The Ford Blog

Las Colibrí performing

Tradition for All

August 15, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
Each year at the end of summer, ¡Viva La Tradición! at the Ford celebrates a mariachi great. The show has grown so popular that this year it’s extending to two evenings for the first time. I had to find out more, so I spoke with producer, singer and Las Colibrí band-leader Susie García. This year’s show is a tribute to Don Pepe Martínez, the world-renowned mariachi who passed away in 2014. Don Pepe was the director of the Jalisco, Mexico-based Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for 40 years of the group’s renowned 120-year history. 

Ford Theatres' magical August dance-weekend adds intimacy

August 14, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
Unicorns and moonbeams! That magical stuff will spool at the Ford Amphitheatre when the beloved outdoor stage winds toward summer’s-end 2018. Lending unusual piquancy in a special dance-weekend are full-evening works by up-and-coming choreographers: Marjani Forté-Saunders (Aug 24, 25) and Stephanie Zaletel (Aug 26 only). To accommodate the intimate, experimental nature of these dance performances, the Ford has launched a new small-scaled seating configuration. Downtown Manhattan meets the Cahuenga Pass. Check it out!
Omar Offendum

Changing Perceptions by Countering Stereotypes as a Syrian American Artist

July 26, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
When I met him, I was way too shy to tell hip-hop artist Omar Offendum that his album SyrianamericanA was a staple on my running mix for years. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Omar is a Syrian American rapper and poet, who has legit Jay-Z status in the Arab American community. But to relegate his work to one community would be a disservice. He’s popular all over the world and his infectious and intellectual music speaks to anyone who’s felt marginalized or, as he puts it, “hybridized.”
Outfest Under the Stars attendees

Unabashedly Out at the Ford

July 11, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
Outfest Under the Stars screenings bring some of the Ford’s most energized, fun and memorable audiences. As a queer person myself, it is affirming to see a venue I love hosting such an unabashedly out and proud crowd. From a gaggle of bearded Dorothys at a Wizard of Oz singalong to a first-look screening of the latest Ghostbusters iteration, the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival has always made the Ford’s stunning Hollywood hills setting a little more alive and a lot more sparkly.
Rosalie Rodriguez

Romantic Music in a Romantic Setting

June 27, 2018
When you think of bolero, you might imagine the sweet, sweet sounds of Stanley Jordan’s classic jazz reimagining of Ravel’s Bolero. Bolero (boleros) music is considered to be the one of the most romantic musical genres in Latin America with origins dating all the way back to the 19th century.
Le Ballet Dembaya

Dembaya Means "Family"

June 21, 2018
​If your nose is tingling that could be because Big World Fun is back! Bring your curiosity and your sense of adventure and explore the world’s diverse cultures right here at the Ford. No plane required! These one-hour dance and music performances are designed with our youngest audience members in mind but are perfect for the entire family. The 2018 Big World Fun series begins Saturday, June 30 with LA-based West African dance and drum company Le Ballet Dembaya. 

One High-Octane Evening Where Traditional Is Contemporary

June 13, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
When I last caught up with TAIKOPROJECT in 2016, they were in the midst of a collaboration with Chicano rock band Quetzal. At the time, TAIKOPROJECT’s Executive Director Bryan Yamami talked about “honoring tradition by turning it on its head.” What TAIKOPROJECT does in each performance is remind us that even an art form as ancient and culturally rooted as Japanese taiko drumming can be fiercely and unapologetically contemporary.
Collective Memory Project performers

The Creative Act of Memory Building

June 06, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
I meet with Arianne MacBean, the director of The Collective Memory Project, on an overcast LA morning at the Ford, where she and her company are in rehearsal. It’s unnervingly quiet here during the day, the only sound the wind through the trees, underscored by the drone of traffic from the 101.