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The second season of "Live @ the Ford" presents three live performances that celebrate the ways in which music and dance can cross boundaries and bring diverse audiences together. The first traces the jubilant history of Mariachi from its native roots in Mexico to its arrival in Los Angeles with Nati Cano and Los Camperos. In the second, New Zealand meets Hawaii in a celebration of Polynesian dance and culture. And lastly, author Rubén Martinez hosts a Mexican vaudeville performance of Los Angeles's anarchist past in The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón. Experience the performances and the live taping of the events at the historical John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.
Performances
"Kanikapila" is Hawaiian for jam session, a free-flowing, unstructured sudden outburst of dancing and singing just for the fun of it. The Kanikapila features Southern California talent from two Pacific island cultures. The indigenous Maori warrior traditions of New Zealand come to life with poi balls, sticks and the ever-popular haka, or war chant. An appearance by Halau Hula a Kawika Laua 'o Leinani performing ancient and modern forms of hula and the Ford debut of the Kalama Brothers -- the newest rising stars from Hawaii whose acoustic sound is a blend of rhythm and blues, rock and Hawaiian -- round out the evening.
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Deeply affected by a recent visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, producer-dancer and choreographer Emiko Sugiyama conceived an event presented by J.U.i.C.E. (Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy) that celebrates world peace through hip-hop and dance. On the day of the performance, audience members were asked to create an Origami crane in memory of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who died from radiation exposure after the drop of the atomic bomb near her home in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Featured on this episode are LA’s Shyoshi with Kiminari & Kairi from Japan, who took the cranes back to the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima. An international cast of characters and dancers make this episode a must-see event for hip-hop and dance lovers.
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A preeminent example of South Korean contemporary music and culture, Haegum Plus, a fusion music ensemble, uses traditional Korean instruments in original ways to create new sounds. Led by virtuoso instrumentalist Kang Eun-il, the group seamlessly weaves modern composition and world styles, creating music that is classical, yet freshly forward thinking. Behind the scenes interviews include Kang Eun-il and the Korean Consul General Shin Yeon-sung, who talks about the melancholy and sorrow embedded in the sound of the Korean violin – the Haegum. Also on this episode, World Champion B-Boy group Last for One, featured in the film Planet B-Boy, displays its winning brand of break dance, melding traditional Korean drumming with breaking, crumping and more.

Airing Thursday August 15 @ 9pm on KCET
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From Baja California to the Rio Grande, take the route north with Grandeza Mexicana, L.A.’s premier folklorico dance company, and celebrate the sister cultures of the North American Southwest. With similar character and terrain, the border region is known for wide-open plains, cowboys, big attitudes and brave characters. This episode features new works that include Country Western-themed choreographies and traditional folk dances, as well as backstage interviews with the dancers and the director of Grandeza Mexicana, Jose Vences.
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The Angel City Jazz Festival continues to bring the very best of creative and cutting-edge jazz to Los Angeles. This year’s Global Jam is a celebration of jazz's wide cultural diversity with the Tigran Quintet, featuring Armenian virtuoso pianist and Thelonious Monk winner - Tigran Hamasayan and Rudresh Mahanthappa & his new project, Samdhi, a fusion of Indian melodic sounds with contemporary jazz.

Airing Thursday September 19 @ 9pm on KCET
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Variedades: The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón presents this story as the deep roots of the Occupy movement. The performance is inspired by the Mexican variedades shows (variety shows) of 1920 Los Angeles in which Martínez's grandparents were regular performers. The theatrical narrative -- Flores Magón's story -- is performed by hosts Rubén Martínez and Raquel Gutiérrez, who in turn present the show's such guests as Quetzal, Ceci Bastida, Josh Kun, Marisoul Hernandez, The Martínez Del Río Band, and more.
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Now that mariachi music is heard everywhere, it's hard to imagine a time when it was next to unknown in the U.S. Nati Cano and his Camperos played a major role in its mushrooming popularity. This story is told from his beginning in Mexico through his establishment of L.A.'s La Fonda Restaurant, collaboration with Linda Ronstadt and massively popular touring show Fiesta Navidad. Mariachi Folklor Pasión Mexicana, Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando and, of course, Los Camperos, portray the life of this charismatic musician.
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