LOS ANGELES — The history of jazz is being celebrated at an outdoor event on Saturday. The Leimert Park Jazz Festival is a free festival featuring local artists and food.
Dwight Trible, vocal musician and executive director of The World Stage, marvels at a small skate shop where the World Stage used to be.
"In this place, we had the Pan-African People's Orchestra, which is about 30 members in this space," Trible said.
He is a staple in the community, not only for his vocal chops but also for keeping the history of jazz and spoken word alive at the historic World Stage. The mission of the World Stage is to secure, preserve and advance African American music, literature and culture to a wider audience.,
"One of the greatest blues singers in the world is right here, Barbara Morrison," Trible said.
He's ventured back into the World Stage to practice his performance for the Leimert Park Jazz Festival, a special event that celebrates the community's cultural heritage while also showcasing music from local performers.
"I think you should always celebrate the best that you have in your community. You don't want to keep it hidden. You want everyone to know about it," Trible said.
It all started as a block party in 2015 and grew year after year. Trible was asked to create a jazz stage, and it was a hit. The executive producer of the festival, Diane Robertson, saw an opening to turn it into a full jazz fest to pay homage to Leimert Park's roots in African American culture and the arts.
"It really will, I think, help solidify this community of South LA and keep it vibrant and significant for years to come," Robertson said.
But, 2020 had different plans. The first annual festival had to go virtual. So, this year's will be the first official event in person at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Robertson hopes this festival will only continue to grow from here and shine a light on Leimert Park.
"There are very proud people, a history of generations of people here who have made this home and are really inspiring and inspired by the community that really is like any other community in Los Angeles," Robertson said.
The festival is located at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza parking lot. It is free, outdoors and open to anyone of all ages. The doors open at 2 p.m. with performances starting at 3 p.m.
For more information, check out their website.