Live Music Movement Foundation, incorporated in July 2011, was born out of Kathy Drayton’s vision in 2000 to start an organization to promote, present and preserve jazz, blues, R&B and dancing. The suggested name at that time was the “Society for the Preservation of Jazz, Blues, R&B and Dancing.” Meetings were held in 2001 to develop a framework for the organization, but not much happened after those meetings.

The vision lay dormant, surfacing from time to time for almost 10 years, until the middle of 2010, when the desire to get the organization moving began to grow. As the desire continued to blossom, Drayton needed a way to create some movement with the vision and talked about the organization to anyone who would listen.

Realizing the name Society for the Preservation of Jazz, Blues, R&B and Dancing was not one that most people liked — it was too old-timey — an email campaign to name the organization was initiated. This generated encouragement and excitement for the budding organization.

In January 2011, without a formal organization in place, LMMF received its first generous donation from Donald Cooke, which added urgency to making the vision a reality. Planning meetings resumed in March 2011, and steps were taken to complete the organization documents so LMMF would be a recognized nonprofit organization.

The concept for the organization had not changed significantly over the 10-year period, with the exception of adding the commission of new works to help preserve the art forms and focusing on an intergenerational approach to its activities. After months of discussing suggested names, it was decided on “Live Music Movement Foundation” because it represented the organization’s goals of presenting live music, creating a movement to keep the music vibrant and to make movement a way for the audience to participate in the music. The group is able to provide opportunities to enjoy both live music and movement — something that is missing from our entertainment options.

Our idea is to present musical events rather than concerts in a social environment, where guests can mix and mingle and participate in the music through movement or dancing. The thinking is, if the audience is more social and gets to know one another, there will be greater reason to attend the events on a regular basis.

The first musical event, A Sunday Jazz Party, was held on December 4, 2011 at Nola’s a Taste of New Orleans in the Los angeles Arts District. Leslie Drayton and Fun provided the music. Band members included leader and trumpeter Leslie Drayton, drummer Raymond Pounds, bassist Del Atkins, saxophonist Randall Willis, keyboardist James Wrubel, and guitarist Curtis Parry.  Young saxophonist Jacob Scesney sat in with the band on a couple of tunes.  Roderick Swain was the sound engineer.

The idea of a musical experience salon was chosen rather than educational activities, because we want to produce an atmosphere where guests can explore and discover the history and significance of the music and the artists creating the music in an interactive manner. We do not want to create the perception of a lecture on music but would like for the music to come alive through experiencing it as a living history.

The first musical experience salon was held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Leimert Park.  “A Conversation with Garnett Brown” – critically acclaimed trombonist, arranger, composer, orchestrator, clinician and conductor.

Our history is really just beginning. There is much more to be experienced. Join us for an amazing journey into promoting, presenting and preserving this wonderful music of jazz, blues and soul.