Photos and Text by Ricky Richardson
My busy schedule finally allowed me the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual Riverside Jazz Festival at Fairmount Park, Saturday, September 23rd.
Fairmount Park was the ideal setting for this festival with its well kept grounds and the abundance of trees. The weather co-operated by providing a steady breeze throughout the afternoon for the first weekend of fall.
Emcee Jaijai Jackson, Woman of Jazz did a good job of introducing the bands and thanking the many sponsors who contributed to the success of the festival.
Groove Session got the festival under way with a set of original tunes with a Latin twist. Guitarist Nils, saxophonist Everette Harp, Unwrapped featuring Vesta and Mindi Abair provided the sounds. The small but attentive audience rocked and swayed to the upbeat, contemporary smooth jazz and danceable R&B music delivered by the above mentioned world-class, internationally known musicians.
Sunday the historic Watts Towers was the site for the 30th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival.
Alaadun, Martin's Flavor (gospel), Nate Morgan (jazz), song stylist Freda Payne performed a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Bobby Rodriguez spiced up the atmosphere with some Latin jazz, Ray Bailey got down with the blues, and vocalist Dwight Trible thrilled the crowd at this festive event.
James Janisse and Torre Brannon emceed the event. Rosie Lee Hooks and Munyungo Jackson served as Artistic Director for this splendid affair.
Tours of the Simon Rodia Towers, Universal Drum circle, Prof. Peter Abilogu - stiltdancer, an exhibition in The Noah Purifoy Gallery entitled "Ancestral Legacy" from the Collection of the Watts Towers Arts Center, a gift from Congressman Augustus Hawkins, curated by Brian Breye, supervised children's arts and crafts as well as food, arts and crafts and Community Services Booths and Indigenous Arts & Crafts demonstrations rounded out the scheduled day long activities for the entire family to enjoy. To view a photo gallery of the above events go to http://rrichardson915.photosite.com click on album 2