Councilwoman Jan Perry (standing) joins participants at 15th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival.
Councilwoman Jan Perry Presents Successful 15th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival
The streets of Central Avenue were alive with the sounds of sweet jazz harmonies accompanied by the delicious smell of barbeque as the intersection of 43rd and Central once again played host to the Central Avenue Jazz Festival. In its 15th year, the festival has become a beloved community tradition and is presented by Councilwoman Jan Perry in partnership with the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), the Department of Cultural Affairs, JPMorgan Chase, and KJAZZ. This year, over 30,000 people attended the festival.
This two-day event pays tribute to the rich culture and heritage of the Avenue, as it was known during its heyday from the 1920s to the 1940s. In addition to some world-class jazz, Latin jazz, and blues, the festival offered attendees an opportunity to browse arts and craft stalls and sample a variety of food from local vendors
Each year we celebrate the rich history of Central Avenue, by bringing some of the greatest talents in blues, jazz, and Latin jazz together for an outstanding summer festival. And, this year, we have even more reason to celebrate as we celebrate the rebirth of Central Avenue with the opening of four developments along the Central Avenue corridor, including our new South Los Angeles City Hall, said Councilwoman Perry, whose office spearheads efforts to ensure the continuation of this great summer tradition. It was wonderful to see the Central Avenue overflowing with people who came out to enjoy our beautiful weather and all the outstanding music, food, and crafts that the festival has to offer.
Clora Bryant kicked of the weekend festivities with a lively and engaging panel discussion. And, crowd was treated to some outstanding jazz performances from the LAUSD All-City High School Jazz Band, Azar Lawrence Quintet, Mongorama, Roy Gaines and his orchestra, Jazz America, The Gathering, Ernie Andrews, Rickey Woodard, Bobby Rodriguez, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, and Henry Franklin.
Central Avenue is home to major redevelopment efforts initiated and supported by Councilwoman Perry who is committed to maximizing the use of government agencies that include the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Los Angeles Housing Department to stimulate economic development, create jobs and provide much-needed affordable housing for the community. In the past three months alone, family housing and a Fresh & Easy market opened at Adams & Central along with a senior housing project with retail space at 33rd and Central, offering a fresh new look to the historic Central Avenue community. Additionally, Councilwoman Perry opened state-of-the-art Silver LEED-certified Neighborhood City Hall at the intersection of 43rd and Central in February.
At the turn of the 20th Century, a distinct African-American community grew within the first thirty blocks of Central Avenue. The corridor between downtown and Watts became an eclectic mix of the elegant homes, apartments and the businesses and professional offices of the black middle class. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the Avenue achieved national recognition as a jazz hot spot a thriving cultural hub of intellectual thought, art and music that has been dubbed Los Angeless version of the Harlem Renaissance.
Councilwoman Perry represents the Ninth Council District, which encompasses the most culturally diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles, including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles.