Downbeat 720 is LA’s premier open-mic for high school performers.  Downbeat 720 is located at the Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90403. The program starts at 7:20pm. We run every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.

Downbeat 720 was created by Justin Yoffe, Ameenah Kaplan, Joe Hernandez-Kolski and DJ Jedi over ten years ago.  Sponsored by the City of Santa Monica, twice a month, high school students from around the city make their way by bus, by car, by board, by bike to the Miles Playhouse.  They sign up (usually near the bottom of the list if they’re nervous) and they perform. We’ve created a very safe space where students from all different backgrounds can develop their skills as artists.  We offer advice and direction with each individual.  In addition, a special guest (a professional artist) is invited to perform for the students.  In the past we’ve had comedian Craig Robinson (“The Office”), Noelle Scaggs (Fitz & The Tantrums), Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli), Akil the MC (Jurassic 5), poet/actress Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia), musician Tom Freund, MAD TV cast members and a slew of nationally-ranked HBO Def Poets.

Downbeat 720 has grown to become one of the centerpoints for high school performers developing their talent as poets, singers, musicians, dancers, bands, etc.  In fact, the television version, Downbeat Showdown, won the 2005 LA EMMY for “Outstanding Youth Programming.”  To learn more or to watch a 5min documentary on the program, go to www.facebook.com/groups/downbeat720 or youtube.com/downbeat720

The event is always FREE and adults are allowed but we encourage them to bring a high school student to either watch or participate.

(c) Logo design by Micah Chambers-Goldberg



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