The big band tribute concert honoring guitar legend Kenny Burrell at the Ford Amphitheatre on August 18 will benefit The World Stage Performance Gallery, South LA’s home for jazz, and their incredible jazz education programs. With music direction by John Beasley, the benefit will be an evening of contemporary large ensemble sounds from Burrell’s Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited and Beasley’s MONK’estra. Legendary guitarist Lee Ritenour and singers Gretchen Parlato, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dwight Trible are the evening’s featured guests. The event is sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas and Metro. Tickets are available here.
Bass player and event co-producer Trevor Ware notes, “I am so thrilled to be playing in Burrell’s LAJOU band on this historic event. Knowing that we are raising funds for The World Stage’s jazz education programs that are so close to my heart makes it even sweeter.”
Founded in 1989, by the late world-renowned master jazz drummer Billy Higgins and by poet and community arts activist Kamau Daáood, The World Stage has become South LA’s home for jazz and a musical beacon in Los Angeles African American cultural hub Leimert Park Village.
The mission of the World Stage is to provide leadership to secure, preserve and advance the position of African American music, literature and works in the oral tradition to a local, national and international audience by providing workshops where classic and emerging forms of creative expression can be supported and presented.
The World Stage represents art as a vital force for the cohesion and health of the community and an essential tool to build bridges of understanding between various cultures. As an educational center and performance gallery, The World Stage fosters exchange and interaction between artists of all levels, from beginning to advanced, and provides a place for self-discovery, experimentation and critical feedback with an expressive audience in a nourishing environment.
Through its educational programs in music and literature for youth and adults, The World Stage embraces, nurtures, and links youth with elders in the African American cultural tradition.
The World Stage offers five youth jazz education programs including four programs in conjunction with the Harmony Project – a youth choir, a violin ensemble, a jazz band, and an advanced jazz band, the Leimert Park Jr. All Stars. They also offer a weekly youth drum workshop.
For adults The World Stage offers twice weekly workshops in jazz, and weekly workshops in piano and vocals. And geared toward women in the community there is a weekly African drum circle and a ladies only jazz jam session. Additionally there is a weekly writer’s workshop. All workshops are donation based.
The fruits of these educational experiences flower in the World Stage alumni who hone and have honed their musical and performance skills through training and exposure in the Leimert Park landmark. Some of these artists include musical groups B Sharp Jazz Quarter, Young World Stage All-Stars and Black Note; bestselling authors Michael Datcher and Jenoyne Adams; Pulitzer Prize nominee Ruth Forman; vocalist Dwight Trible; Sundance Film Fellow Nyesha Khalfani; author, poet, publisher and radio personality Peter J. Harris and many others.
Dwight Trible notes, “I am so pleased to be able to give back to the community who has given me so much, and honor the talents of a jazz master like Kenny Burrell at the same time. This special evening at the Ford, brings it all together and home.”
This event has reserved seating with ticket prices starting at $35 and additional prices at $50 and $65. Purchase by August 11 and save $5! Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD). To learn about discounts for groups of 8 or more, please call 323 769-2147.