Joyous Sounds of Jazz at St. Andrews Park
Los Angeles-I celebrated the beginning of the month of August with several hundred like minded lovers of jazz at the annual St. Andrews Jazz Festival, August 1, from 12 noon until 8PM. The City of Los Angeles Presented the annual Community St. Andrews Jazz Festival, Sponsored by: Empowerment Congress and Southwest Neighborhood Council.
I heard some heavenly voices as I rounded the corner from Manchester Blvd. to St. Andrews Place to the festival site. Southern California Golden Chorale kicked off the celebration with some uplifting inspirational gospel tunes to set the tone for the afternoon.
TNT-which consist of Tony Dumas-bass, Nik Smith-keyboards and Tony Austin on drums played a couple and of jazz standards “Changes” by McCoy Tyner and “Waltz for Debbie” by Chick Correa and continued their set with material from Nik’s latest CD It’s Like That.
CJS Quintet took us back in the day (a la Central Avenue heyday) with a set of hard driving be-bop jazz.
The crowd was pleasantly pleased with vocalist Fereckia White “The Little Lady With The Big Voice” as she belted out some down home blues backed by Chu Chu & The Lovely Band.
Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Band spiced up the celebration with Afro-Cuban, Latin Jazz. The group played a composition by Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente as well as tunes from his latest CD.
Evan’s Mixed Bag is a mini orchestra with a swinging big band sound. The group performed an entertaining set like people would enjoy back in the day at the different clubs that lined Central Avenue. The leader stated and delivered three expressions of jazz: instrumental, vocals and dance (the band was accompanied by a remarkable singer and fabulous tap dancer).
The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble closed out the festival with some straight ahead jazz that left the crowd wanting more. James Janissee served as Master of Ceremony.
The Trifecta for the local jazz community will be completed on August 9 with the annual World Stage 2009 Jazz Festival in Leimert Park Village. The festival will feature a stellar line-up of top named jazz musicians: Hope, Heath & Devereaux, The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble, The Estrada Brothers, The World Stage All-Stars with special guest Charles Owens and Shine Mawusi-African Drum Dance Ensemble. The event is scheduled from 12noon until 7PM at 43rd Street and Degnan Blvd. FREE!!!!!!!!!!
The trifecta that I’m referring to were three (3) yes, count them, three back to back to back jazz festivals in Los Angeles that brought out jazz fans from all over the city. The first event was the Central Avenue Jazz Festival on July 25-26, next was the above mentioned St. Andrews Park Jazz Festival and the upcoming World Stage 2009 Jazz Festival which as I mentioned before will be on August 9. For more information check out www.lajazz.com and view www.experiencela.com for more cultural events in L.A.