Family music and concerts in and around Los Angeles.

Music & Concerts

L.A. After Dark: Summer Events for Kids at Night

It’s summer, which means it’s hot. OK, hotter. It’s not fun to go outside, but it is even less fun to stay indoors all the time. So, what’s a family with kids out of school to do? Go nocturnal! There is much fun to be had in and around L.A. after dark. Here are a few of our favorite nighttime things.  Odd Shopping and Such  One of the more hip...

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A Grand Place for Family Performances

Much has changed in downtown L.A. since Grand Performances (grandperformances.org) started offering free summer concerts at California Plaza 32 years ago. What hasn’t changed is the interesting, eclectic lineup. This summer’s wide-ranging schedule features a trio of diverse family concerts in July. Each happens at 3 and 4:30 p.m. Part of the “First Peoples, New Voices” series is “First Nations Now: The Art of Rhymes and Storytelling” July 1. The...

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5 Ways to Inspire a Love of Music in Kids this Summer

I took my first piano lesson from my mother when I was 5 years old, and have made music my life’s work. I have taught so many gifted children and seen them overcome shyness and embrace the joy of music. Here are five tips for inspiring a love of music in your children this summer. Take them to concerts. There is nothing more musically inspiring than experiencing live music. Taking...

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Travel the Globe at the Ford through Music and Dance

What are your summer travel plans? Korea? West Africa? How about some imaginary land? You can take your family to all those places through song and dance by visiting the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. Big World Fun takes up residence there with a quartet of big Saturday morning shows this summer.   Le Ballet Dembaya takes families on a lively trek to the West African nation of Guinea June 30 with...

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Jess Penner and her “Imagination”

With three solo albums, plus songwriting for TV shows, films and commercials, Jess Penner has had a busy career. She recently released her first children’s album, the enchanting eight-song CD “Imagination,” and offered some thoughts recently about her music and being a mom of three – two of them under 2. Was it an easy shift to making children’s music? Yes! I have always been very intentional about making music...

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MojaMoja Event Honoring will.i.am Provides STEAM Opportunities for Students

MojaMoja is celebrating a decade of music discovery and honoring pop and hip-hop icons at the Avalon Hollywood on Saturday, Feb. 10. This year’s honorees are Prince’s band The Revolution, will.i.am and DJ crew The Beat Junkies. The annual MojaMoja Brunch & Benefit Concert raises awareness and funds for the MojaMoja Innovation Fund at Liberty Hill Foundation, which supports nonprofits such as this year's charity partner, the House of Blues Music...

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Los Angeles children's music

Los Angeles Children’s Music: Get With The Not-Its

This year represents a big year for the Not-Its. Not only is the band working on its next album, but 2018 also marks the group’s 10th anniversary. Part of the vibrant Pacific Northwest children’s music scene that includes acts such as Casper Babypants and Recess Monkey, the Not-Its are coming to Southern California to perform a 2 p.m. show Feb. 11 at Torrance’s James Armstrong Theater. Tickets are $10-$20. The...

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It’s Twinkle Time

  If you frequent children’s music shows around Southern California, then you probably have seen Twinkle Time. Known for their colorful, energetic performances, Twinkle and her band play several hundred times a year. The local singer also somehow found time to record a new album, “Just Dance,” which comes out this month.   The title track is one of the tracks powered with a big dance beat, but Twinkle says “Just...

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Lucky Diaz Shares L.A. Love on New Family Music CD

“Made In L.A.” is the perfect title for the latest CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Diaz, his wife Alisha “Lishy Lou” Gaddis and their group recorded the album here and invited local children’s musicians Mista Cookie Jar, Todd McHatton, Genevieve Goings and Andrew & Polly to join them on this 12-track set. Diaz describes this album as a love letter to Los Angeles and says he...

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Four Spots to See Free Family Music

For family music fans, August comes packed with wonderful free concerts. The Levitt Pavilions in Pasadena and Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park (www.levittla.org) are offering an impressive lineup of performers. Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will play L.A. Aug. 6 and Pasadena Aug. 10. Jazzy Ash celebrates her new album “Swing Set” on Aug. 13 in MacArthur Park, which will also welcome Birdie’s Playhouse Aug. 27. Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion,...

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kidz bop kids

Kidz Bop Kids Talk Best Time Ever Tour and New Album ’35’

We caught up with the new kids on the block, Kidz Bop Kids that is. The kids performing your child's favorite pop songs for family consumption are currently on their Best Time Ever Tour. We had Instagram star Haileigh Vasquez interview them on their tour bus during the Los Angeles stop in June. The brand new group of kids, who started this year – Ahnya (12), Freddy (12), Julianna (12), Isaiah (10), Sierra...

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These Summer Activities Let Kids Hear Music – and Make Music

MakeMusicLA – taking place this year on Wednesday, June 21 – could be called a “people’s concert.” The area-wide event is part of an international day of music involving more than 100 countries. Among the free musical events taking place that day across Southern California, a good number will be family oriented and invite public participation. A talent show will be staged in Silver Lake’s Triangle Plaza, the Long Beach...

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Tween Time: A Memorable Memory Play

“Memory 5D+” might sound like an app (with more appeal for the middle-aged than for tweens), but it couldn’t be more human. The production is a multimillion-dollar, multisensory theatrical experience featuring more than 35 Chinese musicians, dancers, acrobats and singers that will appeal to teens and tweens. The “Memory” in the show’s name refers to the traditional Chinese music and dance that form the core of this production. Musicians will...

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ben lee

Ben Lee’s New Release is Philosophical Family Fun

Ben Lee has made a lot of albums since recording his first songs as a teenager in Australia, but his most ambitious might be his latest – a children’s album entitled “Ben Lee Sings Songs About Islam For The Whole Family.” These songs are thoughtful, educational and catchy. Lee hasn’t composed religious songs as much as songs about a religion. Several years ago, Lee, who now makes Los Angeles his...

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choir programs in la

Choir Programs Let Kids Sing a Song

Given the chance, most kids love to sing and lots of L.A. programs will help them tune in  As Artistic Director Misha Shtangrud plays the piano to start a rehearsal for MUSYCA Children’s Choir, he sings, “Hello everybody, yes indeed, let’s make music, yes indeed.” His young students joyfully sing along, clearly enjoying the upbeat music and seamlessly transitioning to “Do Re Mi” and “Seasons of Love.” The kids, ages...

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