Santa Monica Pier Celebrated with African Music
Santa Monica-Summer is a great time to attend the various outdoor concert series throughout the city. It doesn’t take much prodding to encourage the public to go to the beach in Southern California. Thousands have been getting their groove on at the popular Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier.
The City of Santa Monica is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the world famous Santa Monica Pier. This is also the 25th Anniversary of the world famous Twilight Dance Series on the pier, produced by King & Company & The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation.
The series got under way with the multi media band Playing for Change. I regret that I missed seeing this show. This group has become internationally known thanks to the modern technology of the internet of their video “Stand By Me”. About five years ago, I had the pleasure of viewing a movie of this group at one of the many film festival in Los Angeles. You will soon have the exciting privilege of seeing a featured documentary of the group on PBS this month (August). Check your local listing for the date(s) for this documentary. If you live in Los Angeles there is an interview with Grammy winning producer Mark Johnson and legendary veteran TV producer Norman Lear discussing the making of “Stand By Me” in the July/August issue of Venice Magazine.
The Twilight Dance Series has consistently presented an eclectic music series with musical styles that has entertained guest of all ages for a quarter of a century. That’s 25 years for readers who are doing the math.
I recently had the pleasure to see Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited on July 30. Fortunately for me and others this is Mr. Mapfumo’s third time performing on the pier. I was in attendance for all three shows. The band droved down the coast from their homes in the State of Oregon. This is quite a distance for their home in Zimbabwe. The band played material from an upcoming CD entitled Exile, which will be available in several months. The leader spoke about and sung about being homesick for his country. I was moved by the lyrics to “God Bless Africa; God Bless People of The World.” This song resonated with the multi-ethnic captivated audience enjoying the bands unique blend of traditional African music with Western instrumentation known as Chimurenga. The word Chimurenga means struggle in Shona, the native language of Thomas Mapfumo and members of his band.
I highly encourage everyone to pencil in the Twilight Dance Series for the next five (5) Thursday evenings for some World Class international entertainment that will not ruin your monthly/yearly budget at this FREE summer concert series. For more information visit www.santamonicapier.org click on Things To Do, afterwards scroll down the screen to see who will be performing for the remainder of the series. Or get mad at yourself for the previous concerts that you have already missed. Or call (310)458-8901.This series of concerts is leading up to a grand celebration which is a rededication ceremony with civic and government officials, local and international celebrities, as well as a spectacular fireworks display. A shout out is extended to the sponsors of the 25th Annual Twilight Dancer Series. The series is sponsored by the City of Santa Monica, Amoeba Records, Time Warner Cable, Wally’s, wine[tail], Kunde [yellowtail], Geyser Peak Winery, Buena Vista/Carneros, LaCarGuy, Clear Channel, Big Blue Bus, LAWEEKLY, Santa Monica Daily Press, Whole Foods Market, Epiphone, Mountain View Spring Water, Arthouse Marketing Group, Laemmle Theatres, City TV-16, Mariasol, Perry’s and Bike Attack.