Black Cultural Events is your gateway to the rich cultural life of Black Southern California. There’s a lot going on in this wonderful metropolis of ours. We know the experience of trying to keep up with it all, or of hearing too late about some event you really would have liked to experience. So we’re getting it all for you – right here in one place. We also have listings of restaurants, cultural institutions, art centers and landmarks. We are updating frequently with new opportunities to experience and explore, so please – visit us often and share with friends. ~
The Black Cultural Events Team Leaders
Pamela Ashe-Thomas is co-founder of Black Cultural Events and BCE Media. A psychologist in private practice and at California State University, Long Beach, Pamela is a life long Black culture lover with a commitment to exposing students and community members to the cultural arts.
David Ashe is co-founder of Black Cultural Events and BCE Media. Prior to Black Cultural Events David was embedded via the 10 Up Agency at Microsoft working with the worldwide corporate storytelling division. He has managed web and digital projects for DirecTV, Toyota, Oprah Winfrey Network, FX Networks, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment.
Eric Thomas is a General Partner and Chief Operating Officer for BCE Media. As an itinerant theatre arts instructor for the Arts Education Brand of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the veteran music, broadcast and interactive media production executive brings a wealth of experience to the mission of Black Cultural Events.com.
Patrice Louise Rushen (born September 30) is quite the jazz pianist and R&B singer. She’s also a composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and music director. Her 1982 single, “Forget Me Nots“, received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rushen had great success on the R&B and dance charts. “Haven’t You Heard” went number 7 on the R&B charts, with “Forget Me Nots” as her only top 40 pop hit. Patrice is held high within the Jazz community as one of the Best of her generation on piano.
In her teens, she attended south LA’s Locke High School and went on to earn a degree in music from the University of Southern California. Respectfully known among her legions of fans as “Baby-fingers,” a reference to her small hands. Berklee School of Music bestowed on her, a Doctorate in Music. She is currently holding down an important academic post at the University of Southern California in their school of Performing Arts. all the while being a wife,a mom, and still taking first-calls for recording and production assignments in Television and Films. There are rumors floating around ,she may have been selected to be part of an ambitious Television project involving children and the jazz legacy of Hazel Scott. Who by the way, was a child prodigy just like Patrice. According to unnamed sources,we found out, there’s a new children’s book series(Little Melanie) being developed for Television involving British and American kids in the cast.
Ms. Rushen will supervised the musical aspects. a London-based production studio. London-5-Studios are the executive producers. #LittleMelanieMyGrandPiano, #London5Studios
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy At a recent interview with a Chief Executive at London 5 Studios in England, It was announced that 9 year old Joshua Grant has been selected to the cast of ” Little Melanie” a new TV show still in pre-production development. The show is based on a book conceived and developed by Ms.Melanie Greene, that’s centered around a little girl who is a piano prodigy. “Little Melanie” has a strong commitment to excellence and a dream to one day be as great as her idol, jazz pianist Hazel Scott. the young girl’s character is debuting with a launching of the first book, followed by another 149 + books within the massive children series.
In the TV series, Joshua Grant will portray a character, Aden that plays drums in the TV show Little Melanie Live! This new show promises to dominate children’s television and spawn several movies and merchandise items. Grant has made many appearances on his drums and is very popular among his school mates in Atlanta . Among the most recent shows are the Harry Connick Jr Show where he and other youngsters are jamming with Harry’s TV Band on-air.
Rumors has it, He’s being wooed for another TV appearance by a famous daytime television show host in Hollywood very soon.
World Debut of Hazel Scott inspired Children Book Series and Television show coming soon to a channel and book shelf .
It was announced by a media spokesman for the LONDON5 STUDIOS. Creation and Books authored by Melanie Greene.
Little Melanie Children’s book series is a development and creation of London 5 Studios, headed up by Melanie Greene and her brilliant team of artists, writers and musical geniuses. the very first book, My Grand Piano is solely based on a little girl’s dream to become as great as the Jazz legend Hazel Scott on piano. Even insisting on exclusively playing only a Steinway piano, which was the signature choice by the great Hazel Scott. Little Melanie also has a positive quality about her that’s simply unmatched in children’s programming today. the series is muscular 150+ books, followed by London-based TV show that reflects a very diverse cast of characters, and special guests to be added later on as the Little Melanie unfolds into a its’ full potential. This writer will be keeping you informed about the latest developments involving this grand presentation and innovative series/TV show. follow it also at twitter #@blues2jazzguy…www.hipstersanctuary.com.
The 22nd Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival, hosted by L.A. Council member Curren D. Price, Jr., is upon us, and we hope you can join the party as we celebrate South L.A.’s rich cultural past, present and future!
The FREE event on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., includes performances by dozens of highly talented and recognized Jazz musicians.
The two-day festival will feature prominent performers on three stages with live music, pavilions focused on arts, health, youth, business and employment resources along with food and merchandise available to purchase. For more information, including a complete schedule of performances,
Theo Saunders Keyboards with Juini Booth in background photo C. Koton
Robert J. Carmack Emcee/Spoken Word Poet photo A. Scott Galloway
A. Scott Galloway Music journalist
Re-posted from Facebook Post July 6th ..
Had the pleasure of taking in some smokin’ live jazz with fireworks as a backdrop for my 4th of July at a new REAL Jazz spot in Glendale named Zebulon. The quartet on deck equally featured saxophonist Azar Lawrence, drummer Roy McCurdy, keyboardist Theo Saunders and bassist Juini Booth paying homage to McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane and Elvin Jones. The emcee for the evening was Robert J. Carmack who also got in two powerful spoken word pieces with these giants at his back.
Try to make it out to this fine new venue which has a bar/lounge in front and a nice sized room for live music in the back. Also has valet parking and limited adjacent free parking on the streets behind it…on Fletcher Drive just north of Riverside Drive. Consider yourself hip tipped!
Jazz impresario Todd Barkan is returning to the scene of the Jazz Crime, San Francisco with two dates to remember. July 7 & 8.
The great pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams referred to Keystone Korner as “the Birdland of the Seventies.” Art Blakey, Miles Davis, and Stan Getz all agreed that Keystone Korner was “the best jazz club in the world.”
Band personnel: Azar Lawrence, Eddie Henderson, Mel Martin, Benito Gonzalez, Denny Zeitlin, Juini Booth,Roy McCurdy(just added) Akira Tana, Ray Drummond,Kenneth Nash, Charles McPherson, Gary Bartz & lots more!!
Barkan has assembled a “heavyweight contending” lineup for our listening pleasure. Also, its sure to offer tons of surprises from musicians & friends from over the years. Be There!!
In our series on Keystone Klippins’ – a snapshot into the thoughts and ideas of some of the “Cats” that played the “Korner” over the years and back to help celebrate the 45th anniversary with Todd and Friends. Coming Next!! Wednesday June 21, Saxophonist Mel Martin and Bassist, Juini Booth.
Charles Mcpherson – alto sax /composer/husband/dad
One of my most challenging conversations because of the time restraints. I wanted so many questions answered and so little time. I was able to find out some “nuggets for the real jazz fans. such as, I did not know he went to high school with Roy Brooks and they played in his first jazz band together. Also, Brooks was a star athlete, especially basketball. Living and growing up in Detroit, you are bound to bump into or come up against some of the “most superb” musicians in the world. Sure enough, he played with a guy known as the Charlie Parker of the bass in Detroit. Non-other than James Jamerson of Motown fame.. Yes! he was a jazz bassist too. I was a student of the saxophone at the time I learned about Charlie Parker in early 1960s, My guys on alto at the time was Bird, Jackie Mclean, Cannonball and Charles Mcpherson(I called him that guy with Mingus band not Dolphy). He always looked so cool playing with Mingus and the rest of the band.. He was built for Mingus…kind of like Charlie Rouse was built for Monk. He was his own man not a Bird clone.
Another jazz hero of mine was Barry Harris, (pianist with Lee Morgan on the Sidewinder) Lee Morgan’s record introduced me to the bop sound of Harris, which led me to the records by Harris including Charles McPherson on Saxophones.
I asked Charles about, what it was like playing the Keystone Korner in the day? Mcpherson:” Man it was a delight playing there. Todd was a REAL JAZZ FAN, not just an owner. We had fun there always over the years and I wound up the very last booked act at the Keystone in 1983″. “my most memorable times was the Two- Biller Allstar bands with split sets. Man! Nobody was doing with jazz what Todd was doing to pack in the true jazz fans,added McPherson. Tony Williams – Barry Harris double bills!”
“I’m really looking forward to hooking up with cats I haven’t seen in a few and having that spirit of the old Keystone Korner days.”
A teenage friend of this writer who was studying saxophone also turned me on to this album in 1965.. a stellar lineup of great musicians . I still enjoy putting this one on.
Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and moved to Detroit at age nine. After growing up in Detroit, he studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from 1960 to 1972. While performing with Mingus, he collaborated frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax).
Charles McPherson was recently featured at Lincoln Center showcasing his original compositions and arrangements with a seven-piece ensemble. He has toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, Africa and South America with his own groups, as well as with jazz greats Barry Harris, Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton, Nat Adderley, Jay McShann, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.
Over the years Charles has travelled as special guest artist with Charlie Mingus, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Kenny Drew, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He has recorded as leader on Prestige, Fantasy, Mainstream, Discovery, Xanadu, and most recently Arabesque.His most recent recording is the highly acclaimed “Manhattan Nocturne.”
Charles was also the featured alto saxophonist in the Clint Eastwood film “Bird,” a biography about Charlie Parker.
McPherson remains a strong, viable force on the jazz scene today. He is at the height of his powers. His playing combines passionate feeling with intricate patterns of improvisation.
For more information and news of his collaboration with the San Diego Ballet featuring his daughter (see link below)