February 15, 2017

Sounds of L.A. 2017

  (Press Release) 


Val Tate

Getty Communications
(310) 440-6861


Sounds of L.A. 2017 lineup includes performances by Rahim AlHaj, Rising Star Fife and Drum featuring Shardé Thomas, and Entre Mujeres: Women Making Music Across Borders featuring Martha Gonzales from the GRAMMY® Award-winning band Quetzal

Rahim AlHaj. Photo: © Michael G. Stewart

Los Angeles –Sounds of L.A., the Getty’s annual concert series exploring the city’s varied musical landscape, kicks off the 2017 season on February 18. This year features performances by musicians whose work speaks to the power of music to build and connect communities across histories and geographies.

“For over nineteen years, Sounds of L.A. has provided a unique opportunity to explore connections between the local and global, old and new. This year, we are pleased to collaborate with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, which produces the venerable Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings,” says Laurel Kishi performing arts manager for the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The resulting sonic diversity featured this year reflects a shared commitment to cultural exchange and engagement as well as to artistic excellence.

Sounds of L.A. 2017 launches on February 18 and 19 with a concert by Iraqi-American oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj. His forthcoming album, Letters from Iraq, features eight original compositions inspired by a collection of letters by Iraqi women and children. Joining him for the project’s California debut are David Felberg, James Holland, Jean-Luc Matton, Shanti Randall, Ruxandra Marquardt, and Issa Malluf.

March 18 and 19 brings Rising Star Fife and Drum featuring Shardé Thomas. As early as the 17th century, fife and drum music arrived in America’s deep south with military marching bands and was quickly woven into music traditions of the African slaves. Today, this extraordinary music lives on in the work of Shardé Thomas, who began playing fife alongside her grandfather, the great Otha Turner. Rising Star is one of the last links to a sound that everyone from Alan Lomax to Robert Plant to Martin Scorsese has praised for its unpretentious vitality.

Sounds of L.A. closes April 8 and 9 with Entre Mujeres: Women Making Music Across Borders. Founded by musicians Martha Gonzales (GRAMMY® Award winning band Quetzal) and Laura Marina Rebolloso (Son De Madera), this collaborative project features original compositions by musicians from Los Angeles and Veracruz. Its goal is to create community and make visible through song the voices, ideas, and translocal dialogue between women from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Featuring some of this city’s finest singers, Entre Mujeres cleverly blends traditional sounds of fandango with influences from rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and African and Odissi rhythms.

Sounds of L.A. Schedule

The series is free; a separate reservation is required for each concert. This season of Sounds of L.A. is presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. All performances take place in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. For tickets and information visit

Sounds of L.A.: Rahim AlHaj
Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 7 pm
Sunday, February 19, 2017, at 4 pm

Sounds of L.A.: Rising Star Fife and Drum featuring Shardé Thomas
Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 7 pm
Sunday, March 19, 2017, at 4 pm

Sounds of L.A.: Entre Mujeres: Women Making Music Across Borders
Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 7 pm
Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 4 pm
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