The Poetry of America’s 2014 national series The Voice of Women in American Poetry celebrates an enormous literary heritage. Distinguished contemporary poets—both male and female—will gather in five cities around the country to pay tribute to the immense achievement of a wide range of poets, from Phyllis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet to Adrienne Rich and Lucille Clifton. In Los Angeles, join poets Marilyn Chin on Ai, Toi Derricotte on Anne Sexton and Percival Everett on Gertrude Stein.
800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, 90015
It took a near-death experience to reunite Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, the California brothers at the heart of roots heroes The Blasters. It only made sense that for their first record together in three decades, the Alvin brothers would go back to where it all started and pay tribute to one of their original shared musical heroes, Big Bill Broonzy. The brothers recall being absolutely overwhelmed with their first listen to Broonzy when they were just teenagers. Broonzy was the one thing the brothers never argued about, in fact, playing the album for the first time and listening together was a significant childhood memory. Like the Alvins’, Broonzy’s career lasted more than 30 years and spanned several stylistic incarnations, ranging from country blues, ragtime blues, Chicago blues and American folk, all of which the brothers sought to capture on Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy.’ Rather than trying to recreate Broonzy’s exact guitar parts and vocals note for note, the record honors his innovative spirit and musical adventurousness, blending chords and melodies from different songs and incorporating stylistic nods to other guitarists – everyone from Magic Sam to Bo Diddley – whose work bears Big Bill’s unmistakable fingerprint. Dave and Phil may have set out to honor the legacy of Big Bill Broonzy with this record, but in the process, they solidified their own as one of roots music’s most exceptional duos. Catch them before they embark on an extensive tour and join us as we welcome the talented Alvin brothers to the Clive Davis Theater to celebrate the release of Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy. Hosted by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, the evening will feature both an interview and performance.