Americana in the Park, a New Free Concert Series Launches this September and October
By Sam Catanzaro
The City of Santa Monica is teaming up with beloved music store McCabe’s Guitar Shop for an outdoor concert series this fall.
Last month the City of Santa Monica announced it will partner with McCabe’s Guitar Shop this fall for a series called Americana in the Park in Gandara Park, located at 1819 Stewart Street. The concerts will take place on Sundays between September 19 and October 10 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
In a press release, the City described Americana in the Park as a pilot project intended “to create a new partnership model for outdoor events”, where local organizations are provided funding from the City.
“Our hope is that this new model of partnership will engage and support local community organizations, and will strengthen our communities’ connectedness. Jazz on the Lawn was a beloved series for 14 years and we’re looking forward to this new approach to continue to bring free family-friendly events to public spaces across Santa Monica,” said Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut.
According to the City, the Americana in the Park series will explore the arc of Americana music from its roots in traditional African, Appalachian, roots, blues, bluegrass and folk music, to its modern forms of folk and country music.
“Showcasing a diverse group of Southern California artists and Americana styles, each concert will feature two family-friendly groups, with the opener geared towards children,” the City said in a press release.
In addition, each concert will feature food trucks and a McCabe’s Guitar Pop-Up Shop. McCabe’s, located at 3101 Pico Boulevard, is a musical instrument store, concert venue, repair shop, and music school that opened in 1958. Over the years, the shop has hosted some of an array of notable musicians for concerts including Joni Mitchcell, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Jefferson Starship and Beck.
“We are thrilled to partner with the City for this music series. We’ve been a beloved concert venue in the Pico neighborhood for over 60 years. During the pandemic, we were forced to temporarily discontinue our concerts and we are so excited to host shows again and for the opportunity to reimagine the Jazz on the Lawn series and give some context and history to the Americana music genre,” said McCabe’s Concert and Event Producer, Kora Peterson.
The following is the lineup for the series:
September 19: The nine-member Masanga Marimba Ensemble will perform traditional and popular high-energy music from Zimbabwe and Latin America on a variety of instruments, including marimbas of various sizes, drums, percussion, saxophone and trumpet.
September 26: Ukulele musicians Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward open for the Grammy-nominated New Orleans-style jazz band The California Feetwarmers who reimagine 1920’s and 1930’s classics from around the world.
October 3: Children’s music duo Hullabaloo will open for Phil Salazar and The Kin Folk. Led by Southern California bluegrass legend, Phil Salazar, the band performs a unique mix of traditional music, infused with rock, blues, country, jazz, Irish, pop and bluegrass.
October 10: Kid folk band The Hollow Trees opens for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joachim Cooder, who will perform African-inspired Americana on his mbira, an African thumb piano. Joachim is known for collaborations with his father, American roots legend Ry Cooder, having appeared together on iconic recordings such as the landmark Buena Vista Social Club sessions