From the east, the 20th Annual Pomona Valley Juneteeth Family Jazz Festival is being held at Ganesha Park in Pomona.
Artists Line-up includes Wayne Linsey (Keys), Sekou Bunch and The Next Level (Bassist), Marcus Coleman (Keys), Ron Powell & the IGABA Drum Ensemble (Percussions), Dr. James Benson & The Gow Dow Experience, and Special Guest Harold Land, Jr. This year’s music direction embraces the legacy of jazz as a part of Black Music Month and the ongoing efforts to educate the public about the significance of the Junetenth National Freedom Day, celebrated all across the country. Founder and Executive Director of Juneteenth America, Inc., John H. Thompson, Sr. comments, “As President of The National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP), its a pleasure to present one of many featured jazz festivals around the country, that are a part of the Celebrate Juneteenth Jazz, African American jazz legacy preservation initiative during Black Music Month.”
There will also be an $5 Green Workshop and the crowd-pleasing Black Porsche Club will display their classic collection. Admission is also free as is the shuttle bus running between the Park & Ride and the park.
From the west and also on June 20th, the City of Santa Monica is sponsoring their 17th annual Juneteenth celebration.
Comedienne and actress Debra Wilson-Skelton of MADtv will lead the audience through an odyssey of performance venues including a main stage, youth stage and legacy museum. The entertainment line-up features Greg Walker, lead vocalist for Carlos Santana; Herbie Hancock and Kenny G; Trumpeter Rahmlee Michael Davis, original member of Earth Wind & Fire and the Phil Collins Band; Island Rhythm Reggae; Route 101 Funk/Jazz/Blues: gospel choirs including the Ward AME Church 40 member Jubilant Praise Youth Choir; storytelling, dance and more. The Youth Stage will offer youth an opportunity to express th eir messages of hope through spoken word workshops culminating in an open mike session performance.
Admission is free and free parking is available at Santa Monica City College. The event will be held at Virginia Avenue Park.
And for people in the middle, Chef Marilyn’s Soul Food Express is celebrating Juneteenth by selling everything on the menu for 99 cents on Friday, June, 19th.