From left are Senator Steve Bradford, Darynn Dean, Diane Robertson, and Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove. (Leroy Hamilton)

A huge crowd of 3,000 descended upon the rooftop parking deck of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on August 26 to enjoy the 4th Annual Leimert Park Jazz Festival.

The daylong free event, which features both leading jazz artists and rising stars in the genre, also includes pop-up shops and food vendors from the greater L.A. area. In addition, the festival’s art competition highlights talented visual artists from South Los Angeles.

Describing the impact of the concert, Executive Producer Diane Robertson said, “The festival cultivates and revitalizes jazz by providing access to high quality programming in South L.A.   Also, the festival plays a part in helping to ensure this community continues to be recognized as the heartbeat of Black art, music and culture in LA.”

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Leroy Downs of KCRW and Jose Rizo of KJAZZ served as entertaining emcees. Heading the lineup was Grammy award-winning jazz legend Poncho Sanchez, who regaled the crowd with congas, singing and percussions.  Other jazz performers were vocalist Carmen Lundy, pianist Gerald Clayton, and trumpeter Keyon Harrold.

Carmen Lundy (Leroy Hamilton)
Poncho Sanchez (Leroy Hamilton)
Jonathan Pinson (Leroy Hamilton)

Veritus Miller and his band, Truth Troupe, opened the Emerging Artists Set and alumni of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA played selections as well. Further adding to the ambience were the wine and beer lounge along with the beautiful summer weather.

The festival attracted Councilwoman Heather Hutt, State Senator Steve Bradford and Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who shared welcoming remarks.  Michael A. Lawson and Khansa T. Jones Muhammad, chair and vice chair of the L.A. City Reparations Advisory Commission, respectively, also came out to the event.

CD 10 Councilwoman Heather Hutt (Leroy Hamilton)
Pianist and composer Gerald Clayton (Leroy Hamilton)

“Our festival gets better and bigger each year,” said Robertson, who presented the concert in association with The World Stage.

“I appreciate the support of the artists, volunteers, co-sponsors and the community for helping us to present a successful event!”

Guests singer Georgia Anne Muldrow and her mom, singer Rickie Byars. (Leroy Hamilton)
Guest Kellie Hawkins and hubby Shomari (Leroy Hamilton)
Guest Dorothy Rodgers (Leroy Hamilton)
Guest shopping in Visual Arts Pavilion. (Leroy Hamilton)
Guest shopping in Visual Arts Pavilion. (Leroy Hamilton)
From left are Jose Rizo, Keyon Harrold, Diane Robertson, Michael A. Lawson, Mario Holton, Fernando Pullum, and Leroy Downs. (Leroy Hamilton)

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