The Watts Towers 32nd Day of the Drum & Jazz Festival was very well-organized, peaceful and family-friendly with many Afrocentric vendors (Art, clothing, beauty products etc…), though the Food vendors selection could be improved upon to include healthier organic food. There were tours of the Watts iconic monument to inform the attendees about its history and the Italian immigrant who built it with his own hands Sam “Simon” Rodia. The highlight of the festival was Patrice Rushen’s Jazz ensemble’s (JMP All-Stars) performance but there were also various traditional music groups from Africa, the Diaspora (Caribbean, South America) and Asia in attendance (Clockwise in picture): The Wadada Cultural Soul World Beat delivered a great fusion of Reggae, Raggamuffin’ and hip hop despite some technical difficulties, Patrice Rushen and her all-star Jazz team (JMP All-Stars) were definitely the highlight of the festival and featured actor/singer TC Carson from ‘Living Single”, Kishin Daiko (Japanese Drum Ensemble) had a massive drum performance and educated the crowd about Japanese percussion styles which are similar to West African, Kevin Ricard & Creole Journey from Santiago Cuba to New Orleans delighted the crowd with Afro-Cuban jazz and classic Afro-Cuban songs and showed the similarities and cultural exchange of music from Cuba and New-Orleans before of the Caribbean influx of immigrants in New-Orleans, the Clayton Cameron Old School Swing delivered a great Jazz/Funk/R&B drum session, Wolof Times Reporter Sunny Moore poses here with some of the Festival organizers including John Outteridge (First Director of the Watts Towers Art Center, 2nd from right) in the Arts Center which provides great African Arts exhibitions to its visitors. There was also excellent “conscious” comedy from the Mooney twins who gave a touching yet funny tribute to John Outerridge and touched upon with humor various socio-political issues. The Watts Towers Festival was a definite success!
You can check their homepage for the complete line-up and schedule of events: http://wattstowers.org/Calendar_of_Events.php
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