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"Celebrate the World… Celebrate L.A. !" : Public Concerts and the Making of the Global City

Fêtez le monde... fêtez L.A.! Les concerts publics et la formation de la ville globale
Marina Peterson
p. 139-145


Les séries de concerts gratuits Grand Performances, sur une place privée du centre-ville de Los Angeles, utilisent les musiques du monde pour articuler les échelles globales et locales dans le but de mettre en scène la diversité de la ville et ainsi aider à la construire comme globale. Le but - atteint - est de permettre aux artistes contemporains des PVD qui envoient de nombreux immigrants en Californie du Sud depuis 25 ans  - tout comme aux groupes ethniques locaux - de s’exprimer pour induire une meilleure compréhension entre communautés et une meilleure insertion. Pour cela, les auditoires doivent être représentatifs des groupes ethniques et raciaux de la ville. Cette diversité est vue comme internationale, comprenant des groupes d’immigrants fortement liés aux traditions de leur pays natal, invités par l’intermédiaire d’un lourd marketing fondé sur les codes postaux, signe de la forte ségrégation de la ville. Toutefois, la "diversité" étant fondée sur les catégories du recensement - ethnie, nationalité et race - et non sur d’autres discriminants tels que le genre ou les pratiques, la diversité est vue au travers du prisme de L.A., des ethnies spécifiques aux E.U. et des significations de la musique du monde en dehors de ses pays d’origine. Ces concerts expriment les trois sens du mot circuit (fondés sur les liens, sur les connexions affectives et sur le partage d’une expérience), transcendant ainsi les catégories habituelles et les échelles. Le centre (downtown) est en effet un lieu unique pour l’expression de tels circuits, car il est vu comme neutre et appartenant à tous. On peut donc y représenter le monde et il devient ainsi "glocal", lieu d’interconnexion de circuits tant globaux que locaux.

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"Celebrate the World… Celebrate L.A. !"

  • 1  This article is based on ethnographic research conduc-ted in Los Angeles that examined the perspec (...)

1Grand Performances' slogan reflects a new imagining of local urban diversity as something that helps to constitute the city as global1. This new imagining is realized through its work of presenting performing arts from around the world in order to showcase the diversity of the city. Grand Performances presents free summer concerts in a corporate plaza in downtown Los Angeles. Its founding goals were to provide access to high quality performing arts for everyone, present free performances that reflect the city’s diverse ethnic groups, provide a place for groups to perform outside of their ethnic communities, and allow Angelenos to see the performing arts of their own and others’ nationalities. Since the beginning of the program, the presenters have worked with ethnic and neighborhood cultural centers around Los Angeles to find performers and attract audiences. Partnerships with Plaza de la Raza and Self-Help Graphics, East Los Angeles cultural centers, have helped bring Chicano artists to Grand Performances’ stage. Culture Clash and El Vez, the former a comedy group and the latter an Elvis impersonator, have performed almost annually since the beginning of the series. These performers express Chicano politics through humor and Elvis songs with altered lyrics, respectively. C. Bernard Jackson, founder of the Inner City Cultural Center, a multicultural arts center founded after the 1965 Watts Riots, was asked to curate one concert every year. He brought artists such as the Watts Prophets, a spoken word trio credited as one of the forefathers of rap, to downtown Los Angeles. In 2003 Grand Performances worked with the newly formed Chinese American Museum to let Los Angeles’ Chinese-American communities know about performances by the Beijing Modern Dance Company.

2Although Grand Performances presents a range of genres that include jazz, classical, rock, dance, and spoken word, world music and dance have become the primary means of reflecting the backgrounds of ethnic and racial groups in the city. World music or dance, whether performed by touring groups or by local musicians, allows for a series of links to be made between music, culture, ethnicity, and nationality : the music or dance from a foreign country is performed, a local ethnic group comes from the same country as the music, the music reflects that group’s traditional background, and that group is understood to represent its nation of origin such that the city becomes linked to that country through its residents. In 2001, Grand Performances was awarded a three-year grant to present performing artists creating contemporary art forms from so-called developing countries that have had major immigration to Southern California in the last twenty-five years. The goals of this project, as outlined in the application to the Irvine Foundation, are to :

3"1) present these arts to a broader community in order to promote better understanding between communities) make recent immigrants become more engaged in the Los Angeles society by presenting arts from their home countries on an established stage, and 3) to broaden images of what types of art are being created in various countries".

4To support these goals, the artist presented should "use a contemporary genre to address their societies’ current issues and/or tell their ‘stories,’" and "be considered among the best in their countries for artistic merit and excellence". Ultimately, with this grant Grand Performances hopes to "challenge audiences and break stereotypes". The first year of this project focused on Mexico. Two modern dance companies from Mexico City were presented at Friday and Saturday evening concerts and a Friday noontime concert. In presenting these companies much emphasis was placed on working against stereotypes, especially, in this case, the idea that Mexican performances would only be mariachi or folklorico dance. Audience responses affirmed the existence of these stereotypes. Before the performance, an older man in the audience stated that he was looking forward to the performance as he liked mariachi, adding, "at least I think it will be mariachi". At a facilitated discussion after the performance, school children, mostly Latino, were asked what kind of dance they had seen previously, to which many responded "folklorico". They expressed their surprise at seeing modern dance, as they had not known that such dance was being done in Mexico. The second year of the grant featured the Beijing Modern Dance Company. Several of the pieces performed by this company were set to European classical music yet dealt with the difficulty of being a modern artist in China, where there has been pressure to produce art that is either from an ethnic tradition or that can serve as state propaganda. These performances were marketed to Los Angeles’ Chinese-American communities. In attracting Chinese-Americans to the performances, Grand Performances would be achieving its goal of reflecting another of Los Angeles’ ethnic communities and providing that community with the opportunity to see art from their country on a downtown stage. Non-Chinese-Americans, who might be part of Grand Performances’ regular audience, could learn more about Chinese culture through the narratives about China expressed by the pieces. The Irvine project highlights a connection made by the presenters between local immigrant groups and art forms from their home country that help constitute Los Angeles as a global city that is reflected in Grand Performances’ world music and dance programming throughout the season.

  • 2  This station was later the source of information about INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service (...)

5In order for Grand Performances’ aims to be met, at any world music concert it is expected by the presenters that the audience will at least in part be comprised of people with the same nationality, ethnicity, or race as the performers. To this end, concerts are marketed to the ethnic communities with the same background as the performer. A performance of a modern dance company from Mexico City was marketed heavily to the city’s Latino population. The Spanish-language newspaper donated advertisement space, the Mexican consulate was involved in the planning and organization of the event, and Latino businesspeople and politicians were solicited for support. To advertise a concert of jarocho music from Veracruz, postcards were sent to zip code areas with many Latino residents. Performances by the Beijing Modern Dance Company were advertised in the Chinese American Museum newsletter, in Chinese language newspapers, on KSCI, a pan-Asian television channel, and on Chinese language radio stations. The fact that audiences usually have a large number of people of the same ethnic background as the performers shows not only that this marketing is effective, but that many ethnic communities pay attention to the media and go to see groups from their country. Many audience members state that they heard about a concert from an ethnic-specific media source. At the Central Asian Festival, many reported that they had heard about the event on AM670, an Iranian radio station that is broadcast in Farsi2. After radio advertisements were aired in Chinese on Chinese AM radio stations, people called Grand Performances’ offices asking about the concert in Chinese.

  • 3  The year after the 11 Sep-tember World Trade Center disaster.

6One of the hopes the presenters have for those attending a performance of an art form from a country not one’s own is an increase in cultural understanding of people of the nationality of the performer. Performers often relay this to the audience. An Indian dance performance began with a statement about how the performance was intended as "a journey to India", with the hope of increasing understanding and tolerance for South Asians "after what has been a difficult year for the whole world, not just the United States"3. Omar Faruk Tekbilek, a Turkish musician who has performed at Grand Performances, asserted that one can learn about an entire culture by observing a performance that includes traditional instruments, dress, and dances. He aims to convey his culture by playing sacred and secular music, reflecting the range of interests within Turkish life. Some of those attending echo this sentiment. One audience member stated that he attends Grand Performances’ concerts because he believes it is important to learn about other cultures through their music. The possibility of understanding another culture through its music depends on a linking of performance practice to a group of people who have shared practices and expressions. Moreover, it depends on a notion of culture that is reproduceable, relatively bounded, and connected to a particular place. This view is essential for Grand Performances’ notion of celebrating the world by celebrating Los Angeles, and for it to be able to realize that slogan through world music programming.

7Presenters judge the presence of the desired groups at concerts by visual clues and by zip codes reported in mailing list sign-ups. Their presence is also apparent through, among other things, conversations overheard among audience members, performers speaking a non-English native language to the audience, and laughter at the performer’s jokes or comments about a particular place, event, or other shared experience. How groups are recognized at concerts and which ones are considered significant helps produce the diversity of the city. During Grand Performances’ 2001 series, the organizers remarked on the high turnout of Los Angeles’ Pacific Islander community at a modern hula performance and of the Middle Eastern community at Simon Shaheen’s concert, a fusion of Middle-Eastern, jazz, and European classical music. Other identity groups in high attendance at these and other concerts, such as gay men at the hula concert or the large number of people asking for a coffee shop at the L.A. Baroque Orchestra concert, were not noted in relation to the presenters’ aims of diversity or representation. These "groups" raise different questions about what identities count in the mapping of genre and social group and the production of a multicultural and global city. The former is an "identity group" that, at least in this case, is not included in the rubric of diversity ; the latter constitute a group of people with similar practices but are not recognized as a demographic group that helps create audience diversity. This select recognition of groups in attendance at a concert suggests that what counts as identity for the aims of diversity to succeed is ethnicity, nationality, and race ; in other words, categories that are also used in the United States census.

8As the marketing of jarocho music to residents in zip code areas with a high percentage of Latinos reflects, ethnic groups are often collapsed into more regimented categories (Dávila, 2001). Jarocho is from one part of Mexico, yet the concert was marketed to anyone with a Latin background. While there might be some connections to that music for everyone categorized as Latino, it would not be the same affiliation expressed by the audience member who wrote, "Thank you for playing my music. I’m from Veracruz". Hence, celebrating Los Angeles by celebrating the world is very much about celebrating the world through the lens of Los Angeles, the ethnic formations particular to the United States, and the meanings that world music has outside its countries of origin.

  • 4  The comparisons made were as follows (Grand Perfor-mances’ internal document) : cf. Tableau, p. 14 (...)

9The measurements of audience diversity are used as supporting material for the organization and to assist with obtaining funding. In grant applications, it is claimed that Grand Performances has been told that it has the "most diverse audience in the country". The general demographic figures the organization uses were created through discussion among the staff. A desire to not offend audience and the recognition that ethnicity is a complex social category has resulted in a line on the mailing list form that asks audience members to "please describe your ethnicity". The terms chosen by those filling out the form range from census terminology to detailed descriptions of mixed heritage to comments about the process such as the statement "it’s rude to ask". The compilation of the ethnicities reported on the mailing list sign-ups into more general categories was compared to Grand Performances’ invented audience demographics, showing a remarkable similarity. Moreover, the fact that the demographics were also very close to those of the City and County of Los Angeles, as determined by the 2000 census, was to them a further validation of their work and their imagining of their audience (tab. 1)4. The demographics of the audience at any particular concert generally skew toward the ethnicity of the performers. Hence the diversity of Grand Performances’ audience is constituted and measured in relation to a season of programming. Staff members are aware of the relation between audience and genre, and program groups that will draw desired populations. Marketing to those groups helps increase the audience size and the number of people from that group in attendance at that performance.

  • 5  The racialization of urban geography has a history based on racial and economic segre-gation enact (...)

10The use of zip codes to measure audience demographics and to help market international events to those with the background of the performers also helps map the city’s neighborhoods as ethnically distinct. As in many cities, the diversity of Los Angeles is mapped geographically through statistics based on census figures, news features with journalists reporting from the scene of the crime, and in the imaginations of the city’s residents. The racialization of urban space inspires feelings of safety and fear, of familiarity and the unknown, motivating residents’ activities and travels around the city. Often, the names of geographic areas are used to describe ethnic or racial groups. In Los Angeles at the present moment, East L.A. stands for Latino, South Central for African-American, the West Side for white5. Demographic shifts, such as the influx of Mexican and Central American immigrants to the area originally called South Central, are used by those with more firsthand experience as "evidence" against stereotypes, yet the stereotypes remain. Reflecting the strong association of area name with demographics rather than geography, the term "South Central" refers not to a geographic area but to the area with the highest African-American population. The name "originally applied to the black community that flourished along South Central Avenue from the 1920s to 1940s. As African Americans moved west, the name South-Central followed them" (Gold and Braxton, 2003, p. B3). Public concerts take place in cities that, like Los Angeles, are mapped ethnically. However, public concert programming, as exemplified by Grand Performances, marks a new perception of the residents of the racialized city, now understood to be connected to ethnic traditions and homelands they might have left a few years before or generations ago.

  • 6  This literature is by now vast. Some texts that have been important in the field include Castells, (...)

11The figuring of urban immigrant populations and ethnic neighborhoods as helping constitute the city as global is in many ways made possible by the discourse of globalization prevalent now in the academy and popular press6. This discourse has allowed for local tourism that is oriented around the “global city,” for anti-globalization protests, for boycotts against McDonald’s, and for concert presenters to describe their city as a microcosm of the world. Such practices reflect the multiple and varied ways in which globalization is part of social life. Moreover, they indicate how globalization is produced through and has effects on practices, which, as in the case of public concerts, become sites in which the spatial scale of the city is reconfigured, and the local is, in part, constituted as global.


12The idea that people in neighborhoods connect the city to the world, thereby making the city global, is based on the assumption that those people are part of global circuits. But what does it mean to be part of a circuit or to be on a circuit ?  For public concerts, urban residents with non-U.S. backgrounds and world musicians are on circuits, but these are different kinds of circuits. The former moved at some point, but now for the most part stay in one place while things, phone calls, money, and letters move between them and family and friends in their home country. The latter move, traveling from one city to the next, playing concerts in series that might book them again and again over several years, and where other musicians who play the same genre play at many of the same halls. These are both circuits, but one involves movement between nations, the other across nations. In one, things move, in the other, people move.

13Types of circuits could be distinguished in many ways : by what moves, by the speed of movement, by the geography of movement. Useful for an understanding of the kinds of circuits constituted by urban residents and world musicians is to distinguish circuits based on the nature of the connections. From this perspective there seem to be three main forms of circuits. One is a circuit based on known bonds between people, whether kinship, business, or nationality. This is the kind of circuit neighborhood residents are on ; people stay in place and are on circuits on which goods, money, other people, phone calls, email, and letters move. People are included here among things that move, as ethnic neighborhood residents are also constantly moving on global circuits of migration (Sassen, 1999). However, these people tend to move in relation to other people who are already in particular places. It is the fixity of those people that gives a neighborhood an enduring quality, providing it with the ability to represent another country in public concert slogans. Concert presenters tend to describe a city’s ethnic groups in relation to their residence in the city, not their movement between places. The ongoing presence of these groups in the city also allows for local musicians to be showcased as world music performers. As local residents they help constitute the city as diverse. Since their ethnicity now links them to their country of origin, the music they play, with roots in music from that country, is understood as world music.

14Another is a circuit based on affective connections. This is the circuit of diasporic groups, possibly without a contemporaneous place of origin. This circuit is based on affective affiliations and associations with others, constituted largely through narrative. Jewish and African diasporas share this condition. Having an identity as part of one of those groups connects one to others in the group through the diasporic condition, which is reproduced through narratives and ritual, among other things. Political movements or other groups with shared ideologies and aims are also part of affective circuits. Outsiders can feel connected to these groups by feeling they have a similar experience or identity and by participating in rituals that reinforce those connections.

15A third kind of circuit is that based on shared experiences. This is the circuit of media and of tourism : it includes people watching the same episode of a television show, listening to the same cassette, or traveling to a site where many others have gone. Those activities place people on circuits of common experiences ; goods such as cassettes circulate, media is broadcast in different locations, or people visit immovable sites. While these kinds of experiences are dissimilar in condition for the individual, when they are shared with others they help constitute a circuit of those who have participated in a common experience.

16These kinds of circuits overlap, and any object or person can be on all of these types of circuits in any given case. For example, musicians who travel are on the circuit of shared experience : they visit the same concert halls as other musicians and share stories about audience response in different countries. Their audiences, who see the same musicians perform in different locations, are also on this circuit. Musicians are on an affective circuit if their music connects its listeners through a shared narrative about its personal or social significance. They are on a circuit of goods and money between immigrants and their homeland if they play for audiences who originally came from the same country as them.

17Circuits are similar in many ways to networks, flows (Castells, 1996) or - scapes (Appadurai, 1996). However, circuits capture the moment of being in a place through which things move in ways the other terms do not. Thus, circuits seem to best describe the way in which ethnic neighborhood residents are imagined as connecting the city to the world. Moreover, circuits are inherently about how larger social groupings - planned and accidental - are constituted through movement on multiple scales. Nonetheless, circuits are not totalizing. Even when used to understand how urban residents can help constitute a city as global, much about the case escapes the model. The hope for metaphors and models is that they can also open ways of understanding practices and experiences. The value of circuits is that they seem most adequate to this case. They also indicate the relevance of this case for broader theoretical and empirical concerns. Intersecting in happily non-uniform and unexpected ways, circuits provide a way of describing social connections across ethnic, racial and economic stratifications, expressing the multi-scalar nature of localities and showing how multiple spatial scales operate in any given case.

Spatial scale

18The circuits of which public concerts are part emerge through and help produce the concert and the city on multiple spatial scales. Spatial scales are not geographic areas or abstract containers, but socially produced positions and analytic lenses. As an analytic tool, scale enables an analysis of the space of public concerts on the levels of the bodies of performers and audience members, the site of the concert, the neighbor-hood, the city, the region, the nation, and the world. Different events or aspects of any particular event might produce and be produced through different spatial scales, and the same event might look different viewed from the perspective of different scales.

19Even as scale is an analytic lens, it is socially produced. Much of the discussion of the production of spatial scale (and of space) has focused on the capitalist mode of production and the built environment or physical geography (Gregory and Urry, 1985, Harvey, 1989). In these cases, the focus is the spatial scale of labor and the factory, or the global environmental effects of something like acid rain that, created through the fumes of factories in one area, create an environ-mental problem for other cities and nations. From this perspective, spatial scales are physical and, more importantly, legible in terms of size and distance. Lefebvre’s triad of representations of space, representational space, and spatial practice allows for an understanding of space as process that does not reduce space to physical form, which, for many spatial theorists, is understood as distinct from conceptual space and social space. All three of these latter categories (physical, conceptual and social space) are present in any one of Lefebvre’s terms. Lefebvre’s spatial triad provides a semiotics of space that emphasizes the sociality of all categories and processes. Representations of space include maps, plans, diagrams and materializations of these plans such as highways and high rises. This space is verbal and is dominant in, he argues, modern society, which is dominated by the capitalist mode of production. Representational space is "directly lived through its associated images and symbols… It overlays physical space, making symbolic use of its objects" (1991, p. 39). Representational spaces can be religious sites, art, or other non-verbally signified space. Spatial practice, or "the spatial practice of a society", "secretes that society’s space" (1991, p. 38). It is the "performance" of the social sign system of space, and includes the habitation of the built environment through everyday life and actions of citizens in a capitalist society.

20Spatial scales, like space, are also produced on these multiple levels of representations of space, spaces of representation, and spatial practice. They are produced through, among other things, everyday social practices, musical performance (Peterson, 2002), and imagined connections with people and places around the world. In his essay "Homeless/global : Scaling places", Smith (1993) provides examples of how spatial scales are produced through specific social practices. As his cases indicate, scale is not only physical forms of the built environment or geography, but can exist as social relations, institutional practices, and political affiliations. As he writes, in the first instance, the "scale of the body is socially constructed" as "the primary physical site of personal identity" that is defined in relation to others (p. 102). The home is produced in part through gender relations within the house and as a site for the expression of identity (p. 105). Local politics help produce the scale of the community, while the urban is created through the labor market and urban development. The region, the nation, and the global are constituted through economic and political configurations of regional development, the nation state, and the global circulation of capital.

21Spatial scales can also motivate practices. "Scale is an active progenitor of specific social processes. In a literal as much as metaphorical way, scale both contains social activity and at the same time provides an already partitioned geography within which social activity takes place" (Smith, 1993, p. 101). The difficulty, in the end, is to not reduce practices to scale, and to not allow scales to appear predetermined. Rather, it is important to keep in mind the practices that bring the scales into being. It is also important to not exclude scales from one another, but to understand them relationally, looking at all the scales produced by any case and those scales through which social practices occur. While spatial scales may be disarticulated for analytic reasons, they are never fully separable from each other, "they may be intercalated, combined, superimposed - they may even sometimes collide" (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 88). At public concerts, the global - both as distinct nations and the world as a whole - emerges in the local, which takes the form of the scales of the bodies of musicians and audience members, their homes and neighborhoods, the site of the public concert, and the city.

22The three forms of circuits help constitute spatial scale differently. Moreover, they do so in relation to what is fixed and what is in motion on any given circuit. In imagining urban ethnic groups as part of circuits that connect them - and thus their city of residence - to their home country (however many generations might have passed since someone immigrated), the members of those groups are fixed in neighborhoods and exist as senders and recipients of money, objects, mail and phone calls. The local is fixed in the form of people, ethnic neighborhoods, the city of Los Angeles, and the nation to which those people and neighborhoods are connected, while the global moves in the form of money, objects, mail, and phone calls. The local of world musicians is their home country ; they are understood to represent that place, and carry it with them as the global through their ethnicity and music, to other locals outside their home country where they perform world music.

23Downtowns have a unique position in relation to the spatial scales articulated through the motion and fixity of world musicians and urban residents. Considered neutral by public concert presenters in Los Angeles because, as one presenter asserts, "it belongs to nobody and therefore belongs to everybody", (meaning that it is not coded as an ethnic neighborhood), it thus becomes the place where the diversity of the city as a whole and the city as containing the world can be represented. Hence downtown contains a double scalar shift, in the first place from downtown to the city, in the second from downtown to the world. When they are downtown, members of ethnic groups reflect the diversity of the city while in their neighbor-hoods they represent specific countries. It is only downtown, then, that the city’s diversity as a whole becomes a marker of the global, making downtown central to the ways in which the city is constituted as global through its ethnic residents. Downtown public concerts are key events for this process ; the presence of diverse audiences from all parts of the city is one of the primary intentions of public concert presenters, and their presence realizes those aims. Hence public concerts, especially of world music, are nexi of interconnecting circuits of artists, residents and presenters that articulate on multiple scales, helping create the global in the local.

Conclusion : Circuits and Scales of World Music

24World music, used by Grand Performances to constitute Los Angeles as global in relation to its diverse population, produces and is produced through circuits and spatial scale. Many have written about world music and globalization from the perspective of its non-Euro-American sites of production (Erlmann, 1996 ; Guilbault, 1993 ; Monson, 1999 ; Taylor 1997). Fewer have discussed world music in relation to its programming and consumption in Europe and the United States (Feld, 1994, 2000). Viewing world music from both geographic perspectives opens its global and local dimensions to wider social fields. From the perspective of its non-Euro-American production, the local aspect of world music appears as those places where specific musical traditions arose, while the global is the music’s circulation. Viewing world music globally reveals multiple locals and globals : the local of world music’s creation and the local of the musician’s home country ; the global of the world music circuit and the global of the diasporic circuit of which the musician is part. World music is part of global public culture, connecting groups of the same and different geographic origins around the world. Although the precise origins of the term are debated, it is agreed that world music is a Euro-American term, making the North Atlantic another "local" of world music. These locals and globals are inseparable, and, as observable from any case, complicated in practice. The fact that world music presented on the world music circuit is increasin-gly fusions of multiple genres, one of which is often of Euro-American origin such as jazz or pop, complicates these locals and globals even more. And finally, world music only becomes world music in its placement in record stores under the label "world music", and in its presentation by institutions like Grand Performances.

25Erlmann writes that for world music "The local… is … essentially a myth produced by the growing differentiation of society" (Erlmann, 1996, p. 479). If, however, this was once only the case for "the local", it is now equally true for "the global", a category that has become increasingly malleable and, maybe even more than "the local", not linked to any particular place. Today we see not only the localization of the global. As can be seen in the case of urban public concerts, the local can also, in many ways, become global.

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Tableau 1 : Sources, Grand Performances' internal document

Demographics we’ve been expecting

Mailing list

L.A. County,
2000 Census

L.A. City, 2000 Census

Middle Eastern
Pacific Islander
Native American

Not included previously


(included in Caucasian)
(not a choice)

(included in Caucasian)
(not a choice)

Appadurai A., 1996, Modernity at large : Cultural dimensions of globalization, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, xi, 230 p.

Castells M., 1996, The rise of the network society, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Blackwell, xvii-556 p.

Davila, A., 2001, Latinos, Inc. : The marketing and making of a people, Berkeley, University of California Press, xv-288 p.

Erlmann V., 1996, The aesthetics of the global imagination : Reflections on world music in the 1990s, Public Culture, vol. 8, p. 467-487.

Feld S., 1994, Notes on "world beat", in KEIL C., FELD S., Music grooves, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, viii-402 p.

Feld S., 2000, A sweet lullaby for world music, Public Culture, vol. 12, n°1, p. 145-172.

Friedman T., 2000, The Lexus and the olive tree : Understanding globalization, New York, Anchor Books, xxii-490 p.

Gold M., Braxton G., 2003, Considering South-Central by another name, Los Angeles Times, April 10, B3.

Gregory D., Urry J., 1985, Social relations and spatial structures, New York, St. Martin’s Press, viii-440 p.

Guilbault J., 1993, On redefining the "local" through world music, The World of Music, vol. 35, n°2, p. 33-47.

Harvey D., 1989, The urban experience, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 294 p.

Lefebvre H., 1991, The production of space, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 454 p.

Monson I., 1999, Riffs, repetition, and theories of globalization, Ethnomusicology, vol. 43, n°1, p. 31-65.

Peterson M., 2002, Performing the "People’s Palace" : Musical performance and the production of space at the Chicago Cultural Center, Space and Culture, vol. 5, n°2, p. 253-264.

Sassen S., 1999, Globalization and its discontents : Essays on the new mobility of people and money, New York, New Press, 288 p.

Sassen S., 2000, Cities in a world economy, second edition, Thousand Oaks, California, Pine Forge Press, xviii-182 p.

Smith N., 1993, Homeless/global : Scaling places, in BIRD J. et al. (eds.), Mapping the futures : Local cultures, global change, London, Routledge, p. 87-119.

Taylor T., 1997, Global pop : World music, world markets, New York, Routledge, xxiii-272 p.

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1  This article is based on ethnographic research conduc-ted in Los Angeles that examined the perspectives of public concert presenters, performers, and audiences. All data is drawn from obser-vation, participation, conversa-tion, and interviews at concerts and in Grand Performances’ office from 2001-2003. The article was presented in earlier stages in May 2002 at the International Study of Popular Music - Canada conference in Montreal and the Fourth Annual Globalization Conference at the University of Chicago. Comments and discussion at both conferences were influential in developing the paper. Research was supported by a Woodrow Wilson Practicum Grant and a Leiffer Pre-Field Fellowship from the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago. Support for conference travel was provided by the Marion R. & Adolph J. Lichtstern Fund.

2  This station was later the source of information about INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) detentions after a registration process instigated by the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. Iranians protested in front of the Federal Building to protest these detentions after hearing about them on AM670, indicating the significance of the station as a news source for and about the Iranian community as well as a motivator of activities, whether protesting or attending a public concert.

3  The year after the 11 Sep-tember World Trade Center disaster.

4  The comparisons made were as follows (Grand Perfor-mances’ internal document) : cf. Tableau, p. 145. As can be seen, the figures in the four columns are remarkably simi-lar. Subsequent to this compa-rison, the demographic infor-mation used for fundraising was changed to match the figures reported on the mailing list sign-ups. The category "Mixed" was added based on the self-categorizations made on the mailing list sign-ups. More than providing a demographic picture of Grand Performances’ audiences, these figures show how demographics are created and deployed for a variety of ends.

5  The racialization of urban geography has a history based on racial and economic segre-gation enacted through, among other things, zoning and housing policies such as redlining and restrictive covenants, white flight, gentri-fication, and the formation of ethnic enclaves based on shared language and back-ground.

6  This literature is by now vast. Some texts that have been important in the field include Castells, 1996 ; Friedman, 2000 ; Sassen, 2000.

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Marina Peterson, « "Celebrate the World… Celebrate L.A. !" : Public Concerts and the Making of the Global City », Géocarrefour, Vol. 78/2 | 2003, 139-145.

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Marina Peterson, « "Celebrate the World… Celebrate L.A. !" : Public Concerts and the Making of the Global City », Géocarrefour [En ligne], Vol. 78/2 | 2003, mis en ligne le 05 juin 2007, consulté le 16 décembre 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/geocarrefour.226

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Marina Peterson

Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
8011/2B Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
E-mail : mlpeters(at)midway[point]uchicago[point]edu 

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