanish, brings together people of all backgrounds in the name of friendship, dancing and music from points across the globe. At a typical gathering, LA JUNTA DJs take music lovers on a tropical sojourn to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico, India and Mexico and back to the underground clubs of the American metropolises. Guest musicians, dance ensembles and visual artists collaborate in unison to create a spirited outing for the musically adventurous and fun-loving folks who attend.
Afro Funke’: The brainchild of Afro Roots star, Rocky Dawuni, Afro Funke’ responds to Angelenos’ interest for a night dedicated to African music, culture and art. Dawuni, who is based in L.A. and his native Ghana, joined with talent booker and photographer Cary Sullivan and KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole to create the experience. For more than 10 years, Afro Funke’ has presented international guest DJs, live band performances, guest musicians, dancers, cutting edge films, record release parties and more. Sole spins his unique “Musiacs,” or sound-collage blends of Hip-Hop, Jazz/Funk, Dub Reggae, Afro Beat and remixed world beats, pieced together with tribal breaks and uplifted by dubbed-out turntable manipulation and live instrumentation.
Rocky Dawuni: A Ghanian musician and activist, Rocky Dawuni straddles the boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. to create his appealing Afro Roots sound that unites generations and cultures. A galvanizing performer, Dawuni has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Jason Mraz, Janelle Monae and John Legend, among many others. Named one of Africa’s Top 10 global stars by CNN, he has showcased his talent at prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl. Dawuni’s sixth album, Branches of the Same Tree, was released in 2015 and nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album.
THE EVENT LAWN (located at the foot of City Hall between Broadway and Spring Street)
Francesca Harding and Ericalandia: Francesca Harding (formerly DJ Panamami) can be heard as co-host, producer and DJ on Los Angeles’ 90.7FM KPFK for Soundwaves Radio. Her DJ mixes have been featured on Jay Z’s blog, Life and Times, as well as on the El Sonido show on Seattle’s 90.3 FM. Harding was recently cast as a DJ on TNT’s hit show, Agent X. She has spun internationally for crowds in the UK, Mexico City, Colombia and South Korea and is currently working on her debut EP for summer 2016 release. A venerable DJ ninja, Ericalandia is a globe-trotting DJ, producer and music journalist. She sews together Future Soul, Future Bass, global/African music and has had a long-running, highly regarded radio show history and has recently appeared on East Village Radio, The Morning Show with Sway & Dublab airwaves.
Chris Douridas: Chris Douridas is among the premier radio tastemakers in the U.S. He has served as a long-time radio host at KCRW-FM, first at the helm of the station’s popular daily new music program Morning Becomes Eclectic, followed by a role as a weekly host and as the creator/curator of its long-running all-music channel Eclectic24. Douridas’ live performance series School Night! thrives as a weekly party in Hollywood and monthly in Brooklyn. He is a multi-Grammy-nominated music supervisor for feature films and television.
*Artists and schedule subject to change.
About Grand Park
A vibrant outdoor gathering place, Grand Park is a beautiful public park for the entire community in Los Angeles County. With expansive green space for gatherings large and small, Grand Park celebrates the county’s cultural vitality and is host to community events, cultural experiences, holiday celebrations, and many other activities that engage and attract visitors from all communities. The 12-acre Grand Park stretches from The Music Center on the west to City Hall on the east and is easily accessible by Metro via the Red/Purple line to the Civic Center/Grand Park station. The park was named one of American Planning Association’s 10 “Great Public Spaces” in the U.S. for 2013.
Working closely with the county, The Music Center is responsible for all operations and programming for the park. For more information, visit grandparkla.org Follow Grand Park on Facebook (GrandParkLosAngeles), as well as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@GrandPark_LA).
About The Music Center
The Music Center is LA’s home to the world’s greatest artistic programs and events. With four iconic theaters and four renowned resident companies – Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic – and recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, The Music Center is a destination where audiences find inspiration in the very best of live performance, as well as nationally recognized arts education and participatory arts experiences. The Music Center also programs and manages Grand Park, a 12-acre adjacent greenspace, with year-round free programming. For more information, visit musiccenter.org Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@MusicCenterLA).
Important Event Facts & Policies
Grand Park Pre-Event Closure
The park will close on Sunday, July 3, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, 2016.
See attached news release for a grid detailing street closure information.
Entrances to the Event
There will be five entrances into the park for the event:
• Hope Street and Temple Street
• North Broadway and Temple Street
• 1st Street and Broadway
• 1st Street and Hill Street
• 1st Street and Grand Avenue
Visitors to Grand Park can travel via the Metro Red/Purple Lines to Civic center/Park station (use the 1st Street exit; the Temple Street exit is open only for ADA/elevator access), or via the Gold Line to Union Station or Little Tokyo/Arts District Station (a 7-12-minute walk toward City Hall). Metro users are encouraged to load their TAP card with round trip fare in advance, either online or on their way in to the station, in order to bypass the TAP vending machine lines later in the evening.
L.A. County’s Bicycle Coalition’s bike valet will be available on the intersection of 1st and Hill Streets.
Alcohol will not be sold onsite, and there will be a no tolerance policy for any alcohol brought to the event. All bags will be checked upon entry.
Getting Through Bag Check
All bags will be checked upon entry to event space.
The Following is Prohibited
Public intoxication, rollerblading, skateboarding, smoking, vaping, unauthorized vending, unleashed animals, smart boarding, outside solicitation, staking objects to ground, drone operation, amplified noise and bicycles (may be parked outside of event at First and Hill streets).
Prohibited Items: Bags and backpacks measuring larger than standard backpack size (16.75 inches x 13 inches x 8.5 inches), coolers, chairs, outside alcoholic beverages, sealed or open beverage bottles with liquid including water (fountains and water for purchase will be available), selfie sticks, glass, smartboards, projection devices, narcotics, tents, firecrackers, explosives, sparklers, firearms/weapons, identity-covering costumes, confetti cannons, generators, drones, printed signage measuring larger than 8.5 inches b x 11 inches, props, flag poles and sticks.
Item(s) Allowed: Snacks, food, sealed juice boxes, small bags, strollers, handheld umbrellas and empty reusable non-glass water containers.