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City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage & Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series Summer Preview Showcase featuring…

City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage & Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series Summer Preview Showcase featuring Son Little, Chassol, Jupiter & Okwess, R.L. Boyce and DJ Bobbito Garcia

January 11, 2018 at the Highline Ballroom Tickets on sale now from $20 at

City Parks Foundation and Santa Monica Pier are thrilled to present the SummerStage & Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series Summer Preview Showcase, an annual special event taking place at the Highline Ballroom on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The showcase will feature acclaimed R&B singer-songwriter Son Little, French pianist and composer Chassol, Congolese Afrofunk-rock group Jupiter & Okwess, master of Mississippi Hill Country blues music R.L. Boyce, and DJ and filmmaker Bobbito Garcia aka Kool Bob Love for a night of performances that will offer audiences a preview of the upcoming 33rd season of SummerStage.

Son Little, the Philadelphia singer-songwriter and guitarist born Aaron Livingston, is known for his rootsy take on American R&B music. His 2015 self-titled debut and the 5-song EP, Songs I Forgot, that came before it, saw him deftly weave different eras of R&B — blues, soul, gospel, and rock and roll — through his own unique vision, never forced, always smooth. The album included his hit song “Lay Down,” which has been streamed over seven million times on Spotify. He’s toured the world with artists as diverse as Leon Bridges, Kelis, Mumford & Sons, and Shakey Graves, in addition to his own headlining runs. In 2016, he became a Grammy Award winning producer, earning a Best Roots Performance award for his work on Mavis Staples’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” This past September saw the release of his second full-length album, New Magic, which was inspired by his travels to the Northern Territory in Australia and has sonic hints of his musical heroes: Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder.

French pianist, composer, arranger and musical director for the likes of Phoenix and Sébastien Tellier, the charismatic and talented Christophe Chassol is known for his unique audio-visual artistic pieces, which he calls “ultrascores.” Described as “absolute film music” they are composed on the basis of a film’s sonic elements, articulating voices, music, sounds and images onto new audiovisual objects. His fourth album, the “ultrascore” Big Sun, was released in 2015 and was the final part of a trilogy that included 2011’s Nola Chérie (which accompanied his first record X-Pianos) and 2013’s Indiamore (his second DVD/CD project). Each “ultrascore” served as an homage to a different locale, and featured audio and video footage captured in each place: Martinique, New Orleans, and India, respectively. In 2016, Chassol released his latest album, Ultrascores II, and was featured as a collaborator on Frank Ocean’s Blond. Most recently he opened for Solange at a number of her fall 2017 tour dates.

Jean-Pierre Bokondji, known as Jupiter, has led the band Okwess (formerly Famous Black and Bongo Folk) since the early 1980s. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1963, Jupiter spent a large part of his adolescence living in East Berlin, where he was exposed to American soul music. At age 17 he returned to his hometown, Kinshasa, and discovered Congolese rumba and other rhythms and musical styles, all strangely reminiscent of funk, soul and rock. The synergy between these traditional Congolese sounds and Western music sparked Jupiter to create his own mode of musical expression. He began writing songs, many with a political bent, and playing with a changing lineup of musicians that eventually came to be known as Okwess. In 2006 Jupiter was the subject of a documentary, Jupiter’s Dance, and in 2013, he and Okwess released their first album Hotel ‘Univers’, which brought them international acclaim. Their second album, 2017’s Kin Sonic, features contributions from keyboardist Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, violinist Warren Ellis of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds and Robert del Naja, aka ‘3D’ of Massive Attack, who created the album’s cover artwork. The band’s current lineup includes Montana (of Staff Benda Bilili) on drums, Yendé on bass, guitarists Eric and Richard and the singer Blaise.

Mississippi born musician R.L. Boyce has been called the Ravi Shankar of Hill Country music. The 62 year old singer-songwriter started out as a drummer, playing for the Rising Star Fife and Drum band with blues legend Othar Turner, before picking up blues guitar at age 22. Despite his decades long career playing music, Boyce didn’t release his first full length album, Ain’t The Man’s Alright, until 2007 at age 52. His follow up, Roll and Tumble, debuted this past September. The album was recorded over two days, with everything done on the first take, giving listeners a rare glimpse into the kind of masterful jams that pop up at backyard parties and get-togethers in the Mississippi Hill Country. Joining Boyce on the album are fellow blues masters Luther Dickinson, Grammy nominated guitar slinger and former guitar player for the Black Crowes; Calvin Jackson, legendary Mississippi drummer who defined the rhythmic nature of the Hill Country blues sound; Cedric Burnside, drummer, guitarist, son of Calvin Jackson, and grandson to R.L. Burnside; Lightnin’ Malcolm, Kentucky-born one-man-band; and Andre Turner, drummer and grandson of Othar Turner.

New York City native and world-renowned DJ, Bobbito Garcia is the critically acclaimed author of Where’d You Get Those? NYC’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987 (Testify Books). The former New York Knicks/MSG Network halftime reporter was the voice of EA Sports’ popular NBA Street video game and TV host of ESPN’s “It’s the Shoes” series. In 2007, Nike released seven co-designed Air Force 1 sneakers bearing his signature. As an award-winning filmmaker, Garcia has directed two documentaries, Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC (2012) and Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives (2015). Currently, “Kool Bob Love” is directing an autobiographical documentary titled Rock Rubber 45s slated for release in 2018, producing his tournament Full Court 21™ All World in four continents, and co-hosting NPR’s “What’s Good With Stretch And Bobbito” podcast.

The SummerStage & Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series Summer Preview Showcase is an annual event that previews artists likely to perform during the upcoming season of SummerStage, which will kick off in May 2018. Artists’ participation in the SummerStage 2018 festival is subject to change.

Ticket and Show Information

  • Doors open at 6:00 PM / Concert begins at 7:00 PM

  • Tickets are required. General Admission tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.  VIP Reserved Seating is available in advance or day of show for $45

  • Tickets available for purchase here via TicketWeb. For more event and ticket information, please visit Highline Ballroom’s website.

About Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series is a Southern California summertime institution that marked its 33rd anniversary in 2017. Drawing tens of thousands of people each Thursday for free weekly concerts during the Summer and Fall, performers range from Indie Rock to Reggae to Americana to international music.

About SummerStage
SummerStage, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents more than 100 performances in 18 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 32 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. SummerStage is presented by Capital One Bank.

Twitter: @SummerStage
Facebook: SummerStage NYC
Instagram: @SummerStage

About City Parks Foundation
City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer programs in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. At CPF, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community development and education programs for all New Yorkers. Our programs and community building initiatives  — located in more than 350 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City  — reach 425,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: we believe thriving parks mean thriving communities.

Twitter: @CPFNYC
Facebook: City Parks Foundation
Instagram: @CPFNYC