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KCRW HQ Summer Nights Featuring Black Pumas, Y La Bamba, Andrew Bird


KCRW HQ Summer Nights

Featuring Black Pumas, Y La Bamba, Andrew Bird,

and KCRW DJs Chris Douridas, Anne Litt, Raul Campos, Anthony Valadez, Valida, and Novena Carmel

Three-concert series is free, all-ages, and outdoors, and takes place in the plaza of KCRW’s new home at Santa Monica College’s CMD Campus

Saturdays: August 3, 10, and 17, at 7PM

KCRW announces today the talent line-up for the triumphant return of KCRW HQ – three, free, outdoors, and all-ages concerts in the plaza of KCRW’s new home on Santa Monica College’s state-of-the-art CMD Campus. This wildly popular series returns with the highly anticipated Los Angeles headline debut of Black Pumas on August 3, the seamless blend of indie pop, bluegrass and Mexican folk tradition of Y La Bamba on August 10, and the incomparable virtuoso Andrew Bird on August 17. KCRW DJs Anne Litt, Raul Campos, Anthony Valadez, Chris Douridas, Valida, and Novena Carmel will deliver killer DJ sets throughout the series.

KCRW HQ also features fave food trucks, tasty libations, some of LA’s best record vendors, and plenty of summer fun. Also, be sure to check out the free advance film screenings happening right in the courtyard theater!

For more information, please visit:

More about the Artists:

Following their ambitious slate of performances during this year’s SXSW, it was clear that Black Pumas — the collaboration between 27-year-old newcomer Eric Burton and Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, 2018’s Look At My Soul) — were due for a big 2019. NPR’s Here & Now deemed them “the breakout band of 2019” and KCRW called their sound “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown.” Rolling Stone, in naming Black Pumas “One Of The 30 Best Bands We Saw In Austin,” praised Burton’s “tireless, charismatic energy” and said that the band “seemed to tap the collective unease of the national moment.” Their self-titled debut, just released June 21 on ATO Records, was produced by Quesada in his home studio and colored by Burton’s dark imagery and haunting vocals. The album, which The Guardian deemed “perfectly realized” is equally indebted to East Coast hip-hop as it is to classic funk and soul, resulting in a project that is of the moment rather than retro. Black Pumas truly began to make their name with a weekly residency at Austin’s C-Boys that quickly became “the hottest party in town” (Austin-American Statesman), with lines wrapping to see their whip-sharp band and Burton’s “whirlwind of movement and gesture” (Chicago Tribune). What followed was a quick and dirty ascent through the Austin music scene, culminating in a coronation as Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Black Pumas make their Los Angeles headline debut at the KCRW HQ series.

Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. The album has been praised across the board from Pitchfork, NY Times and Rolling Stone to The New Yorker, The A.V. Club and more. Billboard named it ‘One of the Best Albums of 2019 (So Far)’ and NPR called the title track, “A battle cry against machismo” and one of the ‘Best Songs of 2018‘ saying, “It’s an indication that Mendoza is becoming a visionary, and that her band continues to intrigue as it evolves.” Mujeres exists in the post-2016 landscape of a national identity crisis, and Mendoza explores what it means to be a Mexican American woman by leading us through places we are afraid to go. It ventures in to the discomfort of the stories we tell ourselves. Those of our past, our futures. We all have these stories somewhere inside of us, but with Y La Bamba, Mendoza forges new narratives from old stories of heritage and family, tracing history while forging modern Chicana feminism. The live set is a powerful quintet fronted by three females blending danceable Latin polyrhythms with powerful vocals and dizzying grooves.

Andrew Bird is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, whistler, and songwriter. Bird has recorded and toured extensively worldwide. He has recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, appeared as “Dr. Stringz” on Jack’s Big Music Show, and headlined concerts at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and festivals worldwide. In recent years, Bird performed as the Whistling Caruso in Disney’s The Muppets movie, scored the FX series Baskets, performed at the New Yorker Festival, and collaborated with inventor Ian Schneller on Sonic Arboretum, an installation that exhibited at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Boston’s ICA, and the MCA Chicago. Bird has been a featured TED Talks presenter and a New York Times op-ed contributor. Additionally, Bird hosts an ongoing live-streamed series of performances called Live from the Great Room, putting the creative process on display for fans as he performs and converses with friends and collaborators in a candid, intimate setting. More recently, Bird has released a series of site-specific improvisational short films and recordings called Echolocations, recorded in remote and acoustically interesting spaces: a Utah canyon, an abandoned seaside bunker, the middle of the Los Angeles River, and a reverberant stone-covered aqueduct in Lisbon. Bird’s latest album, My Finest Work Yet, was released March 22, 2019 on Loma Vista Recordings.

KCRW HQ Summer Nights
1660 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Free, outdoors and all-ages

Saturday, August 3, at 7pm
Black Pumas + KCRW DJs Anne Litt + Raul Campos

Saturday, August 10, at 7pm
Y La Bamba + KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez + Valida

Saturday, August 17, at 7pm
Andrew Bird + KCRW DJs Chris Douridas + Novena Carmel

Summer Nights is generously sponsored by Universal Pictures, presenting the new feature film Yesterday, in theaters June 28.

All concerts are free, outdoor and all-ages

Friday, June 28, 7:00 p.m.
KCRW DJs Garth Trinidad + Aaron Byrd

Thursday, July 11, 6:30 p.m. (happy hour), 7:30 p.m. (music)
Pavo Pavo + KCRW DJs Anne Litt + Dan Wilcox

Saturday, July 13, 8:00 p.m.
KCRW DJs Jason Bentley + Garth Trinidad

Thursday, July 18, 6:30 p.m. (happy hour), 7:30 p.m. (music)
Wild Belle + KCRW DJs Aaron Byrd + Scott Dallavo

Thursday, July 25, 6:30 p.m. (happy hour), 7:30 p.m. (music)
The Tracks + KCRW DJs Travis Holcombe + José Galván

Saturday, July 27, 7:00 p.m.
POW! WOW! Long Beach
KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez + Mathieu Schreyer

Thursday, August 1, 7:00 p.m.
Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASB)
KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox

Saturday, August 3, 7:00 p.m.
Black Pumas + KCRW DJs Anne Litt + Raul Campos

Saturday, August 10, 7:00 p.m.
Y La Bamba + KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez + Valida

Saturday, August 10, 8:00 p.m.
KCRW DJs Raul Campos + Mathieu Schreyer

Saturday, August 17, 7:00 p.m.
Andrew Bird + KCRW DJs Chris Douridas + Novena Carmel

Wednesday, August 21
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Wednesday, August 28
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Wednesday, September 4
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Thursday, September 5, 7:00 p.m.
Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASB)
KCRW DJ José Galván

Saturday, September 7, 5:00 p.m.
Downtown Long Beach Buskerfest
KCRW’s Raul Campos, host

Wednesday, September 11
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Wednesday, September 18
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Wednesday, September 25
Santa Monica Pier
Talent TBA

Saturday, September 28, 6:00 pm
KCRW’s Summer Nights at Cadence Park, Irvine
KCRW DJs Travis Holcombe + Valida


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