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Summer Music Rolls On Around Downtown

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, July 31, 2009, at 03:26PM
Cole_ Ed Fuentes

After time away from performing, singer Paula Cole kicked off her summer tour at Pershing Square. Cole donated and dedicated the concert to the people of L.A.

Downtown's the spot for free music this summer, with a range of offerings at venues across the neighborhood. Longtime standard Grand Performances is joined by series at Pershing Square and Brookfield Properties' plazas at 7+Fig and Bank of America.

Although it is only in its third week, Pershing Square's Summer Concert series has proven to be a compatible counterpoint to the eclectic offerings of Grand Performances. This week highlights the sampling you can choose from as the music rolls on at these free concerts.

Downtown Stage Summer Concert Series: Pershing Square offers 80's music fans to flashback with Gene Loves Jezebel and Naked Eyes on Saturday, August 1 (8pm). This Sunday's Swingin' and Dance series features Undercover, playing dance covers from every genre from the 50s on (4-6pm).

Grand Performances: Before you think the bands that brought you 1980s hits like the gothic "Desire" or the synthpop version of "(There's) Always Something To Remind Me) is ancient music, take a look at what is on the slate this week on Grand Avenue. Grand Performances host the all-male French acapella group Lo Còr de la Plana tonight, who team up with Fishtank Ensemble (8pm).

Lo Còr de la Plana is a six-member ensemble updates ancient songs that from from Occitan, an endangered language of southern France. Rather sounding dry and academic, the percussion and performance flings sounds that shows cultural ties between Europe and the Mediterranean.

While some were disappointed that OZOMATLI did not make an Grand Performance appearance this summer, band members Wil Dog and Uli also play together as Mentiritas, and will close Saturday's set. Opening for Mentiritas is Mr. Vallenato and his accordian that, according to GP, "conjures images of dense barrooms, and smoldering bodies swaying in the tropical heat." Also on Grand Performances August 1 bill of fare; La Santa Cecilia sultry styling of classic and contemporary pan-Latin music (7pm).

7+Fig: For the finale of Brookfield Properties SUMMER ON THE PLAZA, Grammy-nominated artist and composer Patrice Rushen teams with American violinist Karen Briggs at 7+FIG @ Ernst & Young Plaza Wednesday, August 5 (6:30pm).

If you are a bit weary from just listening to music, warm up your personal pipes for the Music Center's Friday Night Sing Along on August 14th. A gaggle of Broadway show tune fans will have live musicians accompany them as they singalong on a summer evening.

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