If you find yourself in an open field of grass feeling the warm Southern California sun on your skin and listening to music that moves your soul, chances are you are at the Gardena Jazz Festival with your loved ones. Delicious smells from food vendors fill the air and there are nothing but good vibes flowing through the park.
On Sunday, August 23, 2015, the much anticipated Gardena Jazz Festival will be taking place for the 12th year in a row at Rowley Memorial Park. The event will be from 11:30 AM – 7:30 PM and gates open at 10:00 AM. The much anticipated annual tradition will feature many talented jazz artists and a local high school jazz ensemble. The festival is a great opportunity for families to come out and have some fun in the nice outdoors of Rowley Memorial Park.
Even though it has been twelve years since former Assemblyman Steve Bradford founded the festival, he is still heavily involved with the planning and organization of the day-long music fest. He has told Pat Prescott of 94.7 The Wave, “Really at the end of the day, the music is just a side note. It’s about bringing the community together and we’ve done that in a very celebratory way in the last [eleven] years.”
Steve Bradford has been a public servant of Gardena and Southern California for decades. His historic election to the Gardena City Council started a wave of reforms for the community. After serving 12 years on City Council, Bradford was elected to State Assembly where he represented the 51st and newly redrawn 62nd Assembly Districts. Now the former Assemblyman is running for the seat of California’s State Senate District 35. Steve Bradford’s devotion to Gardena and its surrounding communities is what led him to start the wonderful Gardena Jazz Festival in the first place.
The day-long festival will be filled with exciting performances and activities, but the objective of the Gardena Jazz Festival is the same as it was when it first began – to bond with others in the community and celebrate the culture that brings everyone together. What started out as a small get-together for local residents has evolved into an enormous event for much of Southern California. Every year, Rowley Park is the site of families and friends gathered together to enjoy wonderful jazz ensembles, and more importantly, each other’s company.
Among the many talented performers this year are Marcus Miller and Norman Brown. Marcus Miller is a highly gifted composer and producer and a two-time Grammy Award winner. He has collaborated with many artists including Jay-Z, Luther Vandross, and Aretha Franklin. Norman Brown earned Grammy recognition in the best pop instrumental category and has a rapidly growing fan base. There will also be a performance by the Long Beach Poly High School Jazz Ensemble. Needless to say, the music at this year’s festival will be off the charts.