In what has been a year of unprecedented challenges driven be a public health crisis and a cascading economic collapse that has impacted so many, the arts have been a place of comfort and point of solace—especially music. The creative connections from music that so many have shared through social media during the quarantine have underscored the fact that creative expression is an innate need not just for people but as well for communities. Over the last few years, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has supported the Leimert Park Jazz Festival—one of Leimert Park’s premier music events—and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to do so even though this year’s festival will be celebrated virtually.
“Through this virus pandemic we’ve seen so many examples of how art and music nurture the spirit and are integral to the vibrancy of our community,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “As a longtime advocate of the Leimert Park Jazz Festival and resident of the community, I commend the organization and its producers for having the ability to adjust, adapt and creatively execute such a grand affair.”
This year’s event will blaze new ground by being held virtually for the first time ever. It will be streamed on Saturday, August 29th at 12pm on Facebook Live. Performers include Dwight Trible, MFUO, Sy Smith ft. The Myron Mckinley Trio, Michael O’Neill & Friends, and Munyungo Jackson’s Jungle Jazz Quartet. In addition to showcasing Leimert Park’s rich history as the central hub of African American music, art and culture in South Los Angeles.
In recognition of the perseverance on display by Leimert Park residents in the face of COVID-19, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said “I know that there will be a long road back to normalcy, but we’ll get through this together and emerge stronger as a community. The Leimert Park Jazz festival will make this journey just a bit more manageable.”
Last year’s 3-day festival drew around 10,000 people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds that came from the greater Southern California area and beyond. In addition to the first-class music, the festival presented 5 signature events, a Spoken Word Showcase; a Comedy Showcase; a Fashion Show; a “Raw 2 the Roots” Natural Hair Styling Showcase; and “Sankofa Sunday,” where we remember those that have transitioned in the past year.
To learn more visit www.leimertparkjazzfestival.com for more details or @LeimertParkJazzFestival on social media.