THE FORD ANNOUNCES SUMMER 2023 SEASON
JULY 14-OCTOBER 28
Season Features 15 Weeks of Performances
The 2023 season includes Bob Baker Marionette Theater,
CONTRA-TIEMPO, Darren Criss, Jorge Drexler, José James, Local Natives,
Lucinda Williams, Lupita Infante, Mac DeMarco, Meredith Monk &
Vocal Ensemble, Ryan Beatty, serpentwithfeet and many more
Bodega at The Ford transforms concessions and picnic offerings for Summer 2023
LOS ANGELES (April 18, 2023) — The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association today announced the details of The Ford’s 2023 summer season, featuring 15 weeks of performances from July 14 to October 28. The season begins with Mac DeMarco (July 14) returning to The Ford stage for the first time in four years to perform works from his new album, Five Easy Hot Dogs.
The 2023 season, the LA Phil’s fourth, showcases 13 Ford debuts, the return of LA Soundscapes family programming and the producer program FordLab. Featured established and new artists offer voices with roots from around the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, England, Iceland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ukraine and Uruguay. Additional season highlights include programs of dance, film, theater, spoken word and comedy.
Cynthia Fuentes, Director, The Ford, said, “It has been wonderful to produce a season that makes a statement about the beautiful diversity of the arts in our communities. We have increased our commitment to artists and ensuring that The Ford stage continues to be a home for creativity, exceptional live performances and opening the door for Angelenos to discover something new against an unforgettable backdrop of the Hollywood Hills.”
Chad Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair said, “The Ford 2023 season is dynamic, showcasing an exciting compilation of artists, performers and partners from across Los Angeles and around the world. We are especially committed to offering a space for local artists to flourish and for our community to celebrate these homegrown voices together. The Ford is a beloved venue and we look forward to offering these cherished summer experiences that celebrate the vast cultural tapestry of Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director, Walt and Lilly Disney Chair Gustavo Dudamel added, “Equally iconic to our beloved Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ford has truly become a beacon of unity and community. From the Latin sounds of Jorge Drexler, Lupita Infante and Trio Remembranza, to the Ukrainian folk of DakhaBrakha, to the soulful jazz of José James and Laufey, to the timeless music of Meredith Monk, it is a place where emerging artists and musical legends can share the same intimate stage and where people of all backgrounds, from all neighborhoods across Los Angeles and the world, can come together and revel in the beauty of music.”
Thirteen eclectic artists are making their debuts at The Ford this summer, beginning with singer, songwriter and entertainer Darren Criss (July 23) who brings his interpretations of Broadway classics, pop and his own originals, followed by Uruguayan Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler (July 29). Local Natives will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their second album, Hummingbird, with an intimate performance of the album in its entirety (August 1). Theatrical Kyiv-based quartet DakhaBrakha (August 4) performs their signature Ukrainian avant-garde folk and “ethnic chaos” sound in their Ford debut. Grammy Award-winning and acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams (August 10) also appears for the first time at The Ford, and José James (August 26) makes his debut with the Los Angeles premiere of his new project exploring the jazz and soul catalogs of his contemporary Erykah Badu. San Diego trio Thee Sacred Souls present their own mix of easygoing sweet ’60s soul with the grit of early ’70s R&B (August 30). Meredith Monk celebrates 80 years with her Ford debut and a program with Bang on a Can All-Stars and Vocal Ensemble featuring Theo Bleckmann, Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin in Memory Game, a look back at the vocal music of Monk (August 31).
In September, revolutionary Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes (September 3) bring their combination of all-out guitar squalls, traditional Brazilian rhythms and a sense of melody to The Ford for the first time. Singer-songwriter Ryan Beatty performs new music from his third full-length album, Calico, sharing the endless nuances of his interior and matching his lyrical revelations with a luminously detailed sound (September 14). Sharing the stage for their Ford debut, Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily (September 20) cross genres and cultures through Aftab’s Grammy Award-winning vocals, Iyer’s jazz piano and multi-instrumentalist Ismaily. Hermanos Gutiérrez (September 28), a Swiss Latin instrumental band formed by Ecuadorean-Swiss brothers Alejandro and Estevan Gutiérrez, take the stage mixing Latin and Western instrumental music. In a very special Ford debut evening, Icelandic artist Laufey performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (September 16). The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is classically trained but found her true love in jazz and describes her musical storytelling as modern jazz.
Dance, Music and Multidisciplinary Performances
The Ford presents two West Coast dance premieres during its 2023 summer season. The first, an LA Phil co-commission with the Joyce Theater in New York and the International Summer Festival (Kampnagel), is serpentwithfeet: Heart of Brick (October 21). serpentwithfeet is an experimental musician known for his mix of R&B vocals with electronics and synth. Heart of Brick delves into black gay love through visual elements, dance and music co-written by serpentwithfeet and Donte Collins, with direction by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Wu Tsang and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly. Heart of Brick and ancillary events to be announced are part of the LA Phil’s Humanities Initiative.
On August 18, Los Angeles-based dance theater company CONTRA-TIEMPO performs the West Coast premiere of !Azúcar!, bringing to life the vibrations of Celia Cruz using personal narratives, dance and music.
The season also sees the return of Ford fan favorites such as Armenian folk group Element Band (August 27), which together with a 14-piece ensemble will present a rich new repertoire featuring music from their new album, PYUR.
The award-winning all-female mariachi ensemble Las Colibrí returns with ¡Viva La Tradición! Palomas Negras (September 8), a performance of poetry, ballads and mariachi. The program honors the female powerhouse voices of Chavela Vargas, Lola Beltrán and Selena with live performances by San Cha, Marisa Ronstadt, Yesika Salgado and more.
Spoken Word, Comedy and Film
Flypoet Summer Classic (September 9), the longest-running, most highly produced showcase of its kind, returns with leading performers from across spoken word and music, with special surprise musical guests.
Comedy returns to The Ford with LA-based The Improvised Shakespeare Company, which creates an entirely original Shakespearean play from scratch based on a title suggested by the audience (July 28).
Debuting is Comedy Under The Stars: Women Crush Wednesdays with host Marcella Arguello (August 9) presenting her popular Hollywood Improv and digital show featuring female comics from throughout Los Angeles.
Produced in partnership with Street Food Cinema and aimed at film lovers is a screening of Selena (September 23), celebrating the rise of the iconic Tejano singer and also honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show with shadow cast Sins O’ The Flesh (October 28).
Presenting FordLab and LA Producers
For more than 30 years, The Ford has partnered with Los Angeles artists and producers to create a pathway for voices well-known in their own communities to have access to a larger stage. The FordLab program expands this tradition as The Ford continues to welcome regional artists to its stage every summer.
For 2023, JAZZ Re-Evolution! (July 22) in partnership with WORDTheatre presents an electrifying fusion of stories, songs and jazz featuring acclaimed actors, singers and world-class musicians who shine a spotlight on the seminal and contemporary artists who have become legends. Through memoir excerpts and selections from the writings of literary luminaries such as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, audiences will be transported from the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans to the Los Angeles clubs that thrived along Central Avenue.
Returning artists also include the 7th Annual Boleros de Noche featuring Grammy Award-winning vocalist Martha Gonzalez and Puerto Rico’s Trio Remembranza (August 5), produced in partnership with Ánimo Production and featuring classic Latin American boleros.
The Ford also welcomes back FILAM JAM: JayR and The Filharmonic (August 19), featuring Filipino pop, R&B, folk, choral, a capella and OPM (Original Pilipino Music), produced in partnership with Music Arts International. Later that month, Pacific Opera Project returns to The Ford with their reinterpretation of the classic opera The Barber of Seville (August 25), set in modern-day Hollywood. Los Angeles Folk Festival and The Milk Carton Kids invite their favorite songwriters to gather in Los Angeles to share songs and stories in a two-day celebration of songcraft and the city of Los Angeles’ historic role as an epicenter of modern folk music (October 7-8).
On October 14, LA’s Ballet Folklorico Mexicano returns to celebrate 20 Años de Grandeza Mexicana. The appearance commemorating the ensemble’s 20th anniversary, produced in partnership with Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, celebrates the splendor of Mexican folk dance and will feature the group’s newest Dia de Los Muertos piece.
The Ford welcomes three producers making their Ford debuts this summer. In partnership with The Ford, Cumbiatón LA presents Noche de Cumbia: Yeison Landero, Mariposas del Alma, Discos Resaca and Yosimar Reyes (September 1), featuring interpretations and variations of Cumbia from Latin America and the U.S. Solidarity for Sanctuary presents Canciones de Mi Madre (September 30), a look back at Linda Ronstadt’s 1987 Mariachi album and other Mariachi songs that features Lupita Infante, granddaughter of the legendary Pedro Infante; Doris Anahí; Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas; and El Gallo Dez. And Boss Witch Productions presents AL SUR DE LA FRONTERA (October 6), an evening spanning experimental, traditional music and sound art, with performers including Maqueos Music Oaxacan brass band, vocalist Carmina Escobar, the multidisciplinary Dorian Wood, conductor Yulissa Maqueos, electronic musician Baseck, soprano Maria Elena Altany and Mixtec rapper Una Isu.
Family programming returns with the annual LA Soundscapes series, featuring odes to Los Angeles as some of the city’s top artists draw inspiration from the culturally diverse and artistically rich neighborhoods, music and communities that make up this amazing city. With something for all ages, the 2023 Sunday morning series features It’s a Musical World with Bob Baker Marionette Theater (August 13), Celebrating Samba with Viver Brasil (September 17), Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards (October 1) and Un Viaje por Buenos Aires with GD Tango (October 15).
Bodega at The Ford
This summer, The Ford welcomes Bodega at The Ford, delivering concessions and picnic options for our audiences. Details will be announced at a later date.
serpentwithfeet: Heart of Brick (October 21) is co-commissioned by the Joyce Theater Foundation; the International Summer Festival (Kampnagel); the LA Phil Humanities Initiative, with generous support from Linda and David Shaheen; Seattle Theatre Group; and Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa.
Ticket packages for The Ford are available online here beginning today. Single tickets will go on sale Tuesday, May 9. Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability are subject to change.
The LA Soundscapes series includes up to two FREE tickets for children 12 and under with every full-priced ticket purchased.
Shuttles and Parking
Shuttle service to The Ford includes service from Ovation Hollywood at Hollywood and Highland, as well as the Universal City/Studio City Metro station lot. Additional information about parking and shuttles is available here.
2023 Press Release (PDF version)
2023 Chronological List of Events (with debuts)
Cynthia Fuentes Biography (English)
Cynthia Fuentes Biography (Español)
Public Relations and Press Queries
Tim Choy, Davidson Choy Publicity
The LA Phil thanks the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for its support and funding, which brings performing arts to the people of Los Angeles. We value our partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and thank it for its collaboration and funding of programming all summer long. The Ford is a Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation cultural and performing arts park under the stewardship of the LA Phil.
About The Ford
The Ford is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles, with an outdoor 1,200-seat amphitheater and a rich history dating back to 1920. Situated in a 32-acre 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 of Los Angeles.
About the LA Phil
Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.