Picks from the people who bring you the Boulevard Sentinel
By Mary Lynch
Gilbert Cedillo’s Latin Jazz and Music Festival, now in its 6th year at Sycamore Grove Park in Highland Park, is a two-day, day-and-night celebration. The music is nonstop: There are seven bands each day – basically a band an hour — starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 and starting up again at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6.
By day, you can picnic with family and friends, while jazz greats perform, including Little Willie G, the legendary lead singer of the breakthrough Chicano band, Thee Midniters. The day stage also showcases emerging talent, including the Bravo High School Latin Jazz Band of Boyle Heights.
By night, the festival is an outdoor dance party. Saturday evening features Andy Vargas, lead vocalist for Santana, with his band Souleros, blending Latin ballads, funk and R&B, followed by the Boogaloo Assassins, a 12-piece Latin dance band. Sunday evening features La Sonoro Diamante with lead singer Vilma Diaz, a.k.a. “La Diva de La Cumbia,” and La Santa Cecilia, the 2014 Grammy Award winner for Best Latin Rock album.
Each day, in addition to the Latin Jazz, the Festival offers fun (i.e. make your own piñata), food (from Mexican to Vietnamese), beverages (non-alchoholic as well as a Beer and Wine Garden) and games for families and people of all ages.
Sponsored by City Councilmember Gil Cedillo and supported by Telemundo, El Centro del Pueblo and many other businesses and organizations, the Latin Jazz and Music Festival is of, by and for the community.
Sycamore Grove Park / 4702 N. Figueroa Street / Free
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T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel, and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times. Hendrickson is committed to local news reporting and to finding a way forward for local news outlets in today's challenging media markets.