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African-American Music Appreciation Month in Los Angeles

Credit: Ricky Ricardo
Gee Mack & The Polyester Players performed at BHCP LIVE! June 6,2012

African-American Music Appreciation Month was celebrated in Los Angeles on June 3rd and June 6th,2012.

African-American Music Appreciation Month Celebration in Los Angeles

Los Angeles-Former President Jimmy Carter issued a Proclamation declaring June as Black Music Month in 1979.June 2009,President Barack Obama renamed it African-American Music Appreciation Month.

On June 1st,2012,President Barack Obama proclaimed June 2012 as African-American Music Appreciation Month."As a long piece of American culture,music offers a vibrant soundtrack to the story of our people and our Union.At times,when words alone could not bring us together,we have found in melodies and choruses the universal truths of our shared humanity.African-American musicians have left an indelible mark on this tradition,and during African-American Music Appreciation Month,we can pay special tribute to their extra-ordinary contributions," stated President Obama.

Locally,the California African-American Museum and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza kicked off African-American Music Appreciation Month in grand style on June 3rd and June 6th.

Target Sunday's @ CAAM,June 3rd featured a musical program entitled From Field Hollers to Musical Scholars.DJ N'Namdi provided musical sounds for visitors viewing the various galleries and marketplace vendors.Professional artist and educator Teresa Tolliver led the arts projects where participant made arts and crafts items related to the program.CAAM Executive Director,Charmaine Jefferson welcomed the audience along with co-host singer/actress Peggi Blu and actor Jefferson Anderson Gunter.

The programs always starts featuring the youth of the community.California African-American Museum nurtures,educates and highlights the creative talents of our youths.Youth from the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood ACT-SO Chapter were the featured performers

XPRESIONS is a talented music family of four brothers.They sounded like seasoned professional on the two tunes that they performed "Cantaloupe Island" and "Mr.Magic." The band consist of Na'il Muhammad-guitar/composer,Arif Muhammad-piano,Ammar Muhammad-bass and Idris Muhammad on drums.

Keelan Anthony Bowers is another young musician with plenty of potential.Mr. Bowers was a recent Gold Medal Winner in the Music Instrument Contemporary Category at the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood ACT-SO Competition.He is scheduled to advance to the National Competition.The trio consisted of Keelan Anthony Bowers-saxophone,Sara Kuo-bass and Chris Fishman on piano.The trio superbly performed "What's New?" and "Softly in a Morning Sun."

The NAACP's Afro-Academic,Cultural,Technological and Science Olympics is a year long achievement program designed to recruit,stimulate and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences,humanities,business and performing and visual arts.More than 260,000 young people have participated in the program since its inception.

The entertainment continued with several tunes by Adriane Owen-known as-"AO",vocalist Cheryl Conley singing "Old Devil Moon," and "Summertime." Music Director,producer and pianist Ringo Maestro and Adrian Crutchfield contributed their musical magic to the show on this pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Please visit www.caamusem for a list of current exhibits and a schedule of exciting programs and events that await your visit to the California African-American Museum in Exposition Park.

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza recently completed an extensive renovation.The relaxing outdoor promenade has turned into a popular live entertainment performance area.

BHCP LIVE! presented Gee Mack & The Polyester Players on Wednesday,June 6th,from 7-8PM on the BHCP Promenade.This concert launced the BHCP LIVE! Free Summer Concert Series during African-American Music Appreciation Month.

This was my second time seeing Gee Mack & The Polyester Players in the past two weeks.This is a band of in-demand studio musicans and singers formed in 1995 by Greg "Gee Mack" Dalton.Their live performances is heavily influenced by the funky grooves of James Brown and the soulfullness of The Ohio Players,Earth Wind and Fire,and Kool & The Gang.The combined sounds of these three bands makes for a fun show.Gee Mack & The Polyester Players put the crowd in a nostalgic mood with a set of original tunes and classic R&B hits and dances from back in the day,during their hour long set.Members of the audience busted out some Old School dance moves of their own to add to the festive occassion.The tunes featured were "Double Knit Boogie" an original tune."What You Won't Do for Love" by Bobby Caldwell."Let's Stay Together" by Al Green,"Make My Funk the P-Funk by George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars.They also delved into the Bobby Woman's catalog for "You're Welcome to Stop on By" and Womans Gotta Have It.

Visit www.crenshawplaza to learn about upcoming performers at BHCP LIVE!Hoping that you plan on visiting the RAVE Theaters and the renovated Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza the next time that you are in Leimert Park Village.

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About the Writer

Ricky Ricardo is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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