Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ford Amphitheatre's interactive, free J.A.M. Sessions begin June 1



Media Contacts (not for publication):

Linda Chiavaroli, Director of Communications, L.A. County Arts Commission,
213 202-5935,


Lizzet Alvarez, Community Bridges Program Manager, Ford Theatre Foundation,


For Immediate Release

May 6, 2009


Attention Editors/Writers:

J.A.M.s listings in English:

J.A.M.s listings in Spanish:

Photos available upon request





Experience the Ford and release your inner artist


LOS ANGELES—The Ford’s first-ever J.A.M. (Jazzed and Motivated) Sessions in 2008 were so popular, the free interactive events guided by artists from the Ford season have been expanded from seven to nine in 2009. This season’s J.A.M.s kick off Monday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. with “Zydeco Inzanity.” Dance instructor by Karen Redding of will teach basic bayou moves to Creole accordion accompaniment. The opener segues into the second session, Monday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., called “SqueezeBox 101.” If you’ve had the urge to pick up an accordion, this is your chance. The Ford will have some available if you don’t own one. Otoño Lujan of Conjunto Los Pochos demonstrates the versatility of the squeezebox from Zydeco to Tex-Mex to Cajun.


J.A.M.s are designed for everyone, from the completely inexperienced to the amateur and professional. All sessions are free. Reservations can be made at - click on Events, then J.A.M. Sessions - or by calling the Ford Box Office at 323 461-3673.


“If you’ve never been to the Ford, it’s a great way to experience it for free and meet artists who will be performing on the season,“ says Adam Davis, Managing Director of the Ford Theatres for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. “If you know the Ford, you’ll enjoy it from a different perspective.”


The multi-level Ford complex is located in a Los Angeles County Regional Park and affords spectacular views of the surrounding Hollywood Hills. Dance J.A.M.s are usually held on the outdoor Ford Amphitheatre stage so J.A.M.mers have the performers’ point of view. Music J.A.M.s can be in the entryway or on the terrace, any place where break-out groups of J.A.M.mers gather and play.



J.A.M. Sessions themes and artists include:


Mon. June 1 at 7:00pm

Zydeco Inzanity

Learn the basics of Zydeco dance, straight from the bayous of Louisiana and set to the spirited sounds of Creole accordion, from Karen Redding of Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Mon. June 8 at 7:00pm

SqueezeBox 101

From Zydeco, to Tex-Mex, to Cajun music, session leader Otoño Lujan of Conjunto Los Pochos involves participants in playing the accordion. If you don’t have one, we can provide some.


Mon. June 15 at 7:00pm

Bahian Spirit

Release your inner soul with Viver Brasil in a class that honors Afro-Brazilian spirits through dance movement and song. Experience the master pulse of Brazil's Bahian culture.


Mon. July 6 at 7:00pm

D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) Drumming

Join the On Ensemble as they transform household items into powerful percussion instruments resonating with Japanese taiko rhythms. Bring along a paint bucket or your own drum!


Mon. July 13 at 7:00pm

Indie Inspiration

Meet today's hottest singers, songwriters and industry executives to hear tips on the business and participate in a group jam where everyone plays a popular song. Bring your instrument!


Mon. Jul 20 at 7:00pm

Flamenco for All

Briseyda Zarate, star of Fountain Theatre’s hit flamenco series, leads a session introducing flamenco dance movement and technique. Learn how to communicate fire and passion through your feet!


Mon. July 27 at 7:00pm

Feel the Folk

Whether you are a skilled guitar player or merely a novice on the washboard, bring whatever instruments you can find and jam along with other Bluegrass enthusiasts.


Mon. August 10 at 7:00pm

Hip Hop Get Down

Unleash the funk with artists from Culture Shock LA, Crew West Gallery, Aesthetics Crew and the Scratch DJ Academy and sample the four elements of hip hop: breakdancing, deejaying, emceeing and graffiti art.


Mon. August 24 at 7:00pm

¡A Bailar Son Jarocho!

Learn Son Jarocho dance moves from Ballet Folklorico Ollin then dance the night away to live music on the Ford Amphitheatre stage.


J.A.M. Sessions are presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation with major support provided by The James Irvine Foundation.


The Ford Amphitheatre is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East in Hollywood, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios. The grounds open one hour before J.A.M. Sessions start with time for picnicking. On-site parking is free!


These events are part of the Ford Amphitheatre 2009 Season, a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. For a complete season schedule, directions to the theater and parking information, log on to



The Ford Theatre Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1994, supports the performing arts and education activities that are presented at the Ford Theatres. The foundation’s Community Bridges program builds audiences by encouraging and facilitating participation in the theatres’ programs and brings Ford performers to youth and social service centers based in Asian Pacific Islander and Latino communities throughout Los Angeles County. The foundation also produces the Big!World!Fun! Family Series, which is free for children.


The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to programming the John Anson Ford Theatres, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All; administers a $4.5 million grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually; oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects; funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation; and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on The Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally. The 2009-10 President of the Arts Commission is Araceli Ruano.

For more information please consult the Arts Commission online press kit:



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