The California African American Museum (CAAM) continues its mash up of cultural enlightenment and social engagement as it joins forces with public radio station KCRW (89.9FM) to present Summer Nights at CAAM this Saturday, Aug. 19.
As in past Summer Nights events, the accouterments will include after-hours museum access, food trucks, a beer garden, and more. Highlighting the occasion will be live sets by pre-eminent DJs Garth Trinidad and Aaron Byrd.
Garth Trinidad has been a mainstay for local audiophiles since initiating his “Chocolate City” showcase of progressive soul, hip-hop, and world rhythms in 1996. His eclectic blend of globe-hopping house music, Latin rhythms and old-school jazz and soul have made him a city treasure, winning LA Weekly’s Best Radio Program three times. Building upon these accolades, he has transcended his KCRW beginnings to provide musical commentary for KABC, KTLA, PBS, NPR, and contributed to the Emmy Award winning HBO comedy series “Entourage.”
Initially an engineering major at UCLA, Aaron Byrd’s early forays into the realm of Disc Jockeying were mentored by Garth Trinidad. Originally from Inglewood, he augments his natural curiosity and interest in the new and unfamiliar with constant travel, and exposure to new music. Officially starting his tenure at KCRW this year, Byrd has parlayed his broadcasting career into live engagements and performances at cutting edge venues across Los Angeles.
In addition to the aural delights and culinary delicacies already mentioned, attendees are encouraged to partake in the ongoing exhibitions within the museum proper.
Since moving into its current location in Exposition Park, CAAM has remained steadfast in its mission of supporting underrepresented artists of color (particularly those from California and the western United States). Its striking 44,000-square-foot edifice was designed by African American architects Jack Haywood and Vince Proby during the Olympic festivities of 1984, and a $67.3 million renovation is in the works, to be executed by the New York-based firm of Huff + Gooden Architects. The addition will add 77,000 more square feet to the existing structure, which will include a “black-box theater” (a large unadorned space for experimental performances), a café, educational spaces, new galleries, and a museum store.
The California African American Museum is located at 600 State Drive, in Exposition Park, and is accessible to the Metro Expo train line by the Exposition Park Rose Garden. Always free, its hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. through 5 p.m.; Sunday, and closed Mondays and holidays.