Festival Postcard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Festival Postcard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

* Lawndale/Southbay residents were feeling the heat this past weekend. You probably headed outside if you didn’t have an air conditioned house or apartment to chill out in a shaded area.

You were quite fortunate indeed, if you found yourself near 147th Street and Burin in Lawndale on Saturday, September 13, 2014. This area provided a place to chill out, throw in some smooth jazz and dose of the blues, as prescribed by the good doctor, and some finger licking, mouthwatering BBQ. This fantastic recipe made for a fabulous afternoon.

The City Lawndale held the 2nd Lawndale Blues & Jazz Music Festival on a toasty Saturday afternoon, September 13th.

This free event attracted local families, neighbors and friends from the City of Lawndale and surrounding communities. A growing crowd showed up for the 2nd Annual Lawndale Blues & Jazz Music Festival.

Various bands provided a pleasant musical soundtrack for the enthusiastic crowd of blues and jazz aficionados. Entertainment was provided by Awesome Blue, Khay Jhay, The Lawndale Blues Boys and a return engagement of saxophonist J. Boykin. Mike Estes served as Master of Ceremonies.

KLOS Radio Station was also present for the occasion. JCIN”S Backyard Grillin complimented the festivities with their unique serving of BBQ delicacies.

JCIN's Backyard Grillin': Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

JCIN’s Backyard Grillin’: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Opening the show was Awesome Blue. This was a local band that I wasn’t familiar with; it didn’t take long to convert me into a fan during their rockin blues set. Their set list consisted of the tunes “Baby, What You Want Me to Do,” “My Baby,” “I Ain’t Gonna Worry My Life No More,” “On The Road Again,” “The Blues is Alright,” and “Mojo Working.”

Awesome Blue: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Awesome Blue: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

We shifted into a different groove with guitarist Khay Jhay. They opened their set with a funk tinge “Do It,” and switch into some jazz grooves with “On Broadway,” with some wonderful scatting, “While I’m Alone,” followed by two travel related tunes “Rush Hour,” and “I’ll Take You There.” They continued their crowd pleasing set with “Sweet Love,” “Down Home Blues,” “Mellow Mood,” and concluded their set with “The Dreamer.” This group featured a break out performance by saxophonist Tomoka; remember you heard it here first.

Khay Jhay: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Khay Jhay: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Lawndale Blues Boys made a return engagement to set the crowd into a frenzy with their distinct, high energy set of blues on the tunes “Peter Gunn” as an intro, followed by “Framed,” “Rock Me Baby,” “Flip, Flop and Fly,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “King Bee,” and concluded with their arrangement of Johnny B. Goode” with a flurry of guitar pyrotechnics by Lawndale Pro-tem James Osborne.

Lawndale Blues Boys: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Lawndale Blues Boys: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Contemporary smooth jazz saxophonist J. Boykin was also invited back for another year to headline the festival. We were rewarded with another engaging, energetic performance by Mr. Boykin on the tunes “Just Friends,” “Turn Up,” “People Make the World Go Round” featuring special guest Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles on vocals.

J. Boykin: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

J. Boykin: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles and J. Boykin: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Several Federal, State and local elective officials were also in attendance at the festival. Congresswomen Maxine Waters, 43rd District, State Assembly member Steven Bradford, 62nd District, State Assembly member Isadore Hall, 64th District, Hawthorne City Council women Olivia Valentine and State Assembly Candidate Autumn Burke. Lawndale City Council members were also present, Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles, Mayor Pro Tem James Osborne, City Council members Larry Rudolph, Pat Kearney and Dan Reid and City Clerk Bernadette Suarez.

Several booths were set-up at the festival, South Bay Environmental Services Center, Schnierow Dental Care, Outreach Children’s Ministry, Restoration Life Christian Church, Farmer’s Insurance, (Rene Silva Agency), Lawndale Elementary School District Education Foundation, Law Offices of Jeff Jung, Republic Services, City of Lawndale Waste Hauler and 95.5 KLOS.

The 2nd Annual Lawndale Blues & Jazz Music Festival was sponsored by Southbay Lexus, Bob Wills, General Manager and New York Life, Grant Redmond, Financial Services Professional.

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]t