*Inglewood – It was another beautiful day in the City of Inglewood on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
This was the perfect ambiance for the 7th Annual Earth Day Festival. The City of Inglewood and the Social Justice Learning Institute partnered once again to present this stellar event. The festival was held from 10:00am-5pm, in the South Plaza at Inglewood City Hall, 1 Manchester Blvd.
The festival has grown tremendously from previous years. Several thousand residents and visitors came together for “a party with a purpose.” This year’s theme was “Renew the Cool.” This year’s event featured interactive displays and information about how to conserve water, create a healthier environment and reduce our carbon footprint.
West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Division II Director Gloria D. Gray participated in a Ribbon cutting ceremony with Inglewood City officials and community partners to unveil the 15th of 16 planned Ocean Friendly Gardens. The Ocean Friendly Landscape Program is part of West Basin’s overall Water Reliability Program to reduce dependence on imported water, increase conservation and develop drought-proof local water supplies.
The 2017 Earth Day Jazz Festival featured fabulous food, fantastic family fun and world class live entertainment. Norman Lee served as Master of Ceremony, introducing each artists and sharing pertinent information.
The program got underway with Elaine Gibbs & NuSoul Band. I’m sure that you recall her from the X-Factor. Ms. Gibbs sizzling set featured the tunes “My Prerogative,” “I Just Want to be Your Lover,” “I Want to be Loved” to name a few.
BET Comic View’s comedian Annie McKnight had the crowd in stitches, laughing loud throughout her hilarious monologue.
Elaine Gibbs assembled/produced the next segment of the program entitled “Reality Stars.” This featured many talented vocalist/musicians from popular TV shows.
Vocalist/Violinist Kim Yarbrough of The Voice opened her set with “Lovely Day” an appropriate tune fitting for the occasion. She continued with “Love on the Brain,” and “Tell Me Something Good.”
Compton native, Jacob Lusk, American Idol, is a soulful and moving vocal stylist. His set featured the tunes “Oh, My Love,” “Caught in the Rapture of Love,” and a show stopping version of “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Ronnee Martin, America’s Got Talent set was entitled Quiet Storm. Her opening tune was “Neither One of Us Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye,” “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” and concluded her set with “Midnight Train to Georgia.” If one closes their eyes, they would have thought that they were listening to Gladys Knight.
Inglewood resident, Jesse Campbell, The Voice, was another crowd favorite. He performed “I’m Singing This Song for You,” followed by an outstanding version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” joined onstage with saxophonist Mark Allen Felton “The Panther.” He concluded his set with “Signed, Sealed and Delivered.”
The crowd and I were rewarded with another incredible set by Elaine Gibbs & NuSoul Band on the tunes “I’m Every Women,” took the crowd to church with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “I’ll Take You There,” and got down and dirty with the blues on “Dr. Feel Good” to the delight of the audience.
Vocalist Philip Lauth is a repeat performer of the City of Inglewood Earth Day Celebration, which is a great testament to his tremendous talents. He performed “I Want to Be Where You Are,” “Dance Little Sister,” and continued with a hilarious intro to “I’m Ready for Love.” He stepped back to allow his back-up singers Shenita Easton and Yvette Cook to be in the spotlight.
DW3 is a Los Angeles premiere R&B and funk group. This ultimate party band took the entertainment up a notch with a set of crowd favorites “Oh, My Love,” “Before I Let You Go,” “I Like It,” “Mary Jane,” and “Got to Give it Up” that left the crowd wanting more.
Vocalist Yo-Yo showed up and showed out during her brief cameo appearance. The crowd and I were thrilled Yo-Yo came to shared her talents with us on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.
The one and only Lenny Williams made a return engagement to close out the 7th Annual Earth Day Festival. He performed “This Time It is Real,” “The Love I Lost,” and “Because I Love You” to name a few.
The 7th Annual Earth Day Festival presented by the City of Inglewood and the Social Justice Learning Institute was a huge success. This year’s sponsors were The City of Inglewood, the Social Justice Learning Institute, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Renovate America, Home Depot, Republic Services, Kinecta, Airport Marina Ford and KJLH Radio Free 102.3FM.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer, contact him via: [email protected]