Skip to content

Summer nights at Palmdale Amphitheater


From today’s top sounds in Country music, Rhythm and Blues, Hip Hop and Banda music, the Palmdale Amphitheater has something in store this summer for most all musical tastes.

Phil Vassar

First up on July 12 is Country music artist Phil Vassar who made his debut on the Country music charts in the late 1990s after co-writing mega hits for artists like Tim McGraw (”For a Little While,” “My Next Thirty Years”), Jo Dee Messina (”Bye, Bye” and “I’m Alright,” Collin Raye (”Little Red Rodeo”) and Alan Jackson (”Right on the Money”).  Vassar’s popular 2000 debut album on Arista Records, Phil Vassar, garnered five hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Country singles charts and quickly reached gold status thereby establishing him as one of the industry’s most prolific artists.


Vassar followed up with American Child (2002) and Shaken Not Stirred (2004) and within just six years had released a Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (2006). To date, Vassar has charted 19 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including a pair of No. 1s  in “Just Another Day in Paradise” (2000) and 2004’s “In a Real Love.”

A native of Lynchburg, Va., the 50-year-old Vassar began writing at the piano during his college days at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. and soon found work performing in local night clubs. That early success encouraged a move to Nashville, Tenn. where he began to dedicate his life to music. “Bye, Bye” earned him his first American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award for Song of the Year, and in 1999 he was named ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year.

Early in his career, Vassar was considered primarily as a songwriter, but his debut album became so popular that other record labels (Show Dog-Universal and Rodeowave Entertainment) helped his rise to one of the most popular and sought-after artists in Country music. By 2009, Vassar’s single “This Is My Life” peaked at No. 35 on the Country music charts; this after the chart-busting “Love Is a Beautiful Thing” had reached No. 2 on the Country charts in 2008. Other songs that have made the Top 40 include “Let’s Get Together” (2011), “Don’t Miss Your Life” (2012) and his 22nd hit single last year, “Love Is Alive.”



Zendaya is a must-see on July 19 for “tweens” and “teenyboppers” enamored with the Hip Hop sound. Since landing the role of Rocky Blue in the 2009 Disney Channel series Shake It Up, the teenage singer has released a series of popular songs on the Billboard  Hot 100 charts, among them “Watch Me” (2011) and “Swag It Out” (2013). In 2011, she hosted the show Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off 2011, following that with a role in the 2012 Disney Channel movie Frenemies. A number of her songs were featured on the second season of Shake It Up as well as the soundtrack Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance.

Last year, Zendaya was cast on the 16th season of ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars, becoming the show’s youngest contestant at age 16. She also found time last year to write a book, Between U and Me, and released her first album, Zendaya, in which the single “Replay” broke through the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The album was certified platinum by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

A native of Oakland, Zendaya began preparing for show business early with the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, performing in several stage productions. She is a graduate of the Oakland School for the Arts, once portraying the character “Little Ti Moune” in a production of Once On This Island and, in a breakout role, portrayed a male character, “Joe,” in a production of Caroline or Change with the Theater Works performing troupe in Palo Alto.

Other stage credits with the Calshakes Conservatory Program and the American Conservatory Theater have included Shakespeare’s Richard III, Twelfth Night and As You Like It. She also danced for three years with her former dance group “Future Shock Oakland” performing the Hula and, of course, Hip Hop. Zendaya actually launched her professional career as a fashion model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy. In 2009, she was a featured performer in the “Kidz Bop” music video for its cover of the song “Hot ‘n Cold” by Katy Perry.

This summer, she’ll be seen in the motion picture Zapped and is scheduled to shoot a pilot for the Disney Channel special Super Awesome Katy.

The Whispers


The Whispers are among the biggest names in Pop music to originate from Los Angeles. The quartet has a consistent track record of hits tracing back to the late 1960s and will perform on July 26.

Through the years, twins Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Leaveil Degree and the late Marcus Hutson have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame (2003), received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award (2008) and were inducted into the Soul Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

They took the name from a former manager who once said their harmonies were so soft and indistinguishable that the sound resulted in a “whisper,” a trait that would place them among the pantheon of the great Soul and Rhythm and Blues acts. Their sound is reminiscent of a more genteel era of singing with “softer” melodies that speak to heartfelt emotions. There were once five Whispers; when Hutson died in 2000 the group opted to continue as a quartet because they could not find an adequate replacement for his part.

Their first Platinum-selling album was The Whispers (1980) featuring their biggest hit “And The Beat Goes On” as well as “A Song For Donny” which was a tribute to Donny Hathaway. Just Gets Better With Time (1987) also went Platinum and included the popular single “Rock Steady.” In 1993 the Scott brothers  released My Brother’s Keeper, a rare duet album that was critically acclaimed and featured a cover of the Intruders’ hit “I Wanna Know Your Name.” After more than 40 years in the music industry, The Whispers in 2006 formed their own production company “Satin Tie Productions” and released the CD For Your Ears Only.

“This title is a way of saying to our fans that we appreciate everybody’s support that has been with us for many, many years,” said Walter Scott.

The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, and though they recorded primarily in Philadelphia, Pa. in the early to mid-70s, most of their studio work has been done in Los Angeles including a successful period at SOLAR Records (Sound of Los Angeles Records) which was run by their manager at that time, Dick Griffey.

Among the group’s most popular LPs/CDs are Imagination (1980), Love Is Where You Find It (1981), Love For Love (1983), So Good (1984), Toast to the Ladies (1995) and Thankful (2009).

Banda Machos


As one of Mexico’s premier representatives of Cumbia, Ranchera, Corrido, Bolero, Quebradita and Banda music styles, Banda Machos will bring their unique musical arrangements to the stage on August 2.

Banda Machos, originally from Villa Corona, has been together for 20 years and consists of 13 members. Though they were not an “overnight” success, the group gained much of their notoriety by appealing to a new, younger audience in presenting a more danceable (”Quebradita”) style of traditional Banda music that combined Cumbia with Banda and became very popular within the Los Angeles Latin music circuit.

Early on the group was known as “La Reina de las Bandas” (Queen of the Bands) because of their unique costumes and early contributions to the Quebradita genre. Their breakthrough album was Sangre De Indio (1992) which featured their biggest hit of the time “Al Gato Y Al Raton,” as well as the popular “La Secretaria” and “Y La Quiere Paco.” Gracias Mujer was released in 1994 and included the hit ballads “Las Habas,” “La Mas Bonita de Todas” and a their interpretation of the classic “Besame Mucho.”

In 1993, Univision’s Lo Nuestro awarded Banda Machos its Revelation of the Year award in the Mexican/Regional category, which would lead to a Furia Musical Award for Best Mexican Band. In 1995, director Francis Ford Coppola featured their song “Zappa Mambo” in the controversial film Mi Familia starring Edward James Olmos.

Banda Machos has had considerable social impact in Northern Mexico as well as in the U.S. southwest. One of their songs, “La Culebra” (”The Snake”), was played during a 1994 campaign stop by PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio when he was assassinated. The song is heard in the background during a video recording of the murder.

With the release of its album Sangre De Indio (1997), Banda Machos became the creator of  “The Ravine,” a dance craze that increased their popularity on both sides of the border and identified the group as an important element of identity among Mexican persons living in the United States.

All concerts will begin at 8 p.m with general admission priced at $10. Gates will open at 6 p.m. each night. For tickets or more information, call the Palmdale Amphitheater at (661) 267-5611.