*Los Angeles – If you were able to go outside on Saturday, September 6, you were greeted with some simmering hot weather. You didn’t have to be vacationing in the Caribbean’s to feel the heat. This day offered the perfect excuse to venture over to your local nearby park.
Thousands of local residents paid a visit into Martin Luther King Jr. Park (39th and Western) for an engaging afternoon with food, friends, family and fellowship with music. The venue also offered various health awareness and life style booths and a resource center. Fresh and Fit Zone, Artivist Pavilion, Youth Zone, Food Trucks, Empowerment Zone and Community Coalition Zone were spread out in the park.
Community Coalition in partnership with L.A. Commons, California for Safety and Justice, SCOPE, All of US or None and Avalon Carver presented the 3rd Annual Power Festival, on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
The Power Festival brought people to Martin Luther King Jr. Park to work on issues affecting our communities. The festival served as a vehicle to raise awareness and create excitement for statewide efforts to increase services for our neediest communities.
Derrick Butler got the program underway with an incredible rendering of the National Anthem. The Artivist Stage featured the dynamic vocal stylings of many of the local youths who performed covers of some top 40 tunes throughout the day. These talented youths added another welcomed component of entertainment to the festival.
A trio of staff members from Community Coalition greeted the small but enthusiastic crowd arriving in the park after 1:00PM. The crowd would grow into the thousands as the day progressed.
DJ SLO MO delighted the crowd with his sounds on the one’s and two’s that also produced an impromptu Soul Train Line with people of all ages and dance styles.
The live entertainment got underway with a spicy set of Latin rhythms served up nicely by Buyopongo. This group consist of Jorge Vallejo on guitar, Chris Castro on bass, Edgar Modesto on vocals and percussions, Larry Harvey on percussions, and Eduardo Valencia on percussions. They kept the crowd on the dance floor throughout their set with the tunes “Cumbia Pa Lali,” “Vamos a Gozar,” “Verde Monte,” and “Punta Negra.”
Mr. CHOC is a World Famous Beat Junkie and former Power 106 DJ. Mr. CHOC took over the controls to take our experience up a notch leading up to the next band.
Mike De La Rocha, Wayne Kramer and Harper Simon are a trio of World Class guitarist. This trio dialed into the purpose of the festival during their set on the tunes “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “I’ll Be a Mirror,” “Working Class Hero,” “Redemption Song,” and “Jail Guitar Doors.”
It actually felt like we were in the Caribbean’s with the heat, while listening to the sounds of Las Cafeteras. The group provided additional Latin grooves with a Social Awareness message. This engagement featured some special guests on the tunes “Ya Me Voy,” “This Land Is Your Land,” with a Latin twist, “El Chuchumbe,” “El Zapateado,” and “La Bamba Rebelde” for an encore.
Singer, songwriter, producer Mali Music brought the house down with his powerful voice and the message of his lyrics. The crowd sang along to “One,” “Beautiful,” “Fight for You,” “Ready Aim,” and “Heavy Love” to name a few.
It goes without saying, everyone had a great time, and left the 3rd Annual South Los Angeles Power Festival with a wealth of information to improve their health, improve their families and most importantly tackle issues affecting their communities, one music festival at a time.
Ricky Richardson is a California based music reviewer, writer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]