The California Jazz & Blues Museum presents the 2nd Annual Barbara Morrison Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday, September 9, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A first-of-its-kind, this festival was launched last year after the beloved singer’s passing, in honor of her birthday on September 10. On that day in 2022, Los Angeles’ Tenth City Council District named the intersection of 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard “Barbara Morrison Square.” It is here that music lovers far and wide will gather this Saturday to celebrate Morrison’s memory with music in the same vein as that she performed over the course of her life.
This year’s lineup consists of dear friends of Morrison’s, including high-profile names in addition to well-known local artists who have been important to the community in and around Leimert Park. Among the featured musicians are Klymaxx, Dwight Trible, Eloise Laws, Debra Laws, The Son of Muddy Waters with Big Bill Morganfield, Victor Orlando, Fernando Pullum with the P.A.C. Senior Jazz Band, and of course, The Barbara Morrison Band, originally known as The Bu Crew Band. James Janisse and Jay Jackson will host the event.
“Our goal with this festival is to always do a fundraiser for the California Jazz and Blues Museum to keep operations going,” said Timothy Morganfield, co-owner of The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center and CEO of the California Jazz and Blues Museum. “This year we want to raise funds in order to re-open the California Jazz and Blues Museum within Leimert Park on Leimert Boulevard. We do have a location ready to go.”
As securing sufficient sponsorship for the event has been challenging, Morganfield and his business partner, Karen A. Clark have sustained the venture through bootstrapping along with the backing of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA).
“I know it will take time,” said Morganfield, “But this concert is for the community to come together with jazz, blues, and R&B and maybe next year with a little gospel. This concert and every concert for the Barbara Morrison Jazz and Blues Festival will be free to the community. It’s giving back, as Barbara always gave to the community. Come and enjoy and support the Barbara Morrison Legacy. She gave her all wherever she went, and especially to Leimert Park.”
As for The Barbara Morrison Performance Arts Center that has been a cherished music venue for 15 years, Morganfield assures that it will remain.
“I looked at it [like] it should take me about two years to have everything leveled out, and we’re just about at that point,” he said.
Visit CaliforniaJazzandBluesmuseum.org to donate or www.TBMPAC.com for information on new and upcoming events.