Jazzing it up


The KJAZZ (88.1) sponsored Jazz season, set to last from April to Nov., is annually held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and hosts various artists from all across LA. Concerts are given every Friday beginning at 6 p.m. at the main entrance of the museum.

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

Celebrating on May 4, 2012, the twenty-fourth annual Jazz Festival at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), jazz artists from all across LA were invited to give live, free performances to foster a love and enthusiasm for jazz. The free jazz concerts will be a regular treat at LACMA every Friday through November. The festival is sponsored by KJAZZ (88.1), Cal State Long Beach’s radio station.

The jazz season began on the 27 of April, with performances by Kenny Burrell and the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited. The concert was also a tribute to the late Duke Ellington, whose music inspired and touched countless people. On May 4, Bob Mintzer & Russell Ferrante played at 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., taking moments here and there to engage the large crowd around them. The event was held at the BP entrance of LACMA, and passers-by would frequently stop by for a song and then go back on their way. The music streamed from the stage all throughout most of the museum.

“I felt nostalgic,” onlooker Charles Westerburg said. “I remember being back in my room and playing some of my favorite records. I felt like a kid again.”

The camaraderie of the elder folks was not outmatched by the joy of the youth. Kids spanning from ages 8 to 17 were all present, and as the notes blared from Ferrante’s saxophone, heads would bob and feet would tap.

“I love jazz,” youth Jessica Stanley said, “even though I’m only fourteen. People think that kids like me only listen to rap or hip hop or some other tasteless music, but that’s just not true. There are kids who really enjoy that music, and I’m one of them.”

One of the greatest attractions was seeing the crowd of older people dance. Attendee Yamada Toyo danced with whomever volunteered, and brought a surreal setting to the entire performance.

“I would dance like this all the time,” Toyo said. “I might not seem true, but I was quite the looker!”

The next performance will occur on May 11, and if this performance is any indicator of the greatness of the season, then the next one is sure to be a smash hit.