L.A. Black Music Awards 2004

L.A. Black Music Awards 2004
A Touch of Jazz 
by Gene Thompson

On most Sunday evenings, I’m usually preparing for the long work week ahead, but this particular weekend was to be very exciting, mainly in part because I had an opportunity to take part in the “3rd Annual Los Angeles Black Music Awards.” The event took place at the Historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre in the Wilshire Center district of Los Angeles.

The event honors those who have made significant accomplishments in all categories of music. On this particular evening, over 23 awards were given out to groups and individuals ranging from “The Best Gospel Performer” to “The Best Overall Performer in a Stage Play.” Of course my main reason for being there was to see who would hold down the title as “The Best Jazz Instrumentalist”

The LA Black Music Awards also took time out to induct four very well known legends into their “Black Music Hall of Fame” category. The four were Chaka Khan, The Caravans (Inez Andrews), Marvin Gaye and Nancy Wilson; two of which (Khan and Wilson) are known for their prowess in the jazz arena. Many great words were spoken of these wonderful entertainers.

Headed by CEO Rick Warren, The main purpose of the L.A. Black Music Association is to offer the opportunity for young people with desires to be successful entertainers, singers and musicians. Jeanette HarrisOn this night, the stars did indeed come out and lend their support. Of the notable stars on hand, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Leon Isaac Kennedy and Earth Wind and Fire are just a few.

The highlight of the evening was the many live performances which took place. Popular Blues Artist Roy Gaines got down on his guitar, Stage Play artist Minnie Foxx did a wonderful job performing jazz tunes and spoken poetry, but the performance of the night was delivered by a 5″1 Jazz Instrumentalist with a mean saxophone named Jeanette Harris. Jamming and playing to the crowd, Harris brought down the house while playing some classic by Grover Washington tracks. It was no wonder she won “Best Jazz Instrumentalist”.