This Sunday I will be hosting one of my favorite annual events, The Gardena Jazz Festival. It’s the 14th year that the festival will fill Rowley Memorial Park in Gardena with happy music lovers and their friends and families. Former California State Assemblyman Steve Bradford is a native of Gardena and one of the people who started the festival. He stopped by our studios to talk about how the whole thing started and what to expect from this year’s event.
Steve Bradford, along with a group of friends from Gardena, came up with the idea of bringing a first class music festival to their city. And what better place to have it than the park where Steve and his friends grew up playing sports and having summer picnics with the family. Steve also paid tribute to his dear friend, the late Rod Jones, who was an important part of making it happen.
Rowley Park is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets, a beautiful two acre property with a wading pool, walking paths and playground equipment. Steve has many memories of times spent there. For the festival, they also set up cabanas on the perimeter and they are hard to come by because everybody wants one. People who live along the edge of the park often have some of the best seats in the house and they invite friends and family over to enjoy the concert.
This year’s line up is stellar with a number of artists who are returning to the festival. It includes saxophonist Rick Parma, DW3, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Richard Elliot and Gerald Albright.
Steve says that he owes a lot to Kelly Fujio and her staff at Parks and Recreation. They organize and execute the event and they do an unbelievable job. They also have a group of passionate volunteers and the Gardena Police Department does an outstanding job on security. Steve says the festival wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of their sponsors like Frontier communications, Water Resources Inc, Hustler Casino, Norman Lewis Limousines, IBEW, US Bank and more.
Lots of public officials are on hand too and one of the highlights of the day is the appearance of some young up and coming talent from the community. The Long Beach Poly High School Jazz Ensemble will open the festival for the second year in a row. We hope you’ll join us.
14th Annual Gardena Jazz Festival
Hosted by the Wave’s Pat Prescott
Sunday August 28, 2016
Rowley Memorial Park
13220 S Van Ness Avenue
11:30am – 7:30pm
Gates open at 10am
For info visit www.GardenaJazzFestival.com