September in Santa Monica Is All About Free Sunday Music

The Americana in the Park series will deliver the sunshiny, get-moving tunes to Gandara Park.

Halline Overby

What to Know

  • Outdoor concerts presented by McCabe's Guitar Shop
  • Sundays in September at Gandara Park; 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Free

Cozy indoor concerts at McCabe's Guitar Shop, the sort of tuck-in, open-your-ears, open-your-heart happenings that feature a line-up of fantastic artists in an intimate setting, have been a sweet staple of the Santa Monica music scene for decades.

But every so often McCabe's, which will celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2023, takes all of that sweet strumming out into the sunshine, all to create an earlier-in-the-day experience that everyone can join, even the smallest, ready-to-dance kids.

That ebullient experience? It's called Americana in the Park, and it will feature live concerts, for free, over four September Sundays at Gandara Park. The sunny series is presented by Art of Recovery, an initiative helmed by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs.

The afternoon shows will feature a host of Americana-influenced performers, with upbeat acts created to get the youngsters moving scheduled to open each show.

On the inaugural day, which takes place on Sept. 4, the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend?

"Culture bearer Tina Orduno Calderon, will open the series with a Tongva land acknowledgment and blessing joined by world champion Native hoop dancer Eric Hernandez. Headlining the evening is master kora player Prince Diabaté and Friends," shares the event team.

Attendees may show up with their own instruments to join the rollicking McCabe's Hootenanny Collective on Sept. 11, which will also feature performances by AJ Lee and Blue Summit.

Earthworm Ensemble and I See Hawks in L.A. are the Sept. 18 headliners, and Jacob G. and the Score will open for Little Willie G. on Sept. 25.

Showing with a lawn chair and/or blanket? Totally cool, if you're feeling it.

Showing up a little peckish? Also just fine: There will be food trucks nearby.

Showing up with a longing to browse guitars and/or other items that will enhance your musicianship? Super news: McCabe's will host a pop-up shop at each event.

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