IRVINE, Calif., July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Great Park, in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, launches the fifth annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival on Thursday, August 2 with an unforgettable up-tempo Latin Music Weekend featuring east LA rock, a Salsa dance party and Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz. The Latin Music Weekend kicks off the five-week Flights & Sounds Summer Festival, which offers music lovers of all ages a musical tour around the world, set in three unique venues at the Great Park.
Visitors can get an early start to this exciting weekend on Thursday, August 2 when Chicano-folk rock meets pan-Latin rhythms with La Santa Cecilia performing in the Palm Court Arts Complex. La Santa Cecilia is a Los Angeles-based six-member band that creatively combines up-tempo South American rhythms like Cumbia and Bossa Nova with the nostalgic Bolero and passionate Tango, blending in Afro-Cuban percussion, rock and jazz to bring about a mix that defies any particular musical genre.
On Friday, August 3, swing your hips at a sensational salsa dance party featuring La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashe on the Dance Concourse. This 12-piece orchestra led by vocalist La Sirena and trombone virtuoso Mike Daigeau, presents a delicious, eclectic variety of danceable Salsa, Latin Jazz, Son, Cumbia, Cha Cha, Bachata, Merengue and Bolero. Come early at 7:45 p.m. to get salsa dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom.
The Latin Music Weekend culminates on the evening of Saturday, August 4 on the Runway Stage with headliner and Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz bandleader Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, stirring up a fiery stew of jazz, gritty soul music and infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources for more than three decades. Poncho Sanchez will be joined on stage by trumpeter Christian Scott and together they will perform Cubano Be Cubano Bop, a program celebrating the Latin jazz collaboration of Bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban conguero Chano Pozo.
"The annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to enjoy world-class music under the stars," said Beth Krom, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. "This will be our most exciting summer yet, with five world-themed weekends that will take visitors on a musical tour around the globe with dancers and musicians from North America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the British Isles."
Unforgettable Experience in Unique Venues
Beyond the varied and rich musical line up, the Great Park Flights & Sounds Summer Festival provides a unique setting that adds to the visitor experience. The musical performances take place in three specially-designed iconic venues at the Great Park.
- New this year, the Palm Court Arts Complex venue will feature a place to mix and mingle under 54 illuminated Canary Island Palm Trees delivering an outdoor club-like setting unequaled in Orange County.
- The Runway Stage venue will showcase the Festival headliners and offers concert seating and spacious lawns for those bringing their blankets and chairs.
- The Dance Concourse venue features the iconic black and white checkerboard dance floor and includes dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom at 7:45 p.m. under the glow of the Great Park Balloon.
Upcoming Festival Schedule and Featured Musicians
World Beat Weekend – African Rhythms, Contemporary Persian Electronica and Bhangra and Bollywood Dance Party – August 9-11
- Niyaz: Thursday, August 9, Palm Court Arts Complex - Persian electronica featuring a Sufi dancer
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Friday, August 10, Runway Stage - Africa's superstar a cappella group, made famous on Paul Simon's Graceland album 25 years ago and still singing strong
- DJ Rekha with special guests Dohl Nation and the dancers of blue 13: Saturday, August 11, Dance Concourse – DJ Rekha spins Bhangra and Bollywood music
Brits and Celts Weekend – The New British and Irish Invasion – August 17-18
- The Dunwells: Friday, August 17, Palm Court Arts Complex - These folk-rockers from Leeds have been called "the next U2"
- Solas: Saturday, August 18, Runway Stage - The quintessential Irish-American band, starring Seamus Egan in traditional and contemporary Celtic music
Made in America Weekend – Blues, Swing and Great Guitars - August 23-25
- Jim Washburn's Guitar Picks: Thursday, August 23, Palm Court Arts Complex – A one-of-a-kind program curated by local critic Jim Washburn and featuring the John Jorgenson Quintet, legendary bluesman Junior Watson and Mark Turnbull
- Pete Jacobs Band: Friday, August 24, Dance Concourse - Swing music, Motown and classic rock, with dance instruction by Atomic Ballroom
- The Del McCoury Band: Saturday, August 25, Runway Stage – Back by popular demand, the Del McCoury Band returns to the Great Park with high, lonesome vocals and a knife-sharp band that keep the bluegrass flame alive
Summer's End Weekend – Dance Your Way into Labor Day – August 31
Lavay Smith and Her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers: Friday, August 31, Dance Concourse - Bay Area blues and swing, hot and sweet!
Live music begins at 8:15 p.m. Dance instruction will be provided on select nights beginning at 7:45 p.m. The Hangar Cafe opens at 6:00 p.m. before all shows and will feature a fresh selection of delicious food and beverages. Admission is free, and parking is $10.
Festival Arts Programs Feature Something for Everyone
The Palm Court Arts Complex will be open during the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival with exciting and diverse opportunities to view exhibitions and engage with artists in the creative process. Be sure to check out the following arts programs:
- Farmers to Flyers Exhibition in the Great Park Gallery
- Artist-in-Residence Andre Woodward Open Studio Hours in the Artists Studios
- Artist-in-Residence Amy Catarina Fiber Art Installation in the Palm Court Plaza
- Contemporary Artists Depict 1942 Exhibition in the Artists Studios
The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways.
NOTICE: Parts of Sand Canyon will be closed between July 27 and August 6. Click here for more information on the Sand Canyon road closure and for directions to the Great Park.
For more information, visit, please visit www.ocgp.org or call 866-829-3829.
About the Orange County Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park's current array of recreational and educational opportunities, including views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air and provides a panoramic view of Orange County. Other Great Park features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and historic Hangar 244. The Great Park also hosts a variety of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Growing the Park Anniversary Celebration, annual Pumpkin Harvest, Great Night! Family New Year's Eve, Flights & Sounds Summer Festival and the weekly Great Park Farmers Market. The Great Park, with its approximately 1,300-acre master plan, is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org.
SOURCE Orange County Great Park