The Free DTLA Concert Series Runs Every Saturday from June 3 through August 24, 2023;
Season features New Poetry Nights on Fourth Fridays

LOS ANGELES – (May 2, 2023) Grand Performances, the longest-running presenter of free concerts in downtown Los Angeles, today announced its line-up for its 2023 Summer Season, featuring an exciting, eclectic line-up of global music, dance and poetry, running from June 3 to August 24 at the California Plaza in the heart of DTLA.

With music from across Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia, GP’s 2023 Summer Season brings together a diverse mix of genres and generations, from cumbia to oldies, funk to jazz and much more. New this season, Grand Performances will also host a series of poetry nights featuring influential voices from across Los Angeles on the fourth Friday of each month at the GP Amphitheater at California Plaza.

“This season we return to our legacy, introducing international artists to our diverse city and bringing free access to global performing arts on the Grand Performances stage,” said Rafael González, President and CEO of Grand Performances. “Angelenos are in for a special summer, our dynamic and creative team have curated what’s sure to be a remarkable season.”

Highlights of the 2023 season include buzz-heavy cumbia punk marimba rockers Son Rompe Pera kicking off the season on June 3; Iranian musician and political activist Shahin Najafi on June 17; groundbreaking West African kora master Sona Jobarteh on June 24; Jazz is Dead presents rediscovered Chicano jazz pioneer Garrett Saracho on July 15; Native-American and African-American singer Martha Redbone brings unique gumbo of folk, blues, and gospel on July 29. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, DJ Battlecat will perform with a live band, with special guest Thes One (People Under the Stairs) on August 12. Closing the season are iconic cumbia sonidera legends Grupo Kual on August 24.

This summer features a special tribute show to Art Laboe, with an all-star live band led Rocky Padilla (Tierra, WAR) plus performances by Aaron Frazer, Norman Carter (The Delfonics), Diamond Ortiz, Irene Diaz and DJ Spiñorita plus many more surprises presented by dublab and Hello Stranger on August 5.


Continuing with its long-running history of collaborating with cultural institutions, GP presents its June 10 show with COLA Artist Fellows in partnership the City of Los Angeles (COLA) Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA); and its June 17 show in presentation with the Farhang Foundation, and July 22 show in partnership with KCRW Summer Nights.


June 3: Son Rompe Pera / La Verdad / La Papaya Club

June 10: COLA Artist Fellows (Presented by Department of Cultural Affairs)

June 17: Shahin Najafi (Presented by Farhang Foundation)

June 24: Sona Jobarteh / Nubian Sound Group ft. Dexter Story / DJ Passionfruit

July 8: Viver Brasil / DJ Muñeka

July 15: Garrett Saracho (Presented by Jazz is Dead)

July 22: KCRW Summer Nights (Presented by KCRW)

July 29: Martha Redbone 

August 5: Tribute to Art Laboe (Presented by Dublab & Hello Stranger)

August 12: DJ Battlecat & Friends / Thes One [People Under The Stairs]
August 19:
Jazz in the House (Presented by Mark de Clive-Lowe)

August 26: Grupo Kual (Presented by Discos Rolas)

Grand Performances presents three poetry nights curated by influential award-winning LA-based poets and educators, with nights focused on Pride Month, LA neighborhoods, and Black and indigenous voices. The showcases will focus on singular voices in an intimate setting that will honor the resilience, strength and beauty of these communities to create an opportunity for love, understanding, and acceptance.

Poetry Nights

June 23: Poetry of Pride with West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace

July 28: LA Stories with 3rd generation LA Native Mike the Poet

August 25: Black Voices with award-winning author, poet, and educator Shonda Buchanan


All Grand Performances’ events are free, outdoors and for all-ages at the California Plaza (350 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90071) from 6pm-10pm, unless otherwise noted.


Grand Performances’ mission is to inspire community, celebrate diversity, and unite Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts. All of GP’s events are free, outdoors, all ages and open to the public at California Plaza in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), The Broad and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Founded in 1986, Grand Performances has presented free live concerts featuring Stevie Wonder, Ozomatli, Kamasi Washington, Seun Kuti, Madame Gandhi, Ana Tijoux, Soulection, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo and countless others over the last 37 years.

For more info, visit

Media Contact: Lorena Alamillo,, 213-443-6953