Legendary performers Justo Almario, vocalists Ernie Andrews and TC Carson, along with an opportunity for young performers to participate in the inaugural “Are you the Next Jazz Star?” challenge, will be part of the 21st annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival taking place this weekend between King Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.
Beginning Saturday and continuing until March 3, 2017, performers ages 10 and older will be eligible to begin uploading their one-minute videos to the next jazz star website—www.indi.com/centralavejazz/nextjazzstar. The entry that generates the greatest amount of buzz and garners the most votes from an all-star panel of judges will be selected to perform at the 2017 Central Avenue Jazz festival. The winning group will be announced March 31, 2017.
In addition to the challenge, this year’s festival will feature three free stages of live music, pavilions focused on health and wellness, children’s activities and business and employment services.
The music begins Saturday at 11:45 a.m. with the LAUSD All City Jazz Band and the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Kenny Burrell is the artistic director and Bobby Rodriquez and Charlie Harris are the conductors. The Michael Sessions Sextet and the Banda Brothers will also entertain the audience.
Sunday the doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the last performer begins at 5:10 p.m. Ernie Andrews, the Justo Almario Afro-Colombian Jazz Ensemble, Bobby Matos and Nedra Wheeler are among the performers who will keep the jazz flowing.
The stages will be located all along Central and there will be performances in the lobby of the Dunbar Hotel, 4225 S. Central Ave.