Watts Towers Art Center hosts festivals, Sept. 30, Oct. 1
Presented by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Friends of Watts Towers Arts Center
Day of the Drum Festival and Simon Rodia Jazz Festival bring music, art on stage at Watts Towers Art CenterLOS ANGELES — An all-star line-up of world-class musicians, singers, and dancers will take attendees on a musical journey at 36th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat, Sept. 30, and the 41st Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival, Sun., Oct. 1.
The Watts Towers Art Center is located at 1727 E. 107th St., Los Angeles [MAP].
Saturday’s Day of the Drum Festival is led by Masters of Ceremonies Ndugu Chancler and James Janisse, beginning with a Yoruba ground blessing ceremony by Alaadun, which unites all cultures based on common themes and principles. Nonosina Polynesia music will follow, highlighting more than a half century of culture, art, song, storytelling, and Tahitian Dance before experiencing Bate Batuque-Bloco Obini “All Queen Ensemble.”
Afternoon highlights include The Drum Apostles, Kouman Kele West African Dance & Drum Company, and Rhythm Roulette, a soulful infusion of musical elements to conclude the opening day’s program.
Sunday’s Jazz Festival is hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Kamau Daáood and Janisse and kicks off with the Yoruba ground blessing by Alaadun. Greg Clayborn & Message Groove follows with music and a message to move the soul.
Next up is former Lady of the Watts Prophets, Dee Dee McNeil Jazz Band, an artful blend of jazz and poetry. Roy Gaines & his Orchestra Tuxedo Blues follows, delivering authentic blues that will bring down the house.
Sunday’s festival also features Danny Cortez & Tony Harris Big Band, a tribute to great artists and music of musicians from the past.
Presented by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Friends of Watts Towers Arts Center, the festival includes a retrospective of artist La Monte Westmoreland, guided tours of the Watts Towers, arts and crafts, and food and beverages. Both events are free to the public.