Friday, October 19, 2018

Watts Towers- 50 Years Inspiring Art!

by Ricky Ricardo (writer), Los Angeles, September 29, 2009


A multi-cultural throng of people gathered at the Watts Towers Arts Center for the 28th Annual Day of Drum Festival and Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival,September 26-27,2009.

The Watts Towers-50 Years Inspiring Art!

                Los Angeles-A plethora of international drummers showcased the music and dance of their respective cultures at the 28th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival, Saturday, September 26, 2009.

                An all-star line-up of world class musicians, singers and dancers gathered for this auspicious event at the Watts Towers Arts Center, 10:00-6:00PM.

                The Drum Festival featured Native American group Cuauhtemoc Mexica Dance, all women drummers SHINE Mawusi, Drumline Challenge between Centennial High School and Washington High School, Kishin Daiko from Japan, Son De La Tirra featuring Perico Hernandez from Cuba, Balandugu Kan-performing music from West Africa and Next Great Drummers.

                The 33rd Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival was held on Sunday, September 27, 2009.

                The audience and I were thoroughly entertained all day with Alaadun, gospel sounds of The Chambers Family Singers and Friends, jazzoetry of The Daa’ood/Trible Project, modern jazz of trombone frontline of Bonesior, Latin jazz sounds of The Banda Brothers, and closed out the festival with Ali Woodson of the Temptations with the True School Band.

                Additional activities happening both days were an exhibition of more than 50 nationally and internationally acclaimed artists inspired by the Watts Towers in the Noah Purifoy Gallery and Mingus Gallery, an international music instruments exhibit in the Dr. Joseph and Bootsie Howard Gallery, guided tours of the Watts Towers, Universal Drum Circle led by Matt Gibson III and supervised children’s activities at the Watts Towers Campus and Prof. Peter Abilogu-Stiltdancer.

                Rosie Lee Hooks and Munyungo D. Jackson served as Festival Artistic Directors, along with James Janisse, Master of Ceremonies.

                The festivals were sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center.

                The 28th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival and the 33rd Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival was a spectacular celebration of art, music, community and history.


About the Writer

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