Showtime Championship Boxing raises waves of adrenaline-soaked applause with a pair of championship bouts starring fleet-footed bantamweights. In the main event, a rematch of this summer’s controversial title fight in Las Vegas, audiences roar at the thuds of lightning-fast jabs as unbeaten Abner Mares defends his IBF and WBC silver-bantamweight championship titles against ex-champ Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko. Palpable animosity stirs between the two camps as they square off for the second time. In their first meeting, hearty portions of upper cuts and roundhouses brutalized the sluggers until the 11th round, when the referee called a knockout following a low blow about the color coordination of Agbeko’s trunk-and-robe ensemble.
For the Pacific Symphony, it's not just about the music. Although the grand orchestra, one of the largest formed in the United States in the last 40 years, produces more than 100 concerts every year, they do it with a goal of engaging the community and edifying the human spirit. Under the direction of Carl St. Clair, the platoon of virtuosos fills its repertoire with classic orchestral masterworks while nurturing the talents of new composers at their annual American Composers Festival. The symphony also expands its community outreach through all-ages music-education programs that have scored honors from the National Endowment of the Arts and the League of American Orchestras.
The mission of the California Philharmonic and its founder, renowned conductor Victor Vener, is simple: to increase awareness and appreciation of classical music. Their method, however, is anything but traditional—instead of staging events in formal halls or black-tie stairwells, the ensemble presents their crowd-pleasing concerts at the Santa Anita Race Track and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Combining pop music, Broadway standards, and legendary symphonies, Vener creates dynamic programs that aim to catch the imagination. Along with engaging performances and tuneful collaborations, the Cal Phil also hosts family nights to encourage children’s symphonic education.
For an organization going on 100 years old, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is distinctly unstodgy. The orchestra performs concerts that tunefully blend classical works with new pieces, and continually seeks new ways to engage audiences. Many evenings, for instance, are preceded by an Upbeat Live talk, covering the program's historical and cultural context and opening the floor for Q&As with guest artists. A thriving youth orchestra program, YOLA, shares the joys of classical music with a fresher-faced generation. And the Green Umbrella program invites guests to hear world-premiere compositions. That novel approach to listener engagement seems to have caught on—every year, the Los Angeles Philharmonic shares music with more than two million ears, or three million if you count that secret ear everyone has but no one talks about.
Throughout the 1970s, KC & the Sunshine Band soundtracked countless nights of disco balls spinning and bellbottoms flapping with hits such as "That's The Way (I Like It)" and "I'm Your Boogie Man." Each cut teems with upstroke guitar intermingling with celebratory bursts from the horn section and the full-bodied tenor of frontman Harry Wayne "K.C." Casey. Whether he's telling the audience to get down on that very night or shake their collective booty, K.C. gleefully belts partying orders like a drill sergeant at a singles mixer as he claps and patrols the Greek's outdoor stage. The pine trees of Griffith Park tower over his funk collective while they blast their hook-laden cuts and infectious optimism into the night.