In Review: An Evening of Jazz

Photo courtesy of Henry Jose Powell

With the approach of Christmas 2017, An Evening of Jazz presented by the Live Music Movement Foundation was the perfect opportunity to wind down and relax during the hectic holiday season. The event jumped off at Ovations Night Club in Rice Village, an intimately cozy venue that set the mood for the musical evening.

Trumpeter and composer Leslie Drayton along with new friends percussionist Marcus Alexander, Tyler Henderson on keyboards and piano, Darryl Richards on woodwinds, and Weldon Scott on bass played the evening away. The combination of mature and young talent delivered an alluring mix of original compositions, jazz standards, and holiday favorites.

The evening began with a festive rendition of “Winter Wonderland”. It offered a fresh interpretation of the well-known tune and surely aroused the holiday spirit in all who listened.  Among other tunes, the audience was treated to two movements of an untitled suite. “After the Rain Was Gone” and “Resilience,” reflective, yet uplifting, pieces that focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Later, the trumpet and saxophone on the holiday classic “The Christmas Song” shined. The tune carried a mix of Christmas nostalgia and an anticipation of spending time with family and friends.

As the evening came to a close, there was no doubt that the audience was left wanting more. A quick glance around the room revealed smiling faces captivated by the music. And though there wasn’t much room for dancing, it didn’t keep the audience from moving and swaying in their seats and around their tables. The stage presence of the musicians, lighthearted humor from Mr. Drayton, and of course, the music came together masterfully and won’t soon be forgotten. Click here to enjoy photos of the evening.

In keeping with Live Music Movement Foundation’s vision “to broaden the enjoyment and appreciation of jazz, blues and soul music as a powerful American cultural force”, the Foundation will feature a series of articles on the talented musicians who helped make the musical event a success.

The next event, Another Evening of Jazz – Exploring the Voice, will be presented Sunday, February 18, 2018, 5:00 p.m. at Ovations Night Club. Be sure to stay connected with LMMF to be informed of this and upcoming events, and exciting new features.

Happy New Year!

Filed under Musical Events, Reviews

Old School Soul Event a Big Success!


Wow, whoa, hold up, wait a minute – Will Wheaton, Jr. rocked the house Sunday, April 28, 2013, at Maverick’s Flat for Live Music Movement Foundation’s (LMMF) Old School Sunday.  Will performed three sets of R&B classics and original cuts from his own CDs.  The band was tight and Will’s sexy baritone bass vocals ignited the crowd.  It didn’t take long for everyone to get in the mood and on the dance floor.  Crowd favorites included “Love and Happiness” and Will’s original composition “Old School Soul” which celebrates every artist and everything we love about soul music.

The atmosphere at Maverick’s Flat was perfect for a trip “back in the day” to when soul music reigned supreme.  And the food was great, offering a special menu for the evening.  Guests gave good reviews to the fried oysters, crab cakes, and the collard green wontons were unique.  Try them on your next visit.

This event was also LMMF’s first attempt to partner with a good cause and organization, Be The Match Foundation.  Be The Match hosted a bone marrow drive during the event on behalf of our friend Carol Martin Hicks.  Carol has life-threatening blood cancer that can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant.  Guests were able to take a simple 5-minute test during the event to see if they are a match with Carol.  A portion of LMMF’s net proceeds from this event will be donated to the Be The Match Foundation – Team Carol.  If you’d like to give a gift directly to Carol, click here to access her PayPal account.  Photos taken during the event are available for a donation at J. Elston Images  All proceeds will go directly to Carol.

Special thanks to Board Member Cheryl D. Brown, Rebecca Henry, Esq., Dr. Vanessa Gavin-Headen, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Epsilon Omega Chapter, Lambda Sigma Chapter and UCI African American Alums for their work in educating us about this special need and promoting the event. Also thanks are extended to Gail Mathews, Carol’s cousin, who provided information on Carol’s journey and the need for us to join the bone marrow registry.

This event was a great success in part due to the wonderful music that was presented by Will Wheaton and his band.  There are so many wonderful musical artists in the Los Angeles area and we look forward to showcasing more of the best in jazz, blues, and soul. Our next event is in the works and we’ll announce it soon.  In the meantime, please consider supporting us with your donations and by getting the word out to your friends and family.  Like us on Facebook, Tweet about us, Pin us, or just use the grapevine and tell everybody how much fun you had with the Live Music Movement Foundation.

Krishna Nunnally Najieb is a human resources professional, and life long student and supporter of the arts.  She and her husband moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and are having a great time exploring southern California.  Krishna is a founding board member of Live Music Movement Foundation.


Young Adult Perspective on Trombonist Garnett Brown

There is nothing more moving and historically insightful as the life and journey of a jazz musician.  It seems like a forgettable genre for a young adult in this generation, but having a moment to listen to and be inspired opened up a different world of music. At the end of October 2012, the Live Music Movement Foundation presented its first Musical Experience Salon with jazz trombonist Garnett Brown—reflecting on his early career and his many accomplishments.

A composer, arranger, and award-winning musician, Brown discussed his musical legacy with professors and musicians Leslie Drayton and Keith Fiddmont. Touching on his early career, Drayton began the conversation reminiscing about the time he met Brown in 1974 during a Marvin Gaye engagement.

Graduating from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Brown discussed memories and struggles of  a young musician and the limitations of being a teen. Brown has contributed to over 250 albums with artists such as The Crusaders, Herbie Hancock, and Lionel Hampton. Some of the early music he created has musical connections to educator Matthew Garrett, The Newborn Family, Booker Little, Frank Strozier, George Coleman, Harold Mabern Jr., and Charles Lloyd.

Some of the remarkable songs include a phenomenal solo on “Frank’s Tune” from Jack Wilson’s 1967 album “Easterly Winds”. “Garnett’s approach to the trombone was different from any other trombonist at the time,” Drayton said of Brown when “Frank’s Tune” was played. The song highlighted his ability and mastery on the trombone—reinforcing the funky mood found throughout the tune. The audience at the event seemed very thrilled to be part of Brown’s discussion and listening to a very rhythmic, memorable tune.

Other musical examples included “Crosswinds”, “Savannah the Serene”, and “Darts”, a Herbie Hancock composition, arrangement by Brown.  Essentially, “Darts” was one of the many tunes that Drayton found exceptional among many that he had to include in the musical experience. Right from the beginning the audience was intrigued by the tune’s lustrous mystic and low tones. Brown’s most memorable film-scoring theme includes the very recognizable “Mama Yo Quiero” and “Love Theme” from the 1989 film Harlem Nights.  In 1984, Brown received the Jazz Pioneers Award, the Contribution to American Music Recognition Award in 1990, among several other awards and nominations.

At the end of the event, the audience was able to ask Brown questions and compliment his work. The two-hour event wasn’t long enough to discuss all of the numerous pieces that Brown has contributed. Brown mentioned that one of his dream projects would be to perform the Carnegie Hall Miles Davis Tribute again with all the wonderful musicians that he worked with on that project.

The afternoon proved that Brown has a way to be musically diverse with his instrument and all that he has created is evidence that he is truly a brilliant musician. The Musical Experience Salon is a new and exciting way to appreciate the talents of  exceptional musicians.

Cynthia Jo, born and raised in the music capital of the world, Los Angeles, California, has always had a vision and passion for music, especially rock and roll. She attends California State University Northridge and will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in May 2013 and hopes to return to USC to earn a Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism. Overall, she is a tenacious individual with an exceptional understanding of youth culture and entertainment. Her active involvement includes being a columnist for and CSUN’s Daily Sundial


Filed under Reviews

Guest Review – Congratulations to Nicole Powell

Live Music Movement Foundation offered guests the opportunity to review the December 16, 2012 musical event with the chance to win two free tickets to an upcoming musical event and to have their review published on the LMMF website and in publications.  Congratulations to guest Nicole Powell for submitting the following review.

2nd Annual Jazz Party with vocalist Lynne Fiddmont

Tonight I was blessed by the talents of jazz vocalist Lynne Fiddmont, who’s sung back- up for Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Michael Bublé.  During her performance, Fiddmont sang spirituals, R&B, Christmas songs — and one of the most beautiful covers of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do” I’ve ever heard!

Fiddmont recently released her “Spirit of Christmas” studio album, featuring covers of traditional holiday tracks, sung in a unique jazzy soul style.

At Nola’s Restaurant, a cozy venue hidden in the Arts District of Downtown L.A., her voice was the background for the mingling of local music lovers there on December 16, 2012.  Fiddmont and her band’s jazzy sounds — in this artsy spot in the center of downtown, decorated with pictures of Louisiana plantations, jazz singers, and old newspapers — helped make the night with friends and family memorable.

Nicole Powell from Culver City, CA, is a freshman at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), studying communications and journalism.  She plans to pursue a career in music journalism, fulfilling her love for both music and writing.  Currently she hosts a radio show at LMU’s KLMU station and writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

Filed under Reviews