Great Gigs Coming Up Soon in LA (And Most Are Free!)

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The number of free summer music concerts around LA are pretty overwhelming.  You could catch great music all summer without spending a penny!  Here are some upcoming shows that caught my attention:

1)  Grand Performance California Plaza (next to MOCA)  Friday, July 20:  Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron 8 p.m.;   Sat July 21st:  Vamos Al Mambo:  Tribute to Cachao;  Sat, July 28th:  Breakestra & Bibi Tanga and the Selenites

2)  Skirball Cultural Center:  Thurs, July 26th:  Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga

3)  Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena and McArthur Park:  Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, 7/29 (McArthur Park);  Luisa Maita 7/29 (Pasadena)

4) Oscar Hernandez (arranger and pianist for Spanish Harlem Orchestra is doing a number of solo shows at and excellent and hip club in Little Tokyo, The Blue Whale  (;  with the wonderful mambo group Mongorama @ Union Station downtown

5)  José Mangual, Jr., the great bongoplayer and son of the bongocero who was famous for his work with Tito Rodriguez at the legendary NY Palladium shows) at the Granada in Alhambra, Friday, July 20th (

6)   Ondatropica at the Mayan Theater, downtown LA Sunday July 29th, 2012  (

These are a few of the shows I recommend.  Most are free.  Thanks to the Skirball, Grand Performances, the two great locations for the Levitt Pavilion, and others for the free shows to celebrate the summer without having to spend anything.   Go out and enjoy it!