SM PIER — Get your dancing shoes on because the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Dance Series is back for its 25th year.
A summer tradition, concerts begin July 2 and run every Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. through September.
This summer’s series presents a variety of eclectic sounds from around the world, including music icon Joan Baez and African pop giants Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited. Punk rock pioneer Patti Smith will also hit the stage after a one-year absence.
Ben Franz-Knight, executive director of the pier, said creating this year’s lineup was a combination of art, science and program balancing.
“There are a number of performers that we’ve been wanting to have on the pier for a long time,” he said, mentioning Baez and local favorites Venice as two performers they look forward to hosting.
To celebrate the pier’s centennial there will also be a special show on July 23 in honor of La Monica Ballroom Redux. Squirrel Nut Zippers will perform in a big band atmosphere to help bring back the spirit of the La Monica Ballroom, Franz-Knight said.
Twilight Dance Series staples such as a reggae show and an act from Africa are also returning to the pier.
“The goal is always to present an eclectic lineup that has music from around the world,” Franz-Knight said.
For the first, there will be a wine bar at each concert showcasing a variety of world class wines presented by Wally’s Wine. Tickets for the Wine Bar will be available for purchase at the concerts (must be 21 years old).
Admission is free and people are encouraged to bring their own seating or rent it from the pier. Leashed pets are also welcome. Call the Santa Monica Pier at (310) 458-3900 for a complete concert lineup.