Photo Flash: Webb & Houston At GRAMMY Museum Sound Stage
Friday, May 21st, found a sold out crowd at the GRAMMY Museum® Sound Stage at LA Live as Levitt Pavilions presented "An Evening with GRAMMY Legends Jimmy Webb & Thelma Houston."
The legendary songwriter and celebrated R&B singer performed together for the first time in 40 years, with proceeds from the event supporting the free summer concert series at Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park. Jimmy Webb is the writer of "MacArthur Park" the famous song inspired by the park in Los Angeles, where a Levitt Pavilion is now located. Houston's first album "Sunshower" was written, arranged and produced by Webb. Together again, Webb and Houston performed songs from this critically-acclaimed album.
Webb opened the show with his classic hits such as "Highwayman," "Witchita Lineman," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Galveston." At his urging, the audience joined him in singing "Up, Up and Away." Houston was welcomed to the stage with "Don't Leave Me This Way" bringing the audience to their feet dancing. She then offered an extremely appreciative Theatre Of patrons songs from her album "Sunshower" with Webb accompanying her on the piano including "Mixed Up Girl," "This is Your Life," "Someone Is Standing Outside" and "Didn't We." Houston's voice is an extraordinary instrument and when you hear her powerful acoustically style and melodious tones, you know you are in the presence of greatness. Of particular interest was the highly appropriate decision to close the evening with both Webb and Houston singing MacArthur Park together.
Webb is the only artist ever to receive Grammys for music, lyrics and orchestration. He music has become a permanent part of the American music landscape. Houston has the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to win the Grammy award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance and in 2009, she headlined at the official inauguration dinner for President Barack Obama.
Among those in attendance was Oscar nominated, Grammy and Emmy winning composer Charles Fox who remarked, "It was truly a great concert seeing Jimmy perform and tell stories about his music," adding "He's one songwriter whose work I respect so much and I am so happy to have been here tonight."
Also in attendance was established Artist, Chaz Guest, created an original artwork for the events commemorative poster. Both the framed original artwork and the framed poster (signed by Chaz, Thelma and Jimmy) were on display for silent auction. Prestigious galleries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States have exhibited the work of Chaz Guest. His portrait of Thurgood Marshall hangs in the White House.
Levitt Pavilions is a nonprofit organization (www.LevittPavilions.org) whose mission is to develop pavilions as community gathering spaces and build community through live music. Levitt Pavilions forms the only national network of outdoor performance venues with free programming. Each Levitt Pavilion presents the Levitt series of 50 or more concerts annually. Featured entertainment includes a diverse lineup of artists from acclaimed emerging talent to seasoned, award-winning performers, representing a wide array of musical genres and cultures. Each pavilion also features open lawn seating for community building. People bring lawn chairs and blankets, and sit next to each other in a casual, relaxed environment while sharing live music experiences together. Proving that music is a common language that can unite. Programming is designed to appeal to all tastes, bringing people from all walks of life together to share an evening of great music and a true feeling of community. Everyone, regardless of their economic situation, can enjoy the wonderful music and feel welcome in the beautiful, memorable setting. In partnership with the local community, Levitt pavilions are built from the ground up, or existing bandshells are renovated to create professional performance venues with top quality sound and lighting.
To date, locations include: MacArthur Park Los Angeles, CA; Pasadena, CA; Memphis, TN; Arlington, TX; Westport, CT; and opening in 2011 Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA and Levitt Pavilions is in active discussions with cities throughout the country. Each Levitt Pavilion is managed and programmed by a local Friends of Levitt Pavilion nonprofit organization.
Friends of Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park is a nonprofit organization, which presents 50 concerts every summer at the Levitt Pavilion, featuring a diverse lineup of artists from acclaimed, emerging talent to seasoned, award winning performers. All concerts are FREE admission, making live music and the arts accessible to all. Since 2007, Friends of Levitt has presented 130 concerts with over 85,000 in attendance. The tide has turned in MacArthur Park. As music has filled the park, so have families, friends and Angelenos from all over the city, creating community through music.
Photo Credit: CuriousJosh
Jimmy Webb and Thelma Houston
Thelma Houston and Jimmy Webb
Jimmy Webb and Thelma Houston with Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, LA, First District
Artist Chaz Guest, Liz Levitt Hirsch, Jimmy Webb and Thelma Houston
Glen Williams, President, Levitt Pavilions; Liz Levitt Hirsch, Mortimer Levitt Foundation; Thelma Houston; Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, City of Los Angeles, First District; Jimmy Webb; Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director, Levitt Pavilions
Thelma Houston and Disney recording artist Ashlee Keating
Jimmy Webb, Liz Levitt Hirsch and Thelma Houston