Valerie June and Irma Thomas perform at Twilight Concerts tonight

SANTA MONICA – As another week starts winding down, there’s nothing quite like catching the warm summer breeze on the beach and kicking back to some sweet, sweet tunes. That is precisely the reason why thousands and thousands of people flock to the beach each week on Thursday nights during summer to catch the latest of the free Twilight Concert Series. This week, features artists Valerie June and Irma Thomas.

Irma Thomas also known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans” is a Grammy Award winning singer who has been in the industry for 58 years. She has a career that has influenced many and is often compared to be a modern Aretha Franklin. June, on the other hand is much newer to the scene. She is an alternative singer and songwriter, who had been self releasing her music. However, in 2013, she rose to national acclaim with with her album Pushin’ Against A Stone.

The Twilight Concert Series that runs this year from June 22nd to August 17th (skipping July 6th) features a different genre of music each week. This week features Americana with Thomas and June. The remaining two weeks’ boast Latin music on the 10th of August and Indie Rock on the 17th.

The wildly popular series has been around for years, however, this year does differ from previous ones. The series was shortened and safety concerns surfaced over the ever growing crowd. Rumors of eventual cancellation sprung, after the City Commissioner said he felt the concerts were, “a security burden to our city,” he said in a piece published in the Santa Monica Mirror. The first concert on June 22nd, reportedly had 60,000 attendees, so many will be disappointed if this time honored tradition is not continued.

Creative Commons Santa Monica Pier, Twilight Concert Series, Photo by: Meshell Ndegeocello, is licensed under CC by 2.0