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Week 1: The SaMo Mambo Grupo Fantasma

stars . Salsa All A L. ’ ez d n a Oscar Hern

JULY 7th, 2011


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Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011



Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Grupo Fantasma

About this publication This Twilight Dance Series guide has been created as a partnership between the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation and the Santa Monica Daily Press. It is intended to help concert-goers navigate the popular summer concert series.

Twilight Dance Series

Publisher: Ross Furukawa Editor: Daniel Archuleta Designer: Darren Ouellette

Table of Contents Pg. 6

Time for the SaMo Mambo Grupo Fantasma, Oscar Hernández co-headline opening night

Pg. 8

Pg. 12 OneWest Bank has signed on to be the TDS’ first presenting sponsor

Use these tips to help navigate this year’s concert series

Pgs. 14-18

TDS map Find your way around the Santa Monica Pier

Special thanks: Martin Fleischmann, Steve Gibson, Craig Hoffman, Anne Railsback, Rob Schwenker, Brittney Seeliger, Steven Stuart, Taylor Van Arsdale

New face

TDS survival guide Pgs. 10-11

The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation is a non-profit created in 1983 by the Santa Monica City Council to preserve and enhance the pleasure pier experience for people of all ages and for future generations.

Upcoming TDS schedule Find out more about the exciting acts lined up for the remainder of the series For more information, visit, or call (310) 458-8901.

Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011



Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Grupo Fantasma

Time for the SaMo Mambo Grupo Fantasma, Oscar Hernández’ L.A. Salsa Allstars co-headline opening night et ready for the SaMo Mambo: a Latin dance concert featuring the sweet funky rhythms and the sultry sounds of Grupo Fantasma and co-headliner, two-time Grammy Award winner Oscar Hernández' L.A. Salsa All Stars. Grupo Fantasma is a 10-piece, Austin-based Latin funk orchestra, known for their energetic live shows, while Hernandez is considered one of the most gifted and prominent pianist/arrangers on the national Latin jazz and salsa music scene. Grupo Fantasma received their first Grammy Award in the “Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album” category for their album, “El Existential” and are poised to bring some of the best in Latin rhythms to the opening night of the Twilight Dance Series. And if their name sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve heard one of their tracks: “Chocolate,” “Barretta” or “Perso Fra/Mesquites” on the Showtime original series “Weeds.” Brought together by Austin’s bustling music scene, Grupo Fantasma formed in 2000 and is comprised of musicians with Latin American and Texan backgrounds. Praised as one of the most important independent acts in the Latin genre, the band draws from influences including cumbia,


salsa, old-school funk, reggae and more. And while the band’s run is almost 10 years strong, the current members represent a new generation in Latin Music. “We have a Jewish band member, an African-American guy, and a few different types of people in the band, but our cultural variety aside, our sound is not the traditional sound that most people associate with Latin music,” said Greg Gonzalez, bassist and one of the founding members. “We incorporate funk, rock ‘n’ roll, guitars and electric bass.” Indeed, the 10-piece orchestra has received praise from The Wall Street Journal, La Opinion, and by USA Today, who have called the band “Latin-funk masters.” “We grew up with the sounds of Mexico being by the border in Laredo, but we didn’t appreciate it at the time. I’m not saying we didn’t like it, but we were more enamored of the American sounds of rock ‘n’ roll and hiphop,” Gonzalez said. The band has a large repertoire of music from which to choose but you can expect to hear some new songs, including one written by conga player, Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes, called, “Problemas.” “Whatever the newest song is, is the one that’s the most exciting to play,” Gonzalez

said. All the members contribute to the songwriting in one way or another but during the writing of their Grammy-winning “El Existential,” Gonzalez says, “That was the first time we sat down in the studio without a preconceived notion of what we wanted to do.” While the band has played all over the United States and Canada touring extensively, Gonzalez loves the West Coast. “Personally I love going to California, especially compared to here in Texas right now where it’s 110 degrees ... Santa Monica is a great spot, very friendly and holds a lot of nostalgia for us because the first bar we ever played in California was in Santa Monica, so we’re super excited. Anytime you get to play at a venue like [the pier] with the Pacific Ocean within sight, well, you can’t beat that!” The current line-up features; Beto Martinez and Adrian Quesada on guitars, John Speice on drums, Jose Galeano and Kino Esparza on percussion and vocals, Greg Gonzalez on bass, Mark Gonzales (the group’s songwriter) on trombone, Josh Levy on baritone saxophone, Gilbert Elorreaga on trumpet, and Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes

on congas. The collective power of Grupo Fantasma is what makes this orchestra such a treat live. Show starts at 7 p.m., so be sure to get there early, (Salsa dance lessons start at 6 p.m.) grab a good seat but don’t plan on sitting down for too long, because this is one band that will have you up and dancing.


Greg Gonzalez, bassist and founding member of Grupo Fantasma


Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011

2011 TDS lineup • July 7, The SaMo Mambo: Grupo Fantasma and Oscar Hernandez’ L.A. Salsa All Stars (salsa dance lessons start at 6 p.m.) Benefiting PADRES Contra El Cáncer

• July 14, 80’s Pop: The Bangles and Caracol • July 21, Australia Rocks the Pier: (presented by the Australian Consulate and Cotton On):

Missy Higgins, Kim Churchill, and Andy Clockwise • July 28, Reggae/Ska: Slackers and Star Pool (plus the finalists of Rusty’s Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

• Aug. 4, Rock of the Bay: In Support of a Cleaner Ocean (The Twilight Dance Series partners with Heal the Bay)

• Aug. 11, La Monica Ballroom Then & Now: Royal Crown Revue, Orgone, plus Ameera featuring Antonio ‘Big Daddy’ Fargas (featuring a dance floor) Oscar Hernández

• Aug. 18, Making Waves: A Night of Surf Guitar The Duo-Tones, Slacktone, and The Eliminators


Oscar Hernandez Two time Grammy Award winner Oscar

Hernández has long been considered one of the most gifted and prominent pianist/arrangers on the Latin jazz and salsa music scene. He was also Ruben Blades' long-time musical director and currently leads the well-in demand New York band Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

• Aug. 25, Tango on the Timbers: Milongatron (tango lessons start at 6 p.m.)

• Sept. 1, New Americana: Dawes and Sonny & the Sunsets (plus the winner of Rusty’s Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

• Sept. 8, A Night In Treme: (presented by Bloomingdales): Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew, Donald Harrison Electric Band, and Wanda Rouzan



Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

TDS survival guide Use these tips to help navigate this year’s concert series Tickets, cost

Bike valet

Food and drinks

No ticket or reservation is necessary for the concerts. And all of the concerts are free. However, should you find yourself wanting to express your appreciation for the concerts you are welcome to make a tax deductible contribution to the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation either by donating online at or in person at one of the concerts by visiting the pier booth.

There is a free bike valet located next to the beach bike path just south of the Santa Monica Pier. It’s the reward for being kind to the environment.

Alcohol consumption is not permitted in public spaces in Santa Monica. However, there are several full-service bars on the pier. Food is permitted.

First aid/lost and found

Time for wine

If you require first aid or assistance, please visit the pier booth/tent and we will contact the proper authority. If it is an emergency, please call 911. The lost and found will also be located at that location.

“Sonoma on the Deck” will be located on the pier overlooking the sand, where guests can enjoy a selection of specialty wine and beer, see the concerts in a relaxed environment, all while taking in the sunset overlooking the Santa Monica Bay.

What time do the concerts begin and end? 7 p.m. — 10 p.m.

Pets Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Parking Parking is available in the 1550 Pacific Coast Highway Lot, on a first-come, firstserved basis. There is no parking permitted on the Pier Parking Deck. There are also a number of city structures located in nearby Downtown Santa Monica. For more information, visit the City of Santa Monica’s parking site for directions and pricing at For directions to the Santa Monica Pier, visit

Weather It never gets really cold, but after the sun goes down it can sometimes get a bit chilly requiring only a sweater or light jacket. It’s always a good idea to have something to throw on just in case.

“Sonoma on the Deck” will feature locally-owned, award-winning Solsticio Wines from Argentina, California labels, specialty beer and more! Beer and wine will be offered for $5 and $8 respectively. Must be 21 years of age and present an I.D. “Sonoma on the Deck” is a perfect place to enjoy a summer’s night with great wine, friends and entertainment!

Seating is not provided. You are welcome to bring beach chairs and blankets and sit on the pier deck or the beach. We ask that you bring low beach chairs. Many people do sit on the sand at the beach below the pier deck.

• • • • •

E-mail address Phone Numbers: Cell/home General availability Special skills/interests Fundraising ideas

Social media Tell us what you think about this year’s Twilight Dance Series. Post your photos, tell us a funny story or even rate the artists. • •

Santa Monica Pier contact info Telephone: (310) 458-8901

Volunteer Seating

concerts, please contact us at (310) 4588901, or e-mail Anne Railsback at Please provide the following information:

The pier is always looking for a little help with the dance series. Volunteers are needed to help with raising funds, assisting the crew and providing hospitality for artists. If you are interested in assisting at the


Mail: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite A Santa Monica, CA. 90401

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Summer 2011

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Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

OneWest Bank offers a helping hand or the first time, the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation will have a little help producing its annual Twilight Dance Series. This year, the PRC has teamed up with OneWest Bank. the largest Southern California-based bank, to produce this year’s slate of 10 concerts. “It is a great relationship and we’re so excited about it,” said Steve Gibson, interim executive director of the PRC. “The Twilight Dance Series is about giving back to the community and it’s been a nice ‘coming together’ with OneWest Bank on the project.” The presenting sponsorship came about during casual conversations between the president of OneWest Bank and Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould. “It was over something completely different,” Gibson


said. “OneWest Bank was interested in being more involved in the community, and the city manager suggested we get in touch. That initial conversation led to others which made this sponsorship a reality.” OneWest Bank is also extremely pleased with their involvement and partnership as well as the exposure that the Twilight Dance Series will afford them. The 10-concert season is part of their organized effort to support local initiatives that contribute to a more vibrant California. “At our Santa Monica branches and offices throughout Southern California, OneWest Bank is dedicated to personalized service, one person at a time,” said Joseph Otting, president and CEO of OneWest Bank. “We are committed to preserving the integrity of Southern California’s cultural institutions and ensuring their continued success. In particular, we are honored to support the Twilight Dance Series.” The Twilight Dance Series has been an annual fixture on the Santa Monica Pier since 1983 when it began with “Save the Pier Week” and has since become a hallmark of the Santa Monica community. “We believe the 27th Annual Twilight Dance Series will be a fantastic concert production and will please the Santa Monica community and concert fans,” said Kent Smith, chair of the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation board. “Free summer concerts on the pier have become a cultural and historical phenomena and we made a collective effort to deliver the quality and community experience that has come to define this cultural institution.”

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Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011



Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Upcoming TDS schedule Week 2 July 14, 80’s Pop: The Bangles and Caracol

The Bangles Rock historians view the Bangles as one of the greatest all-female bands ever, lauding the L.A.-based quartet for its inventive incorporation of 1960s folk rock, sunny SoCal harmonies and Beatles/Byrds/Beach Boys/Big Star godhead into a sound all its own — beguiling, frequently bittersweet, but always life-affirming; a canny merger of art and commerce. Theirs was a rags-to-riches story, from the band’s beginnings in L.A.’s Paisley Underground scene through their reign as the smart-pop princesses of the 1980s — a problematic decade that was far richer for the Bangles’ presence in its unfolding.


The Slackers

Caracol’s music is built on raw emotion and is a unique blend of American folk, old Jamaican rocksteady, with a singer-

songwriter and a vintage 1950’s feel. It is likened by some to indie-pop and features the sounds of the ukulele, the autoharp, vocal harmonies and a good old acoustic guitar. Her lyrics, written in both French and English, explore the sometimes darker side of human emotions and relationships through anger, love, contempt, arrogance and the search for something more.

Week 3 July 21, Australia Rocks the Pier (presented by the Australian Consulate and Cotton On): Missy Higgins, Kim Churchill and Andy Clockwise

Missy Higgins Passionate and sincere, Australian singersongwriter Missy Higgins is a welcome relief in a music landscape littered with disposable pop. The 24-year-old Melbourne native has SEE ARTISTS PAGE 15

Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011


The Bangles

ARTISTS FROM PAGE 14 enjoyed phenomenal success in her homeland, and a growing fanbase in the U.S., in spite of — or perhaps because she shuns the usual synthetic packaging and tabloid tackiness. Instead she’s adopted a more timeless approach, relying on her undeniable songs and unforgettable live performances to forge a genuine connection with her audience. Higgins’ latest album, “On A Clear Night,” retains the irresistible melodies and piercing lyrics of her critically lauded debut “The Sound of White,” which was Australia’s best-selling album of 2005. This time around, the album benefits from the empathetic production of Mitchell Froom, who is known for his work with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and Crowded House. The quiet strength of the new songs reflects Higgins’ newfound confidence and changing worldview.

backing band for the Wailers), the band sees its music as an extension of the traditions of the United States. This band is equally appreciative of old blues, country, ‘60s soul, rock, and R&B as it is of reggae, rocksteady, dub, and ska. It is as if the Rolling Stones or the Yardbirds had grown up on Bob Marley as well as Muddy Waters.

Starpool Starpool is a new musical group made up by seven friends who play a twisted blend of rock, reggae, funk with the occasional twist of ska and world beat to the delight of everyone who has the chance to see them perform live. Fronted by one of the most endearing and entertaining vocalists to have performed in years, and backed by an all-star cast of musicians, it’s no wonder that Starpool is one of the most vocally celebrated new bands of the past few years.

Kim Churchill Week 5 It would be an understatement of gross proportions to say that 20-year-old guitarist, surfer and singer-songwriter Kim Churchill possesses drive. The Canberra-born, Merimbula-bred musician is more itinerant than a Kalahari Bushman trying to divest his people of a Coke bottle. “As a young artist, now’s the time for me to be busy,” Churchill said. “You just have to tour your arse off, record heaps and keep pushing every way you can. It’s been a hectic couple of years, but it’s also been lots of fun.”

Aug. 4, Rock of the Bay: In Support of a Cleaner Ocean (The Twilight Dance Series partners with Heal the Bay)

Acts to be announced

Week 6 Aug. 11, La Monica Ballroom Then & Now: Royal Crown Revue, Orgone, plus Ameera featuring Antonio ‘Big Daddy’ Fargas

(featuring a dance floor)

Week 4 July 28, Reggae/Ska: The Slackers and Starpool (plus the finalists of Rusty’s Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

The Slackers The Slackers are a classic American band that is equal parts grit and grace. Their slow rise against the odds is a story in perseverance and a belief in their musical vision, what vocalist Vic Ruggiero likes to call, “Jamaican rock ‘n’ roll.” While they have been influenced, and even personally taught by Jamaican ska/reggae originators, like the Skatalites and the Upsetters (original

Royal Crown Revue Formed in 1989 in Los Angeles, Royal Crown Revue was conceived by Eddie Nichols and saxophonist Mando Dorame. The band’s hybrid sound emerged out of their mutual admiration and love for rhythm & blues, jazz, punk, rockabilly soul, and swing, among other styles of American roots music. RCR is often credited with starting the retro-swing revival movement of the 1990s. In 1993, they began playing regularly at The Derby, a landmark club in Los Angeles. It was there that RCR began to gain worldwide recognition from such films as “The Mask.” SEE ARTISTS PAGE 16


Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series



The Duo-Tones

The underground scene they created at The Derby became the basis for the hit film, “Swingers.” Since exploding out of L.A.’s underground scene when they formed, Royal Crown Revue has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, from the Hollywood Bowl to Radio City Music Hall.

Paul Johnson pioneered surf-instro music in the 1960s with the Belairs; his tune, “Mr. Moto,” is a genre classic. Now, after a lifetime of prolific creativity in a style that epitomizes the form, he’s regarded as one of the genre’s leading lights. Gil Orr was a child prodigy in the1950s playing country music on TV and radio. He took to rock ‘n’ roll in the ‘60s and joined the Chantays (with whom he still plays to this day). Gil is extremely versatile and eclectic, bringing a brilliant creativity to a wide variety of styles. These two masters of the surf guitar have joined forces to create a unique variation on the original theme: by leaving out the drums and bass, they put the focus on their delightful dual-guitar interplay, bringing fresh appeal to the surf-instro genre.

Orgone Los Angeles-based Orgone is many souls with a cosmic connection, a natural creative force of musicians who have played together for years. They are self-schooled and continue to shape their musical voice as a solid unit of guys who hang, spin records and jam out their shared inspirations. With a rooted sense of funk, soul, afrobeat, deep rhythms and an intimate understanding of DJ culture as well as each others’ individual talents, Orgone seamlessly slides through multiple styles and dynamic performances. The group continuously injects whatever they play with a heavy brand of raw funk power.

Ameera featuring Antonio ‘Big Daddy’ Fargas Ameera has a vocal quality that you don’t hear in today’s young singers. While most artists want to emulate the latest pop, R&B or hip-hop trends, Ameera sounds like she’s from a different time in history reminiscent of the jazz clubs of the 1940s. Jump blues was a particular style of music developed in the ‘40s that was best described as a swing blues. Innovative jump blues artists in its day were Tiny Bradshaw, Wynonie Harris, Louis Jordan, and Ella Mae Morse. The fact that Ameera is only 20 years old with that kind of vocal ability, leaves no doubt that she will be the voice of the “New Jump Blues” movement.

Week 7 Aug. 18, Making Waves: A Night of Surf Guitar: The Duo-Tones, Slacktone, and The Eliminators

Slacktone Slacktone is widely recognized as America’s best surf instrumental band. Their sound is a hyper-kinetic mix of melody, speed and jaw dropping technical skill. Formed in Los Angeles in 1995 from a group of surf band veterans, they have since released four albums and toured Europe eight times. Slacktone’s music is featured in TV shows and they were the house band for the MTV’s “Rock ‘N’ Jock Super Bowl Party.”

The Eliminators The Eliminators have led the way in the resurgence of instrumental surf music that was popular during the early 1960s by staying true to the sound while giving the music and their show a modern twist. Their fast rising popularity is due to their incredible live performances and their TV and radio sound waves. You know their sounds from the Bud-Light “Left coast right beer” commercials, guest appearances on “Beverly Hills 90210", bumper music and record reviews on the 95.5 KLOS “Mark and Brian” show, a guest band appearance on the popular talk show “The View” and from background music for the hit TV drama SEE ARTISTS PAGE 17

Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011




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Week 8 Aug. 25, Tango on the Timbers: Milongatron,

(tango lessons start at 6 p.m.)

Schwee Miguel and Milongatron Lead vocalist, musical director, and multi-instrumentalist Schwee Miguel is back from Buenos Aires for another extended residency in Los Angeles, teaching dance and performing live Argentine tango music at milongas and festivals around North America. Schwee Miguel’s Milongatron features a phalanx of Argentine virtuosi including violinist Pablo Hopenhayn, polymorphous omniphone Pablo Goldstein, and bassist Oscar Lomuto, torch-bearer of the golden-age orchestra that bore his family name. Rounding out the roster are powerhouse Dominican violinist Mishkar Nunez-Mejia, New York pianist extraordinaire Evan Griffiths, Angeleno multiinstrumentalist Mike Bolger, a constellation of internationally renowned bandoneon specialists, and a half-dozen legendary local recording artists.

Week 9 Sept. 1, New Americana: Dawes, Sonny & the Sunsets (plus the winner of Rusty’s Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

Dawes “The best rock ‘n’ roll is never preconceived,” said Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith. “It’s almost a country mentality: ‘This is what we do. We write songs.’ That’s how it is for Dawes.” A self-described “American rock ‘n’ roll band,” Dawes represent everything pure and true about that fundamental delineation, four talented friends making music together, fueled by a shared belief in the power of their songs. With “Nothing Is Wrong,” the Los Angeles-based band — singer/guitarist Goldsmith, his brother Griffin on drums, keyboardist Tay Strathairn, and bassist Wylie Gelber — continue to master their blend of singer/songwriter reflection with folk and country, all ringing guitars, soaring harmonies, and heartfelt melodies.

Sonny & the Sunsets Sonny Smith began singing while a patient at Warm Springs Foundation Hospital in Texas to amuse the other patients. Quasi-mystical with a tendency to write about new-agey subjects such as hypnotherapy, extrasensory perception, fortune tellers, palm readers and channelers Smith has been given his own genre by the press as “pop supernaturalism.” He was released from Warm Springs in the care of his brother and wife, Ryan Browne and Tahlia Harbour, who soon became his backing band. Smith changed his name several times in this phase: Sonny Berger, Declan (Sonny) Burke, Sonny Smith and Dave Gil. He left the band after a week and moved to San Francisco where he quickly landed back in psychiatric care. It was there at the Canyon Manor Rehabilitation Center north SEE ARTISTS PAGE 18

2411 Delaware Avenue in Santa Monica

(310) 453-9677


“Providence". The Eliminators have had great national exposure by performing on a 25-city tour sponsored by Bud-Light and opening for superstar Jimmy Buffett. The Eliminators are five California longboarders who live the lifestyle of the music they play.

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Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Donald Harrison Electric Band

ARTISTS FROM PAGE 17 of San Francisco that he met Kelley Stoltz, who became the drummer and third and final Sunset.

Week 10 Sept. 8, A Night In Treme (presented by Bloomingdales): Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew, Donald Harrison Electric Band, and Wanda Rouzan

Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew

Donald Harrison is called one of the most important musicians of the new millennium by CBS Sunday Morning. A list of his accomplishments shows that he has developed into a musical category unto himself. In the classic jazz genre, he is the originator of the nouveau swing style which merges acoustic swing with modern R&B, second-line, hip-hop, (New Orleans African American roots culture), and reggae rhythms.

Wanda Rouzan

In the hallowed ranks of New Orleans “piano professors,” Jon Cleary is on the tenure track. Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Cleary is a triple threat combining soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. He balances performing on solo piano, with noted funk band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen and his new trio Piano, Bass & Drums alongside a career as a notorious hired gun with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and John Scofield.

Critical acclaim says that Wanda Rouzan is not just a “taste of New Orleans”but, a “whole meal.” Wanda, the sweetheart of New Orleans and one of the Crescent City’s premier musical ambassadors, leads her own band “A Taste of New Orleans” which performs all over the world. She can, also, be seen regularly with Norbert Susemihl’s New Orleans All-Stars featuring Louis Ford and Jason Marsalis. Singer, actress, choreographer, grand marshal and educator, Wanda is the quintessential Big Easy performing artist.

Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew

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Twilight Dance Series

Summer 2011



Summer 2011

Twilight Dance Series

Twilight Dance Series, The SaMo Mambo, Groupo Fantasma, Oscar Hernandez's LA Salsa: July 27, 2011  

The official Concert Guides for the Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier for the 2011 Summer Series.

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