Astral Progressions at the Ford

Photos by Timothy Norris courtesy of Ford Theatres

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Astral Progressions with Josef Leimberg + friends at the historic Ford Theatres. So many beautiful faces and warm, friendly smiles. From portrait photographer Jaimie Milner taking flash portraits on the plaza, a pre-show performance on "The Zev" terrace by Kobie Dozier and Gina Ramirez and a stellar performance by Josef Leimberg and his Astral Progressions Ensemble. Concert-goers were transported to an otherworldly atmosphere filled with horns, intricate drum patterns and soaring vocals from Bilal, Jermaine Holmes and Jimetta Rose. See the full photo album here>>>

Space is the Place

The countdown is on just days before we blast off into cosmic realms with a spacey soulful soundtrack of jazz, R & B and hip hop instrumentalism. Join us at the historic Ford Theatres on Sunday, Sept 17th for Astral Progressions with trumpeter and composer, Josef Leimberg + friends. Not in town? Can't make it? Consider donating tickets to our visiting community groups from Leimert Park's KAOS Network and the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic. #payitforward #thegiftofmusic

Beauty and the Bass

Gina Ramirez is a 20 year old student at Herb Alpert School of Music Cal Arts, a school that offers a vibrant mix of programs that allow students the musical fluency to work across conventional boundaries. Notable alumni include Ravi Coltrane, son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, and Astral Progressions headliner, Josef Leimberg

I’ve always been keen on how music affected me. When I was 9 years old, my very lovely neighbor offered to teach me classical piano. That’s where my musical journey began. When I entered junior high, I joined beginning band playing trumpet. This is where I learned about different instruments and how you can combine them in music. When I entered high school, I discovered jazz. At the time, I was still playing trumpet and classical piano on the side. But when this genre came into my life, I also discovered jazz bass. I felt a huge connection with that instrument than with any other. At 14, I was gifted an electric bass and I soon taught myself the fretboard and how to read. I would take home jazz charts and try to read the bass parts, I would learn cool bass lines by ear, and I would just try to learn as much as possible about bass. At 16, I composed my first jazz piece. This is when I decided that jazz and composition is what I wanted to do with my life. I enjoy composing, and I enjoy playing bass. So now, here I am in college, studying to become the best I can possibly be at my dream career. I want to strive for greatness.   --Gina Ramirez

Some of Gina's most notable performances include a 2014 performance at the Hollywood Bowl w/ Juanes feat. YOLA Orchestra and 3 years of the Playboy Jazz Festival and Central Avenue Jazz Festival with as well as the 2015 Leimert Park Labor Day Festival with Ashley Taylor. Recently, she's played Little Tokyo's own Blue Whale Jazz Club with her jazz trio.

Gina's accomplishments to date include prominent Awards that include: ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer Honorable Mention (2017), Herb Alpert Music Scholarship (2015), Music Center Spotlight Promise Award (2014), NAACP ACT-SO Regional Gold Medalist (2014) and an RDJF Music Scholarship (2012). Gina has also just become an official endorser for REMIC Microphones, the leading Professional designer & manufacturer of high definition condenser microphones for classical instruments, based in the heart of Jutland, Denmark. Congratulations, Gina!

On Sunday, Sept 17th, Go As If presents a night of cosmic jazz under the stars entitled "Astral Progressions." Trumpeter, composer and producer Josef Leimberg, known for his Grammy award-winning work on Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly" will bring along some of his favorite collaborators including soul singer, Bilal. Catch a special pre-show performance on the new "Zev" Terrace, (part of the theatres' completed $72M renovation) featuring Gina Ramirez on Double Bass and Tree Academy graduate and 1st year Hamilton High School student, Kobie Dozier. Don't miss this special evening of cosmic jazz and soul music. Tickets on sale now.

Pay it forward and donate to the 100 community members attending the show free of charge! Together, we can remove obstacles to high quality arts experiences for underserved communities.

Astral Progressions 9.17.17


Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Ford Theatres, Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, CA. — Trumpeter, composer and producer, Josef Leimberg (Alpha Pup Records/World Galaxy), headlines the historic Ford Theatres on September 17th for a summer concert entitled, “Astral Progressions”. The show will give back to several non-profit organizations with tickets and bus transportation including Ben Caldwell’s KAOS Network in the beloved South LA community, Leimert Park.
       Josef Leimberg has been making music in Los Angeles for more than twenty-five years. His stellar collaborative resume includes names in the industry like Erykah Badu, Dr. Dre, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, SZA and Snoop Dogg. Turn on the first track, “Wesley’s Theory,” on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy award winning “To Pimp a Butterfly” and you’ll hear Josef’s voice opening the album. His sound is a soulful cosmic-funk jazz at the intersection of hip-hop instrumentalism.

       For his debut Ford performance, Leimberg will bring along his Astral Progressions Ensemble and some of his favorite collaborators including singer/songwriter Bilal, who is featured on the Detroit Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and recently gave a riveting performance of the song “It Ain’t Fair” on The Tonight Show with The Roots. Other guests include soul songstress Jimetta Rose and Grammy award-winning Jermaine Holmes (of D’angelo’s The Vanguard) with more guests to be announced.
       Leimberg sits alongside modern jazz greats such as Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper.

“I appreciate all of the arts”, says Leimberg. “My parents were very big on jazz when I was growing up. I remember as far back as I can going to jazz clubs with my parents and seeing some of the greatest jazz musicians.”

With this concert, Leimberg will pay it forward by giving the South LA community that same experience for a new generation of music lovers.

Traveling without moving.

Thank you to the Ford Theatres for inviting me back for a second year to curate the pre-show art activities for Big World Fun. We traveled to Mexico, Japan and Micronesia without leaving the city. Watching families and friends make art together brings so much joy to my heart. 

Thank you to generous sponsorship from Blick Art Materials (Blick on Beverly), Starwest Botanicals and my small team of volunteers. Enjoy some of my favorite photographs from the series from Future Collective and Timothy Harris, courtesy of Ford Theatres.