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Santa Monica Pier Concert Series Nearing First Season's End
By Lookout Staff
October 2, 2018 -- Afro-Beat and R&B will sweep across the Santa Monica Pier Wednesday as the scaled down Twilight concert series stages its penultimate performance of the year.
The new format -- intended to reduce the crowds that for more than three decades flocked to the pier to catch world-renown acts -- showcases music each week from a different region of the world.
The "Local Meets Global experience" offers a stage for California acts during a Pier-wide festival that features immersive art, food, a beer and spirits garden, games and "interactive activations," pier officials said.
Taking the Main Stage on Wednesday, the finest musicians and Tony-award nominated artists from FELA! the musical will present FELA! The Concert, which brings the legendary Fela Kuti's classics to the stage "with their own twist," event organizers said.
The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2009, is based on groundbreaking Nigerian composer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose shows at the legendary Lagos nightclub The Shrine were attended by government soldiers assigned to end his performances.
The musical with a book by Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis interposes performances of Kuti's songs with additional music by Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean and additional lyrics by Jim Lewis.
The opening act on the main stage, Inglewood native Tiffany Gouche,
"Equipped with her full-bodied melodies, Tiffany turned the industry on her ears with a robust epilogue of audacious tales -- garnering Gouche praise and accolades from music's elite."
Spinning tunes on the Pacific Park Stage will be DJ Nnamdi, who hosts "the most authoritative and current Los Angeles produced radio show covering music from the African diaspora, organizers said.
A Twilight drum circle will round out the performances on the West End Stage.
The concerts have so far succeeded in dwindling last year's crowds that were so large they spurred public safety concerns ("Santa Monica Pier Concert Series Succeeds in Drawing Much Smaller Crowds," September 13, 2018).
The crowds, which have been about one-third the size of those at last year's concerts have been far more manageable, requiring a small law enforcement presence, police have said said.
Last year's concerts were policed by more than 100 law enforcement officers from Santa Monica and officers from four other jurisdictions
This year's events have been patrolled solely by Santa Monica officers, police said.
The City Council approved the changes last December, when it rejected a recommendation from staff to put the series on a one-year hiatus ("Santa Monica 'Twilight' Concert Series on Pier Survives Proposal for 2018 Hiatus," December 13, 2017).
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