After four long years, the 28th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival made its triumphant return to “The Avenue,” in-person on Saturday, Sept. 23, bringing tens of thousands of attendees to South Central to enjoy a day of music and community.
Hosted by LA City Councilmember Curren Price, the free outdoor extravaganza featured three stages of live music, dozens of local food and beverage vendors, and four pavilions offering art exhibits, free and confidential health care services, arts & crafts, games and public resources.
“While COVID-19 caused us to reimagine this festival virtually for the last several years, there is no better feeling than being back in person,” said Councilmember Price. “This was a time to reconnect with dear friends, while immersing ourselves in the rhythm of jazz from world-class musicians, and honoring the history of jazz on the West Coast. It was an absolute delight to see first-hand the significance this event has for the community in District 9, Los Angeles and beyond.”
Held along Central Avenue between MLK Boulevard and Vernon Avenue, the outdoor block party featured headliners five-time GRAMMY award winner Billy Childs, considered one of the foremost American composers of his era and Hubert Laws, premier flute player and winner of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Masters Award (the highest honor the nation bestows on jazz artists). It also put the spotlight on other notable performers such as the Boogaloo Assassins, Elaine Gibbs, Yuke Mabuchi, and the Central Avenue Jazz Experience.
Attendees of all ages took part in an number of activities including a Youth Pavilion with educational programming, arts & crafts and games for the youngest concert-goers; an Art Pavilion with visual cultural art exhibits featuring cutting-edge artwork from renowned local artists; a Health and Wellness Pavilion, which offered a wide range of free and confidential healthcare services, dental screenings, and more; and last but not least, a Public Resources Pavilion with City departments on hand to provide valuable resources and services to residents of Los Angeles.
Dozens of local food and beverage vendors were onsite offering a diverse selection of culinary experiences at the “Jazz Flavor Court” with the participation from local minority- and women-owned small businesses.
This annual event is in partnership with Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) and Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles.
For more information, visit centralavejazzfest.com.