Thousands of Angelenos will gather July 27 and 28 in the Vernon-Central neighborhood of South Los Angeles for the 18th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival, in a celebration of community and music. This free community festival, which celebrates the rich cultural history of Los Angeles’ Central Avenue, kicks off Saturday, July 27 at 11:30 a.m. on Central Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd streets, in front of the newly renovated historic Dunbar Hotel.
The Central Avenue Jazz Festival is coordinated by the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) in partnership with 9th District Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. and annually pays tribute to jazz greats and community leaders on Central Avenue. Sponsors of the Jazz Festival include JP Morgan Chase Bank, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, K-Jazz 88.1 FM, LA Conservation Corps, Central Avenue Business Association, A1 Party Rentals, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Thomas Safran & Associates, South Coast Air Quality Management District, University of Southern California, and NBC Universal.
“West coast jazz was born on Central Avenue and continues to thrive today, especially during the annual festival,” CRCD Executive Director Mark Wilson said. “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of coordinating this wonderful event and working side-by-side with the community to showcase one of Los Angeles’ true cultural treasures.”
The 18th annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival will feature performances from a multi-generational line-up. Saturday’s line-up includes Ernie Andrews, Cuba LA and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. On Sunday, the audience will be treated to sets by the West Coast Get Down, Jazz America, and 13 year-old Blues guitar phenomenon, Ray Goren and the Generation Blues Experience. Gilbert Castellanos and the New Latin Jazz Quintet will close out the festival on Sunday afternoon.
“The Central Avenue Jazz Festival pays tribute to our community’s deep musical roots and has become one of the most respected jazz festivals in the country,” said the Festival’s Artistic Director, Jose Rizo, host of KKJZ 88.1’s Jazz on the Latin Side. “Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Billy Holiday, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker & Count Basie would stay at the historic Dunbar Hotel after their society gigs. During after hours, they would jam at the many jazz clubs that existed along Central Avenue at the time. Each year, we feature young musicians and jazz masters that combine to make the Central Avenue Jazz Festival a unique, not-to-be-missed event for music lovers of all types.”