This weekend, an all-star line-up of world class musicians, singers, and dancers will come together to celebrate Watts
SEPT 26th: Saturday’s Day of the Drum Festival is led by Masters of Ceremonies James Janisse and Ndugu Chancler and the line-up will take the audience on a musical journey around the world beginning with a Yoruba ground blessing ceremony by Alaadun, uniting all cultures based on common themes and principles. Balinese music and dance will follow with a metallic percussion ensemble by Gamelan Burat Wangi as well as music by Afro Cuban Folkloric group, Nclave. Brought up in Watts and East L.A., Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez, best known for his memoir “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.,” will bring his spoken word to the stage. Healing music from West Africa by Farfina and Michael White’s dynamic rhythms & conversations drum ensemble concludes the opening day’s program.
Sunday’s Jazz Festival is overseen by Masters of Ceremonies Kamau Daáood and James Janisse and opens with the Yoruba traditional drum ensemble Alaadun. Jasmine Tommaso Quartet follows with a “Father-Daughter” collaboration of a lifetime. The day’s festival also features Big Llou Jackson and the Chicago Blue Band; Phil Ranelin Ensemble, straight ahead jazz with an Afro Cuban tinge and the spoken words of Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez. Among the day’s highlights are Art Webb’s tribute to Johnny Polanco, Tai Chi Chuan School of Martial Arts Healing with instructor Daniel Hoover and Carmen Lundy, jazz vocalist and composer. The JMP All Stars featuring Patrice Rushun, Ndugu Chancler, Dr. Bobby Rodriquez, Munyungo Jackson, Nedra Wheeler and Justo Almario, close the weekend celebration.