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Unique music event in the O.C.

Flights & Sounds Summer Festival

Posted: August 3, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: August 3, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Music lovers of all ages can enjoy a musical tour around the world when the Orange County Great Park, in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, presents a diverse mix of internationally acclaimed musicians, dancers and exciting new artists at the fifth annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival through August at the Great Park.
Each weekend during the five-week festival offers music lovers a different stop on this expertly curated musical and cultural world tour set in unique venues at the Great Park.

“We think this is one of the most distinguished cultural events in California,” said Henry Korn. “This is a wonderfully unique event held in a beautiful setting that is absolutely free, except for a modest parking charge.”

Korn was appointed manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage by the Orange County Great Park Corporation in 2011.

“All the music is very high quality,” said Korn. “This is isn’t your grandfather’s concert series, this is a true festival.”
He pointed to multiple Grammy Award-winning sensation Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy award-winning Latin jazz bandleader Poncho Sanchez, Persian electronica phenomenon Niyaz and Grammy award-winning bluegrass legend Del McCoury, who will headline the summer festival.

Beyond the varied and rich musical lineup, 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.

Festival Schedule and Featured Musicians
Latin Music Weekend — East LA Rock, Salsa Dance Party and Cuban Bop — Aug. 3 - 4

* La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashé: Friday, Aug. 3, Dance Concourse — Traditional salsa dance party music with dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom

* Poncho Sanchez with trumpeter Christian Scott: Saturday, Aug. 4, Runway Stage — Cubano Be Cubano Bop, a program celebrating the Latin jazz collaboration of Bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban conguero Chano Pozo
World Beat Weekend — African Rhythms, Contemporary Persian Electronica and Bollywood Dance — Aug. 9 - 11

* Niyaz: Thursday, Aug. 9, Palm Court Arts Complex — Persian electronica featuring a Sufi dancer.

* Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Friday, Aug. 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: Saturday, Aug. 11, Dance Concourse — DJ Rekha spins Bhangra and Bollywood music.
Brits and Celts Weekend — The New British and Irish Invasion — Aug. 17 and 18

* The Dunwells: Friday, Aug. 17, Palm Court Arts Complex — these folk-rockers from Leeds have been called “the next U2”

* Solas: Saturday, Aug. 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 — Aug. 23 - 25

* Jim Washburn’s Guitar Picks: Thursday, Aug. 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 more.

* Pete Jacobs Band: Friday, Aug. 24, Dance Concourse — Swing music then and now with dance instruction by Atomic Ballroom.

* Del McCoury Band: Saturday, Aug. 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 — Aug. 30 and 31

* Performer TBD: Thursday, Aug. 30, Palm Court Arts Complex.

* Lavay Smith and Her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers: Friday, Aug. 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 Café opens at 6:15 p.m. before all shows and will feature a fresh selection of delicious food and beverages. Admission is free, and parking is $10.

“The Great Park has a magical atmosphere after dark,” said Korn.

The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways. For more information, visit or call 866-829-3829.


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