“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support and love,” said Al Williams founder of the Long Beach Jazz Festival upon receiving certificates in recognition of service to the community presented to him on behalf of The Mayor and Council members of the City of Long Beach, The County of Los Angeles from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and The State of California by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal. Al will continue to serve as consultant to his daughter Kimberly Benoit who will take over production of the Long Beach Festival. It has been over 27 years since the father-daughter team began producing this stellar event. And the theme of transitioning appeared to be continuous throughout the 2-day musical journey.
With emphasis on “A Healthy Taste of Jazz,” attendees received, from the Health and Wellness Pavilion, empowering tools for the awakening of their minds, bodies and souls. Representatives in attendance included: The American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Be the Match-Bone Marrow Donor (City of Hope), Community Family Guidance Center, Covered California, Guard-Heart, K. I. S. Foundation (Kiki Shepard’s Sickle Cell Foundation), Loma Linda, Farmers Insurance (Financial and Estate Planning), Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and Triple Step Toward The Cure Breast Cancer Foundation.
In continuing with the theme of celebration and transitioning, two musical greats were honored, Wayne Henderson and George Duke. The tribute to Wayne Henderson was offered by the Al Williams Jazz Society featuring Ronnie Laws and Wilton Felder. The tribute to George Duke was offered by the renowned Al Jarreau who had those in attendance on their feet waltzing and dancing without a garden or a roof.
The soundtrack of the Long Beach Jazz Festival journey transitioned from the contemporary and straight ahead sounds of Ramsey Lewis, Rachelle Farrell, Hiroshima, Najee, Micheal Lington, and Rick Parma progressing to the classic soul sounds of Will Downing, Lalah Hathaway and Tyrese and finishing with the neo R&B soul of Jessie Boykins III, Daley who traveled from England to perform. Yes, the 27th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival was a tremendous success. And…the transition continues with Benoit’s next event, “Winter Concert” scheduled for November 21, 2014 featuring:
Boney James Three-time GRAMMY nominee Boney James has returned with a dynamic, genre-busting album “The Beat”. One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time with sales totaling over 3 million records, James’ new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion. In addition to his GRAMMY nominations, James is a Soul Train Award Winner (Best Jazz Album) and has been honored with an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Best Jazz Album. He has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records. To date, nine of James’ albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and two have reached the top 10 on the R&B Albums Chart, a rare feat for an instrumental artist.
A Gospel According to Jazz
PHOTOS BY: Ambrose-Martin_Ellis-Moore, Ramon C Ward Jr, KRPR Media TO SEE ALL PHOTOS, CLICK HERE For info about the WINTER CONCERT… click here.