2008 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Los Angeles-It was another scorching weekend in the City of Angels, April 26 and 27. There was a lot going on this past weekend, to the south was the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Closer to home we had both the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of UCLA and Fiesta Broadway in Downtown L.A.
I made my way over to the Festival of Books on Saturday. Despite the hot weather, I had an enjoyable experience at this year’s event.
My first stop arriving to the campus was the ETC. Stage to hear a local Taiko group perform. I recognized several members of this group who also perform in other groups such as Hiroshima and Taiko Project. The leader explained how the larger drums and the smaller drums are made. He also explained the wardrobe of the Taiko drummers. They capped off their program by playing for the crowd and then inviting the public to the stage to play.
I missed the panel section featuring politician Willie L. Brown Jr. in Conversation with Bill Boyarsky. I greeted and photographed Mr. Brown in the West signing area as he signed copies of his autobiography “Basic Brown” released earlier this year. Mr. Brown was the 58th Speaker of California State Assembly and 41st Mayor of San Francisco.
Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts read “Amy Hodgepodge” on the Reading by 9 (RB9) Stage. This stage was in a new location which was more spacious and featured additional children’s activities. Kim invited a young girl to join her on stage as she read from the Amy Hodgepodge book.
KTLA 5 CW had a booth on location with several news reporters signing autographs and posing for photographs with festival attendees. Eric Spillman, Mark Kriski and Michaela Pereira greeted a steady flow of people to the KTLA 5 CW booth.
I spent a cool refreshing hour in the Fowler Museum to view the new exhibit “Mama Wata”, which is currently on display until August 10.
Victor Wooten and His Band performed and shared insights about the music business and music industry. Victor is a highly regarded bassist by his peers for his extraordinary technical virtuosity and amazing skills as a musician and a composer. His set and talk were educational for the public, enlightening for the musicians in the audience and extremely entertaining for everyone within listening range of the stage. The band featured a couple of siblings-brothers Regi on guitar and Joseph on keyboards. The band is touring in support on Victor’s latest two projects. One is his latest CD entitled Palmystery and his latest groundbreaking novel- “The Music Lesson” released by Berkley Publishing Group/ A Division of The Penguin Group USA.
South Africa Tourism was one of the major sponsors of this year Festival of Books. They had a very nice booth set up with travel information about South Africa. The South Africa Tourism held a wine tasting on the outdoor patio of the Fowler Museum. Invited guest listened to speech about South African cuisine by a chef from South Africa. We also sampled four varieties of wines: Villiera Sauvignon, Bush Vine Blanc, Kaapzicht Shiraz and Villiera Cabernet. I also had the honor and pleasure of meeting several dignitaries from South Africa;(left to right in photo) Sthu Zungu, President South Africa Tourism,Consul General of South Africa, Her Excellency Jeanette T. Ndhlovu and Dr. Ati Mosupyoe,Professor-Pan African Studies at California State University Sacramento while they were visiting the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
This concluded my journey to the campus of UCLA for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.