Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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6th Annual Power Festival Rocks South Los Angeles
By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer
Published September 7, 2017

(L-to-R): Musical artists, Ill Camille, Rae Khalil and Alberto Retana, Community Coalition President and CEO Courtesy Photo

Los Angeles-Community Coalition presented its annual Power Fest 2017, on Saturday, September 2nd. I can’t believe that it is already the 6th Annual. I remember attending the first and second annual festival and the outstanding musical line-up that was featured.

The 6th Annual Power Fest featured performances by top recording artists, special guest speakers as well as talented, rising stars on the local music scene.

I arrived just in time, as the crowd was grooving to Rae Khalil. She had a little technical difficulty due to the outrageous heat wave. Her entertaining set resumed with the tune “Yellow Castle”.

Al Jackson (Soul Children) laid down some tight grooves while manning the ones and twos on this hot, humid day in beautiful Southern California. Subsuelo Latin Collective’s set was great as they contributed some hot Latin rhythms on this already scorching day. The crowd and I was feeling the vibes and jamming to the beats laid the collective sounds of Salsa, merengue, and cumbia, with several flamenco dancers.

Ill Camille was another wonderful surprise for me. She has two tight CD’s out on the market. She featured many tunes from her latest project, “Heirloom”. She spread a whole lotta’ love and unity throughout her set and the crowd responded in kind.

She performed, “Again”, “Almost There”, with an intro of “Real Love”. This was a powerful uplifting tune to remind people not to give up on their dreams. They continued with “Home” and “Spider’s Jams”, a tune about her grandfather that was really dope, as the young people would say. Ill Camille’s set continued with another inspiring and uplifting tune, “Black Girl”, that resonated with the crowd.

The band rocked out on “Lighters” to end her set. Check out Ill Camille live whenever the opportunity presents itself.

The 2nd Stage near the food truck was jumping off the chain as well. I was fortunate to see and hear a dynamic new band on the global music scene in Los Angeles, spreading some positive vibes to the delight of all in attendance.

Community Coalition President and CEO Alberto Retana came onstage to welcome the festive, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic crowd, who were assembled in Martin Luther King Jr., Park, on 39th and Western. He thanked everyone for attending this year’s Power Fest and introduced Ricky Chavez, the son of Delores Huerta who spoke to the crowd about an important movie about his mom entitled, “Delores”, out in theaters soon.

The music continued with the infectious Latin rhythms as provided by La Chamba. This tight band got their start in a garage on 51st and Central and as they say in the business “the rest is history.”

La Chamba means to put in work. Peruvian chicha’s deep Amazonian groove and psychedelic feel instantly inspired the band to create a unique blend of sound that crowds have come to love. La Chamba encourages and electrifies people to let loose and release their grind on the dance floor, which was apparent throughout their time in the spotlight. Their set list consisted of the tunes “Constelacion” and “Guapo” for all of the beautiful people in the audience.

They continued with “Pacurro”, “A Patricia”, “Silbando”, “Diablo”, “Otro Ano”, “Shipibo”, “Por Ahi”, “La Arona”, and a fabulous arrangement of “Rollercoaster”, spiced up with some latin rhythms. The band featured Jason Zepeda-congas, percussions, lead vocals; Adan Gonzales-bass; Mario Gonzales-Guiro, bongos; Jaime Cisneros-Timbales, percussions back up vocals; Kyle Armstrong-organ, piano; and Alejandro Araujo-electric guitar.

Popular recording artist, Ro James closed out the festival on a rousing note to the delight of all of the beautiful ladies in the house. He thrilled the audience with tunes from his current CDs. The additional artists contributing to the success of this wonderful festival were Changui Majadero, Bananas, and DJ Wordamouph, and a plethora of artists on the 2nd Community Stage.

The Power Fest featured many interactive hands-on activities to engage the entire family. The festival had an Empowerment Tent that offered workshops and panels and interactive experiences focused on public safety issues, such as youth safety and education, neighborhood beautification, public spending and more.

The Health and Wellness Tent offered Wellness resources including Yoga and free health screenings by T. H. E. Health and Wellness Centers.

Art Installations presented live murals by local artists, interactive photo booths and more and a Kids Zone with face painting, dance workshop, arts and crafts and more.

The 6th Annual Power Fest brought South L.A. communities together to reclaim space, celebrate their successes, and build momentum for upcoming campaigns (issues that will be of concern to the community).

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Entertainment | Local | Music
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