Kimberly Shelby

Barbara Morrison Jazz & Blues Festival Marks Second Year

The California Jazz & Blues Museum presents the 2nd Annual Barbara Morrison Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday, September 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will take place at Barbara Morrison Square at the intersection of 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard. Featured performers include 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 The Barbara Morrison Band, originally known as The Bu Crew Band. James Janisse and Jay Jackson will host the event.

Levisy’s New Autobiography Covers Fractured Families and Happy Endings

In her first book, “Adopted, Returned Unwanted: My Foster Care Journey,” actress-turned author Judith Levisy chronicles her path as a foster child on the 40-year search to find her biological parents. Levisy was orphaned and adopted at birth by a White family, then returned once they realized she was Black. And that was only the beginning. This autobiography aims to raise awareness around the plight of foster children in the United States.

WORDTheatre Partners with LA Phil, Celebrates 20th Year with JAZZ Re-EVOLUTION

In partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LA Phil), and in celebration of its 20th anniversary, WORDTheatre® proudly presents JAZZ Re-EVOLUTION, a literary and musical tribute honoring jazz legends, at The Ford, on Saturday, July 22, at 8:00pm. Featured performers include Keith David, Antonique Smith, Tracie Thoms, Glynn Turman, Terrace Martin, Nedra Wheeler and Clayton Cameron, among many others.

WACO Theater Center Presents “Witness,” An Exhibit with a View

WACO Theater Center’s most recent exhibit WITNESS showcases a diverse range of works from 16 Black femme-identifying artists projecting their vision of the world, society, community, and themselves through their art. Located at 5144 Lankershim Boulevard in the North Hollywood Arts District of Los Angeles, the gallery is open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. or by appointment through May 27, 2023.

Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Unveils Star-Studded Lineup

Blue Note Entertainment Group has announced the lineup for its second Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa, scheduled for July 28–30, 2023. Curated by five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Glasper, and hosted by internationally acclaimed and award-winning comedian Dave Chappelle, the festival will feature a host of well-loved artists including headliners Mary J. Blige, Nas and Chance the Rapper.

SoCalGas Models Clean Energy with First-of-its-Kind [H2] Innovation Experience 

Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis recently joined with Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to unveil North America’s first-of-its-kind, clean, renewable microgrid and home, known as Innovation Experience ( IE), in the city of Downey. Using a blended fuel source, IE demonstrates the potential to reliably power entire neighborhoods, day or night, rain or shine, throughout the year while effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Dr. Elaine Batchlor Excels as CEO of MLK Community Healthcare  

Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Executive Officer of MLK Community Healthcare, will be honored on April 15 at Bakewell Media’s Power, Leadership & Influence of the Black Woman event. The event will take place at the Beverly Hilton from 11am to 2pm. CBS 2 Anchor Pat Harvey will moderate. Dr. Batchlor will be honored alongside the newly-elected Mayor Karen Bass and several other prominent women of Los Angeles, including LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins and veteran broadcaster Pat Prescott. 

Barbara Morrison: Still a Performer at the Center of Hearts

One year after revered songstress, vocal teacher and community activist Barbara Morrison’s passing at age 72, her legacy is humming along in full swing. The City of Los Angeles has renamed the corner of 43rd Street and Degnan (where the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center has stood for the past 14 years) “Barbara Morrison Square.” It was dedicated on the singer’s birthday last year, September 10, which also marked the date of the First Annual Barbara Morrison Jazz and Blues Festival.

GLAAACC Highlights L.A.’s Next Generation of Black Leaders for Black History Month

As part of its celebration of Black History Month, the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) hosted “A Dialogue with the Next Generation of Black Leaders” virtually on Thursday, February 16. Cameron Onumah, Ty Bland, Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Mae Gates, Triston Ezidore, and Los Angeles Sentinel’s own Devyn Bakewell comprised the panel.

Radha Botofasina’s New Album of Spirituals Soon Available on Vinyl

“The Spirituals, Vol. 2: Carry On,” a new release from Radha Botofasina, vocalist/pianist/harpist/composer and longtime collaborator of Alice Coltrane, will be available on vinyl March 1. The collection of spirituals in Botofasina’s singular, roots-based style meshes gospel sensibilities with contemporary and eastern influences to deliver potently unique renditions of such foundational songs as “Satan, We Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” and “Mary, Don’t You Weep.” The sonically revelatory album is a follow up to Botofasina’s similarly-themed 2009 release, “The Spirituals,” and each track is rooted in a Biblical story.

“The 1619 Project” Premieres as New TV Docu-Series

“The 1619 Project,” an expansion of the book created by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine, premiered as a six-part limited docu-series on Hulu, on Thursday, January 26. That evening, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, esteemed actors, journalists, industry executives and a host of other public figures gathered for the red carpet event. The first episode, “Democracy,” was screened, and a discussion led by Oprah Winfrey followed, along with a special rooftop reception to celebrate the premiere.

Civil Rights Leader Ben Jealous Solves the Riddle of Racism in New Book

Prominent civil rights leader Ben Jealous’ new book, “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing,” hit stores on January 10. The youngest ever NAACP president and CEO explores the construct of race and the potential for our country to heal while reflecting on his own journey in politics and beyond.