Levitt Pavilion’s Free Live Music Season Kicks off May 6
By Levitt Pavilion
Posted on May 04, 2022, May 04, 2022

Editor's Note: This article was originally published Apr. 27, 2022. The story was updated May 4, 2022, to include a Culture Buzz episode about this year’s live music series. 

Little Joe Y Familia, Cody Canada & The Departed, and The Soul Rebels are popular artists representing distinctly different music genres, but there’s one thing they have in common:

All three are among the eclectic lineup of musicians scheduled to take the stage at Levitt Pavilion Arlington during the outdoor concert venue’s upcoming season, which begins May 6, 2022 with two days of music by Gary Hobbs (Tejano), Conjunto Baraja de Oro (Tejano/Conjunto), Brent Alexander (country), and Billy Dean (country), and runs through mid-October.

Diversity of genre flavors is the anchoring element of the Levitt’s 2022 free concert series (sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospital Arlington), happening on weekends and featuring high production value lawn shows headlined by singer-songwriters and country-pop artists, R&B acts and Southern rockers, Tejano legends and Americana folk crooners—and that’s just to name a few of the free musical offerings on tap this season.

A ticketed show featuring Tommy DeCarlo (Boston singer) and Rudy Cardenas (“American Idol”)  is set for June 25.  Proceeds from Levitt ticketed events generate funds to support the venue’s free concert series; stay tuned to Levitt social media for announcements about another ticketed concert happening this fall.

New for 2022 is a three-part Arlington multicultural festival series: an Asian Heritage Celebration (May 15); a Juneteenth Celebration (June 18), and an Hispanic Heritage Celebration (happening sometime between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15; check the Levitt website for upcoming details). Produced in collaboration with the Mayor’s Asian Advisory Council, the Arlington Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, and the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council, each festival will feature concerts, music and movement performances, cultural cuisine and more, with no charge for admission.

Additionally, the Levitt will continue to build upon Share The Stage, a signature initiative that books North Texas musicians as opening acts for each free series concert. Created in 2021 with an initial grant of $50,000, Share the Stage to date has resulted in more than 50 local artists (including emerging talent, women musicians, and artists of color) booked as paid gigs for Levitt shows.

“As always, the Levitt season offers something for everyone, plus opportunities to discover new-to-you favorite genres and performers, in a beautiful setting where people from all walks of life can enjoy free live music in the heart of the city,” said Letatia Teykl, the venue’s executive director. “This season, we’re especially looking forward to special events, like our multicultural series and the Boston/Journey show in June, and to making friends with new fans who have yet to enjoy the Levitt experience.”

A member of a national network of performing arts spaces funded in part by Levitt Foundation, Levitt Arlington is one of the city’s premiere arts and entertainment destinations, noted for its annual series of free live music. The venue is located in the heart of the city in Founders Plaza (100 W Abram), within walkable or short driving distance to a number of Downtown Arlington destinations, as well as Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium, and Globe Life Field. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and coolers to all shows (except for ticketed events); see below to discover more tips for a great Levitt experience.

The 2022 free concert series will happen May 6 through July 16, then resume Labor Day and run through mid-October. Most concerts are held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and generally kick off between 7 and 7:30 p.m. with an opening act featuring North Texas talent. Check the Levitt website or follow the Levitt at @levittpavillionarlington (Facebook) or @levittarlington (Instagram) for show-specific details. Tickets are available now for the June 25 Tommy DeCarlo and Rudy Cardenas concert; all other Levitt shows are free.

2022 Season Sample

This is a sample snapshot of the 2022 Levitt season. Visit the Levitt website for an expanded lineup; note that new artists will be added throughout the spring and summer.

May 6: GARY HOBBS —Legendary Tejano artist

Opening Act: Conjunto Baraja de Oro (Tejano/Conjunto)

Tejano artist Gary Hobbs is beloved for more than four decades of memorable hits like “Las Miradas”, “Amame Y Bésame”, “Te Vas A Acordar”, and “Por Favor Corazón”.

May 7: BILLY DEAN —Singer, songwriter, storyteller

Opening Act: Brent Alexander (Country)

A modern-day American troubadour, Billy Dean has performed and toured with some of the industry’s biggest country music stars, including Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, and Wynonna Judd.

May 20: HARD NIGHTS DAY — Beatles Tribute Band

Opening Act: Paul Renna (Folk)

Hard Nights Day is DFW’s premier, award-winning Beatles tribute band, noted for the energy and nostalgia of their stage presence.

May 22:  THE SOUL REBELS — New Orleans Brass Band

Celebrate life, fun, and soul with The Soul Rebels, who have appeared with big-name artists like Katy Perry and DMX and delighted audiences around the world with their unique brass band blend of hip hop, jazz, and rock. Get ready to dance the night away!

Opening Act: The 40 Acre Mule (R&B, Country, Soul & Rock)

May 28: CODY CANADA & THE DEPARTED — Rock/Alt Country

Opening Act: Palmer Anthony (Country)

Don’t miss the chance to rock out with this edgy country band, whose 2015 album “Hippielovepunk” debuted at number 9 on both the Billboard country and indie charts.

May 29:  LITTLE JOE Y LA FAMILIA — Grammy-winning Tex-Mex

Opening Act: Grupo Pression (Latin)

The Levitt is delighted to bring back pioneering Tejano group Little Joe y La Familia, one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the music industry.

JUNE 3: BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION —Funk from the Big Easy

Opening Act: Igimèjí (Funk)

New Orleans-flavored funk is always served hot at Big Sam concerts, where “you’re not just at another show, but part of the show, dancing and singing along.” 

June 17:  SHAKER HYMNS —Turn it up with Texas Southern Rock

Opening Act: Jackie Minton (Folk)

Got a hankering for country music, music for the soul, or Americana? Don’t miss Shaker Hymns and songs from their latest album, “The Ties That Bind”.

June 19: BLACK OPRY —Country/Blues/Folk

The Black Opry Revue showcases the diversity in sound and stories that Black artists offer in country, blues, folk, Americana music, and more.

June 25: Tommy DeCarlo — Boston singer with special guest Rudy Cardenas  **Ticketed Show**

Opening Act: Rachel Stacy (Country/Blues/Rock)

Get ready to rock and sing along with the legendary hits of Boston and Journey at this fundraiser concert headlined by Tommy DeCarlo (the world’s most unlikely rock star - read his amazing story here) and special guest Rudy Cardenas (noted for his performance of “Open Arms” as a contestant on “American Idol”). Tickets begin at $38.

July 2: GRADY SPENCER & THE WORK — Texas Country

Opening Act: Jesse Stratton Band (Country)

This band’s music reflects the personalities of its members: honest and good-timing, with a nod to blue collar roots; fans will love this evening of good ol’ Texas music.

July 16:  JOSH WEATHERS—Inspiring Soulful Music

Opening Act: Lauren Corzine (Country)

Longtime local favorite Josh Weathers has been compared to the likes of John Mellencamp, Springsteen, and even Stevie Wonder; his music will blow you away with its soulful and empowering lyrics.

Sept 4: THE NEW RESPECTS — Pop, Soul and Rock-N-Roll

This Nashville-based family band presents an electrifying evening of danceable fusions of pop, soul and rock…The New Respects “turn heads with their bright, feel-good tracks stacked with propulsive beats and lush harmonies..”

**The New Respects is presented by the Levitt Foundational National Tour**

Levitt Food and Beverage

Levitt guests are welcome to bring picnic baskets filled with food and drinks, including alcohol, but leave the glass containers at home. Food truck concessions are also available during all Levitt shows, as is carry out cuisine from nearby Downtown Arlington eateries (such as Hooligan’s Pub, Hurtado BBQ, Cartel Taco Bar, Twisted Root Burger Co, and many more).

Concession Pro Tips

Try these Levitt fan favorites: Inspirations Catering (brisket grilled cheese and "The Stupid Good", a chimichanga-sopapilla-cheesecake rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with honey); D’Carbo Taco (street tacos and quesadillas); Q's Harlem Eatz ("The Cuban", a ham and pork sandwich served with fries);  All In BBQ (brisket nachos and brisket mac-and-cheese); OMG Mr. Munchies Jr. (buffalo wings served with chili cheese fries and steak quesadillas).

The Levitt Center

Sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospital Arlington, this 130-person capacity, glass-enclosed VIP space is available for private party rental during concerts (when not in use by concert sponsors) and for private events year-round. Features and amenities include a viewing deck with sweeping views of downtown, a hospitality suite sponsored by Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, a catering kitchen, Levitt staff support, and high-end A/V capabilities.

Tips for Rockin’ The Levitt

  • Picnic baskets and coolers are welcome (except for ticketed shows). Glass prohibited. 
  • Well-behaved four-legged friends on leashes are also welcome. Please consider concert volume and your pet’s sensitive ears before bringing them to a show.
  • Seating for non-ticketed events (which is the case for most Levitt events) is first-come/first-served. Early arrival is recommended, especially for concerts featuring popular artists. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Seating is also available on the low walls around the lawn.
  • Free parking is available in lots all around the pavilion and throughout Downtown Arlington, including City Hall, the Pinnacle Corp. parking lot (Abram just past Center), First Baptist Church, and UTA College Park. Here’s more
  • Make plans to come early or stay late and visit one of Arlington’s nearby attractions, including the UTA Planetarium, the Arlington Museum of Art, Free Play Arlington, and bars and restaurants throughout Downtown Arlington. 
  • Download the Levitt mobile app or follow the Levitt on social media to keep up with weather updates, concert news, and more. 

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