Last week, the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena kicked off its summer season with free performances by Dust Bowl Revival, Fishtank Ensemble and Barbara Morrison.
Southern California is blessed with a number of free music series during the summertime but I can’t think of one that offers so many first rate acts as the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena does. There’ll be performances Wednesday through Sunday nights (with Wednesdays reserved for family-friendly shows) through the end of August.
This week, for example, the Watson Twins and Jesse Sykes & Phil Wandscher will be putting a little twang into the night air on Thursday night and Fools Gold will bring their mult-culty music to Saturday night with Van Hunt serving up some soul on Sunday.
Each week holds tasty choices. Week Three contains the world rock of Red Baraat (July 5), fiddling queen Sara Watkins (July 6) and Sergent Garcia’s rockin’ reggae (July 7). Then there’s Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (July 14), Border Radio (July 20), Vaud and the Villains (Aug. 4), Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars (Aug. 11) and Chico Trujillo (Aug. 25).
There are two particularly strong weeks as well. The last week of July features Wake Up Madagascar (a showcase of that African nation’s vibrant music), Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (a super, soulful band that you really need to check out), local favorites (and Grammy winners) Mariachi Divas and Brazilian songstress Luisa Maita.
Another impressive set of shows surfaces in mid-August. The Dunwell Brothers, who put on a great show earlier this year at the Hotel Café, returns to Southern California on Thursday night, the eclectic Americana band the David Wax Museum plays on Friday while Sunday night offers a special pairing of Diego Garcia and David Garza.
The festivities start up at the Levitt at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Wed. and Sun.) and the music begins at 8 p.m. (or 7 p.m. on Wed. and Sun.). For more information, visit www.levittpavilionpasadena.org