The festival is ushering in a new era as City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., was recently elected to represent the “New Ninth” District as well as the good news that the Dunbar Hotel has been re-opened as Senior citizens housing.
The Central Avenue Jazz Festival is a unique cultural event that pays tribute to the significent contributions that African Americans made on Central Avenue. Central Avenue was the birthplace of West Coast jazz and was nationally recognized as a jazz hot spot from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. The Central Avenue Jazz Festival is an annual event dedicated to the preservation and celebration of jazz and African American Heritage.
The 18th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival featured an eclectic line-up of Jazz icons, rising, up and coming jazz lions as well as youth who are helping to perpetuate America’s #1 Art form JAZZ! The festival also featured Latin Jazz and blues.
Ernie Andrews and Gerald Wilson were the jazz legends who performed on Central Avenue back in the day.Danilo Lozano led a group entitled Cuba L.A., Ray Goren, 13 year old blues guitar phenom made a return engagement to wow the crowd once again. Gilbert Castellanos and the New Latin Jazz Quintet with special guest Charles McPherson served up some hot Latin rhythms.
The future of jazz is in good hands as evident by the talented youths who performed some solid jazz during the 18th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival. A Place Called Home Ensemble led by Cheryn Harris, LAUSD Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Big Band, Jazz America and Jamael Dean sounded like seasoned professional during their time in the spotlight.
Asley Chanel is a songstress who channeled some Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holliday that left a lasting impression on the crowd and I. The West Coast Get Down featured a group of young lions who have taken the Jazz Torch and taking it to the outer limits. The band consist of Gregory Porter-trombone, Kamasi Washington-sax, Gemati Smith-trumpet, Brandon Coleman-keyboards, Cameron Graves-piano, Miles Mosely-bass, Tony Austin-drums and vocalist Patrice Quinn.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]