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The captivating GRAMMY-winning band La Santa Cecilia brings its energetic blend of cumbia, rock, bolero, bossa nova and more to Levitt venues across the country.
LOS ANGELES (March 28, 2023)—The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder supporting nonprofits nationwide at the intersection of music, public space, and community building, announces the return of its annual, free Levitt National Tour this spring and summer. La Santa Cecilia, the GRAMMY-winning Los Angeles band, will headline the tour, which is scheduled to visit six Levitt venues. The tour kicks off in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, May 12, and continues to Denver (Saturday, May 13); Dayton, Ohio (Friday, June 23); Sioux Falls, S.D. (Saturday, June 24); Los Angeles (Saturday, July 22); and concludes in Bethlehem, Pa. (Saturday, August 26).
Continuing the Foundation’s mission of building community through music, La Santa Cecilia will headline the seventh iteration of the Levitt National Tour, which began in 2014 with the world-music fusion of Playing For Change. A highlight of the free concert seasons at Levitt venues across the country, other Levitt National Tour artists have included the danceable rock, pop and soul of rising trio The New Respects (2022); Flor De Toloache (2019), with their blend of traditional mariachi with jazz, salsa and pop music; Southern rocker Paul Thorn and gospel legends Blind Boys of Alabama (2018); Gulf Coast soul sensation The Suffers (2017); and genre-busting violin duo Black Violin (2015).
A Los Angeles treasure, La Santa Cecilia combines elements of cumbia, rock, bolero, bossa nova, jazz, tango, and ranchera into an electrifying and unmistakable signature style. Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is comprised of singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, accordionist and requinto player Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña, and percussionist Miguel “Oso” Ramirez. Formed 15 years ago, the group quickly began captivating audiences around the world with a soulful, high-energy blend of both Latin and American musical traditions, reflecting its members’ bilingual, multicultural identities. La Santa Cecilia’s songs about love, loss and everyday struggles have sparked collaborations with everyone from Los Lobos and Pepe Aguilar to Elvis Costello and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, as well as invitations to record songs for films such as Cantinflas, The Book of Life, and Pixar’s Oscar-winning Coco.
Highlighting the collective impact of Levitt venues in communities across the country and a shared mission to build community through music, the tour is a collaborative programming effort of the Levitt network. “Levitt brings people together through the power of free, live music. As each of our venue partners prepares for a summer of free music under the stars, we are thrilled their lineups will include the captivating music of La Santa Cecilia,” says Sharon Yazowski, executive director of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation. “Reflecting the sounds of their native Los Angeles, the band creates music that lifts your spirit and challenges your conscience, while keeping you dancing all the while. The group truly energizes all ages in every audience.”
Veterans of the Levitt stage, La Santa Cecilia have dazzled audiences at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, and recently became fan favorites at Levitt Pavilion Arlington and Levitt Pavilion Denver. The group is looking forward to visiting more Levitt venues this season. “I love that Levitt concerts are all-ages and that they let you actually enjoy public spaces: the cities, the parks,” says frontwoman Marisol Hernandez. “It’s a great meeting place for music, for friends, for family. That’s what I love about outdoor concert venues like Levitt pavilions.”
All Levitt National Tour performances with La Santa Cecilia are free and open to the public, providing welcoming, inclusive experiences for all ages to enjoy. Bassist Alex Bendaña notes, “The energy you get at Levitt venues is so good, it always feels like a festival. It’s a beautiful open space where everyone can express themselves and just feel free. For us, it’s always cool that we get to see diverse communities at Levitt venues, with people from all different cultures and all different parts of the neighborhood. Our music is very inviting to that sort of atmosphere.”
The 2023 Levitt National Tour will also see the return of the #LevittTour superfan campaign on the Foundation’s Instagram channel (@levittfoundation). One lucky Levitt audience member will win a ukulele signed by all members of La Santa Cecilia: a one-of-a-kind memento! The winner will be selected from photo and/or video submissions by Levitt audiences that capture the energy and excitement of the tour and include the hashtag #LevittTour in the caption. Additional details will be announced leading up to the start of the tour.
About La Santa Cecilia
La Santa Cecilia combines elements of cumbia, rock, bolero, bossa nova, jazz, tango, and ranchera into an electrifying and unmistakable signature style. Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is comprised of singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, accordionist and requinto player Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña and percussionist Miguel “Oso” Ramirez. Formed 15 years ago, the group quickly made a name for itself with a soulful, high-energy blend of both Latin and American musical traditions, reflecting its members’ bilingual, multicultural identities.
In 2010, La Santa Cecilia’s debut album Noche y Citas earned a Latin GRAMMY nomination for the single “La Negra.” It was soon followed by the group’s mainstream breakthrough, Treinta Dias, which won La Santa Cecilia a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album in 2014. Quickly establishing a reputation as a colorful, passionate touring act, La Santa Cecilia continued to broaden and diversify its style on follow-up album Someday New, which featured the group’s now-signature love song, “Como Dios Manda,” as well as an ingeniously reimagined cover of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” 2016’s Buenaventura earned the group yet more GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominations, as did 2017’s Amar y Vivir, which saw La Santa Cecilia recording songs in a variety of nontraditional settings across Mexico City, from bars to public parks. The group released its first all-English-language album, the self-titled La Santa Cecilia, in 2019. Shortly after releasing 2021’s Quiero Verte Feliz, which earned the group its fourth GRAMMY nod, La Santa Cecilia returned to the studio to tackle a two-album project, titled Cuatro Copas: Bohemias en la Finca Altozano, on which the musicians revisit and reinterpret important songs from their youth.
Veterans of stages large and small, La Santa Cecilia have performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Lincoln Center, in addition to appearances on TBS’ Conan and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. The group’s songs about love, loss and everyday struggles have sparked collaborations with everyone from Los Lobos and Pepe Aguilar to Elvis Costello and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, as well as invitations to record songs for films such as Cantinflas, The Book of Life, and Pixar’s Oscar-winning Coco.
Learn more at www.lasantacecilia.com.
About the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private family foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its commitment to creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation supports the activation of underused public spaces—such as neglected parks, vacant downtown lots, and former brownfields—into welcoming, inclusive destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together to create more equitable, healthy, and thriving communities. The Foundation’s primary funding areas include Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. Both of these programs present free concerts in outdoor, open lawn settings featuring high-caliber talent in a broad array of music genres and cultural performances. Levitt venues and Levitt AMP concert sites attract people of all ages and backgrounds and reflect the character of their town or city, while benefitting from the framework and best practices of the Levitt program.
The Levitt Foundation invests in community-driven efforts that harness the power of partnerships and leverage community engagement. Levitt venue nonprofits and AMP grantees partner with other local nonprofits and community groups to inform programming, outreach and engagement, embodying the Foundation’s funding philosophy and core values to support projects that are inclusive, catalytic and dynamic, and create connectedness and joy. Reflecting its ongoing commitment to self-reflection and contributing to the creative placemaking field, the Levitt Foundation invests in research to evaluate the social impact of Levitt programs in communities, which in turn informs the Foundation’s evolving philanthropic practice. Learn more at levitt.org.