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Season Opens with Two Weeks of Free Concerts for the Public
Beginning July 30 and with all LA Artists

First Season Under the Stewardship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic
includes performances by Patti Smith, Rodrigo y Gabriela,
Cécile McLorin Salvant, Father John Misty with the LA Phil, iLe, Lido
Pimienta, and Moses Sumney, among others

Celebrates The Ford’s Legacy as a Stage for Los Angeles’ Artists
with Ford favorites Versa-Style Dance Company,
Flypoet All-Star Spoken Word & Music, Boleros De Noche,
Pacific Opera Project, and more

Tickets on sale June 15, 2021.


LOS ANGELES (May 26, 2021) — The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announces details of the 2021 summer season at The Ford, marking the return to live in-person performances at the historic venue. From July 30 through October 31, the upcoming season is the venue’s first under the stewardship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Programs throughout the season will welcome back to The Ford many artists long associated with the venue, while introducing an exciting new array of multicultural and multidisciplinary talent, including music legends and local acts. Programming partnerships provide a snapshot of LA’s diverse artistic communities today and include such partners as the American Cinematheque, Colibrí Entertainment, Long Beach Opera, LXV Enterprises, Mixed Feelings, Boleros De Noche, and Pacific Opera Project.

Cynthia Fuentes, Director of The Ford said, “It is so thrilling to finally get to announce our first concerts and events at The Ford after this past year. We wanted this season to be a celebration bringing together the communities that make Los Angeles unlike any other city. Our season features many artists with long histories at The Ford, emerging new artists and musical legends. Taken together, we hope this season honors The Ford’s tradition of inclusion and community-centered programming while offering some new ideas, bringing even more people in to enjoy this historic venue.”

Chad Smith, Los Angeles Philharmonic Chief Executive Officer, David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair said, “The LA Phil is honored to steward The Ford and its incredible legacy of engagement with the creative communities of Los Angeles. It is going to be an unforgettable season. After a yearlong closure, we can’t wait to bring artists and audiences back together at this beautiful and iconic venue.”

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel said, “The Ford embodies so much of what makes the LA Phil special — its deep connection to Los Angeles, its commitment to music as social action and the joy that unfolds on its stage. It is a living monument to our desire for social harmony, cultural understanding and hope for the future. I look forward to seeing its stage come back to life this summer, with programs that reflect the beauty and diversity of our beloved city.”

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, “The Ford’s 2021 summer season is making a dramatic entrance, not only making a comeback from COVID-19 but also kicking off its first season programmed in partnership with the organizational resources and artistic expertise of the LA Phil. I’m really excited about these diverse performances, featuring LA’s own spectacular homegrown talent in tandem with renowned performers from around the country and around the world.”    

Established in 1920 and recently improved and enhanced through an $80 million renovation project, this will be the first season in which the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association operates and programs The Ford under the terms of an agreement finalized with the County of Los Angeles in November 2019. The Association also operates and programs the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ford’s sister venue the Hollywood Bowl, and the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center (BYC) opening in August 2021.

2021 Season Highlights
The season will begin with two weeks of free performances for the public with music ranging from pop to classical, and improvisational theater to taiko drumming. The free series will kick off on July 30 with a bill featuring Los Angeles-based indie-pop band The Marías, who will make their Ford debut, and the return of CONTRA-TIEMPO, the multilingual Los Angeles-based activist dance theater company who will perform joyUS justUs with a special appearance by YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). In a nod to the history of The Ford itself, The Improvised Shakespeare Company (July 31) will create an entire Elizabethan play based on audience suggestions. The boundary-breaking Japanese American percussion group TAIKOPROJECT (August 1) will return to The Ford. Members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform an evening of chamber music by Arvo Pärt and Julius Eastman (August 3). Making their Ford debuts, Syrian American singer-songwriter and film composer Bedouine will perform on August 6 with special guest Steady Holiday. The two weeks of free concerts will conclude with the West African dance company Le Ballet Dembaya (August 8), which also serves as the first event in the family-focused LA Soundscapes series.

In a rare opportunity to see popular music, rock and R&B artists in the intimate setting of The Ford, the 2021 season will feature the iconic Patti Smith with Jackson Smith and Tony Shanahan for an evening that includes music, poetry and readings (September 3), as well as soul and rock ’n’ roll band Vintage Trouble (September 16). Father John Misty and the LA Phil will perform two free concerts (September 22 & 23).

Returning to the Ford is LA’s inspiring hip-hop ensemble Versa-Style Dance Company (October 1) with the world premiere of Freemind Freestyle. Flypoet, celebrating ten seasons at The Ford, bring their All-Star Spoken Word & Music (September 4). A spotlight on local artists will continue with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Julianna Barwick (September 25) when they transform The Ford with ambient music and light while performing works from their individual recent releases, and Element Band (October 10) who will return to The Ford with their distinctive and contemporary arrangements of traditional Armenian music.

As part of Gustavo Dudamel’s Pan-American Music Initiative (PAMI), which will be presented across Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford over the next five years, The Ford will present Pan-American Hoy! (October 15), a one-day showcase highlighting the vibrant and inventive music scenes of the Americas with artists who define and evoke a sense of unique cultural tradition through their music while reinventing and honoring their roots. This year’s concert will include Grammy winner iLe and Grammy nominated Lido Pimienta, both making their Ford debuts.

International and local Pan-American voices will be celebrated throughout the season. Boleros De Noche (August 21) will return to the Ford for an evening highlighting Mexico’s golden era of boleros, featuring favorite local trio Tres Souls opening the night for Grammy-nominated singer Gaby Moreno.

Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela (September 17 & 18) will bring their unique power, energy and precision. Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante (October 22) will make his Ford debut. The all-female Mariachi group Las Colibrí (October 9) will return to The Ford with Viva La Tradicion! Mexico de Noche, evoking the eclectic sounds of Mexican nightlife with cumbia powerhouse Viento Callejero and a special serenade by the iconic duo Pepe Martinez Jr. and Susie García, accompanied by Ballet Folklorico Ollín.

In partnership with LXV Enterprises, A Night of "Pinoy"tainment! (August 29) brings artists from the Filipino American worlds of music, hip hop, and comedy. The show will be hosted by AJ Rafael, with performances from Jules Aurora, Ruby Ibarra, and VJ Rosales, as well as comedians Lila Hart, JR de Guzman, and Rex Navarrete.

Opera performances will include a co-production with Long Beach Opera (August 14 & 15) which will present a double bill featuring Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar in an evening highlighting stories written a century apart in a production that allows female characters to take control of their own narratives. Collaborators include dance company Ate9 and musicians from Wild Up. Pacific Opera Project (August 27) will return to present Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola, based on the fairy tale Cinderella by Charles Perrault, in their highly entertaining style.

Jazz performances include Grammy- and MacArthur Fellowship-winning Cécile McLorin Salvant (September 24) and, in partnership with Angel City Jazz Festival, a special evening featuring five-time Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Billy Childs with special guests (October 14).

In partnership with the American Cinematheque, The Ford will present two family-friendly movie nights the week before Halloween, including The Muppet Movie (1979) (October 23) and an additional evening to be announced (October 24).

The Ford, in partnership with Mixed Feelings, will present a few eclectic nights of funk and R&B, including NiiA (October 21).

The season will conclude with multidisciplinary storyteller and singer Moses Sumney (October 30).

The Ford’s centennial season, which would have been commemorated in 2020, will be celebrated in 2022.

Family Programming
Family programming will continue with the LA Soundscapes Series featuring Los Angeles-based artists and companies inspired by the culturally rich neighborhoods, music and communities of the city. The 2021 series, presented on Sundays at 10am, will feature: West African dance company Le Ballet Dembaya (August 8); Pacifico Dance Company’s (August 22) celebration of Mexican history and culture through dance and music; and Extra Ancestral’s (September 19) fusion of Afrobeat, Reggae, Jazz, Afro-Latin, and traditional African diasporic rhythms and dancing.

Tickets to free concerts will be distributed via invitation to essential workers, fans and community organizations across the county, and through The Ford’s website. To register for a chance to attend free concerts, please visit here by July 5, 2021 and sign up to receive an email about free tickets to The Ford. Free ticket sign-ups will begin July 9, 2021. Tickets for The Ford 2021 season will go on sale June 15, 2021.

Further ticketing information is available here and COVID-19 protocol information is available here.

Concessions for the 2021 season will be provided by chef Jocelyn Ramirez’ Todo Verde, a women-of-color-owned catering company specializing in plant-based Mexican offerings. Todo Verde will bring the free-spirited attitude and global flavors of the LA food scene to The Ford. This partnership will infuse community values into the food that is served at The Ford - more here

Shuttles and Parking
Shuttle service to The Ford has been expanded to include service from Hollywood and Highland in addition to the Universal Lot at Lankershim. Additional information about parking and shuttles is available here.


About The Ford

The Ford is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles, with a 1,200-seat outdoor amphitheater and a rich history dating back to 1920. Situated in a 32-acre Los Angeles County park and under the stewardship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, The Ford presents an eclectic summer season of music, dance, film and family events that are reflective of the communities that comprise Los Angeles.

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