Southland Sessions

S1 E11 | FULL EPISODE

Watts Towers Festivals

Highlights from the Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum and Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festivals. With performances from master musicians including Dwight Trible, Kahlil El'Zabar and many more artists, Rosie Lee Hooks, director of the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus, hosts a look back at last year's festivals.

AIRED: October 21, 2020 | 0:54:37
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

ROSIE LEE HOOKS: WELCOME TO

"SOUTHLAND SESSIONS." EACH WEEK,

WE SHOWCASE THE VIBRANCY AND

RICHNESS OF SOUTHERN

CALIFORNIA'S CREATIVE COMMUNITY.

I'M ROSIE LEE HOOKS, DIRECTOR OF

THE WATTS TOWERS ARTS CENTER

CAMPUS, AND PRODUCER OF THE

ANNUAL WATTS TOWERS DAY OF THE

DRUM AND SIMON RODIA WATTS

TOWERS JAZZ FESTIVAL. THESE

FESTIVALS WERE FOUNDED BY ALONZO

DAVIS, GREG BRYANT, JOHN

OUTTERBRIDGE, AND KAMAU DAAOOD

38 YEARS AGO FOR THE DAY OF THE

DRUM, AND 43 YEARS AGO FOR THE

JAZZ FESTIVAL. THESE ARE THE

OLDEST OF THEIR KIND IN THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

THE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS ARE

MASTER MUSICIANS PATRICE RUSHEN

AND MUNYUNGO JACKSON. LAST

YEAR'S FESTIVALS WERE IN MEMORY

OF NIPSEY HUSSLE, ONE OF OUR

DEDICATED STUDENTS. WHILE WE

MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GATHER

TOGETHER THIS YEAR FOR LARGE

EVENTS SUCH AS THESE, TODAY, WE

WILL TAKE A LOOK BACK AT LAST

YEAR'S FESTIVALS WITH SOME OF

OUR LOCAL MASTER MUSICIANS.

ANNOUNCER: MAJOR FUNDING FOR

THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING WAS PROVIDED

BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR

THE ARTS AND THE LOS ANGELES

COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS

AND CULTURE.

HOOKS: THIS WAS THE 38TH ANNUAL

WATTS TOWERS DAY OF THE DRUM

FESTIVAL AND THE 43RD ANNUAL

SIMON RODIA WATTS TOWERS JAZZ

FESTIVAL. THEY ARE ALWAYS HELD

THE LAST WEEKEND IN SEPTEMBER.

THE FOCUS OF THE FESTIVALS IS TO

PROVIDE LIVE, UNRECORDED MUSIC

TO OUR AUDIENCE AND SHOWCASE

LOCAL MASTER ARTISTS. THEY ARE

FREE TO THE PUBLIC, HELD OVER

TWO DAYS WITH LOCAL FOOD AND

ARTS AND CRAFT VENDORS, MANY

ACTIVITIES FOR THE CHILDREN,

ALL-DAY-LONG DRUM CIRCLE, AND

ARTS EXHIBITIONS IN THE NOAH

PURIFOY GALLERY, DR. HOWARD'S

GALLERY, CHARLES MINGUS GALLERY,

AND OUR GARDEN STUDIO. WE WILL

START WITH THE 38TH ANNUAL WATTS

TOWERS DAY OF THE DRUM FESTIVAL,

WHICH WAS DEDICATED TO THE

TRADITIONAL ROLE OF THE DRUMS

IN HUMAN SOCIETIES. OUR MASTERS

OF CEREMONY KAMAU DAAOOD AND

JAMES JANISSE WILL

START THE BEAT.

JANISSE: HELLO, EVERYBODY.

[CROWD CHEERING]

WE HAVE A GREAT PROGRAM TODAY

AND TOMORROW. TODAY IS THE 38TH

WATTS TOWERS DAY OF THE DRUM

FESTIVAL.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

AMEN. TO INTRODUCE THE BAND

IS MY NOTED COLLEAGUE, POET

LAUREATE OF LOS ANGELES,

FOUNDER--CO-FOUNDER OF THE WORLD

STAGE, CO-FOUNDER OF THIS EVENT.

PLEASE WELCOME KAMAU DAAOOD!

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

DAAOOD: HEY, Y'ALL. SO, WE GONNA

HAVE A GOOD TIME TODAY? ALL

THOSE PEOPLE THAT WAS WALKING

AWAY, WALKING AWAY 'CAUSE THEY

WASN'T FEELING--FEELING--FEELING

RIGHT, YOU KNOW, COME ON BACK.

Y'ALL CAN COME ON BACK, 'CAUSE

IF YOU'RE HURTIN,' YOU KNOW,

LET'S GET A HEALING HERE. THAT'S

WHAT THESE ARTS ARE ABOUT. SO,

I'MA PUT--I'M GONNA BE RUNNIN'

OFF AT THE MOUTH ALL DAY. I'M

GONNA CONSERVE SOME OF THESE

WORDS TO BRING UP THIS AZTEC--

THIS AZTEC GROUP. XOCHIPILI!

XOCHIPILI!

[APPLAUSE]

[AZTEC MUSIC PLAYING]

[MUSIC STOPS]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

[DRUMBEAT]

KAHIL EL'ZABAR: THIS IS ONE OF

OUR SONGS FROM A GROUP IN

CHICAGO, A PERCUSSIONIST CALLED

THE SUN DRUMMER, AND THIS IS

FROM THE LATE SIXTIES.

UHH.

♪ OPEN MY EYES

TO THE LIGHT OF THE SUN

OPEN MY EYES

TO THE LIGHT UNTO THE MAN

HUH, MM

OPEN MY EYES

TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WAY

OPEN MY EYES

IT'S A BRAND-NEW DAY

BEHOLD MY CHURCH

AND LOOK AT MY DAY

BEHOLD OUR GOD

AND LOOK AT ALL OF OUR PEOPLE

SEE ME AND MY MOTHER AND FATHER

SEE

SEE ME, A DAWN A NEW DAY

I [INDISTINCT]

ALL RIGHT NOW

OH, NOW [INDISTINCT]

IT ALL RIGHT NOW

SEE ME IN MY MOTHER AND

AND FATHER SEE THEM

SEE ME ON MY WAY

IT'S A NEW, NEW DAY

OPEN MY EYES TO THE LIGHT OF

[INDISTINCT]

OPEN MY EYES TO THE LIGHT OF

TRUTH

SEE ME ON

ON MY WAY

SEE ME ON

ON MY WAY

SEE ME ON MY WAY

SEE ME ON

ON MY WAY

[VOCALIZING]

I'M ON MY WAY

I'M

I'M ON MY WAY

I'M ON, WHOA, ON

[VOCALIZING]

OPEN MY EYES

TO THE LIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING

HMM, OPEN MY EYES

TO THE LIGHT OF [INDISTINCT]

OPEN MY EYES TO THE LONG-AGO WAY

OPEN MY EYES

IT'S A BRAND-NEW DAY

BEHOLD MY CHURCH AND

LOOK AT MY STEEPLE

BEHOLD OUR GOD

AND LOOK AT ALL OF OUR PEOPLE

SEE ME IN MONEY

AND MY MOTHER AND FATHER SEE

SEE ME ON MY WAY

IS A BRAND-NEW DAY

OPEN MY EYES

OPEN MY EYES

OPEN MY EYES

OPEN MY EYES, UH

OPEN MY EYES

OPEN, OPEN

OPEN [VOCALIZING]

HA HA! [VOCALIZING]

BEEN ON THE WAY BACK TO

[VOCALIZING]

UH, OOH, I BEEN, MM, BEEN

[INDISTINCT] OOH

[VOCALIZING]

OH, OH, OH, OH, OH

[VOCALIZING]

SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW

FEEL IT, I [INDISTINCT]

I BEEN RIGHT THERE IN

[INDISTINCT]

I BEEN RIGHT THERE [INDISTINCT]

UNTIL THEY GO

LET ME BE

BUT I WANT TO STAY

I WON'T CRY

YOU KNOW, GIRL ♪

[HUMMING]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

EL'ZABAR: THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

YEAH.

[DRUMS PLAYING]

[JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

HOOKS: LAST YEAR, WE CELEBRATED

THE 43RD ANNUAL SIMON RODIA

WATTS TOWERS JAZZ FESTIVAL,

WHICH PAYS TRIBUTE TO THESE

INDIGENOUS FORMS OF AMERICAN

MUSIC--JAZZ, GOSPEL, AND BLUES.

DAAOOD: YOU KNOW, I'MA BRING TO

THE STAGE NMONDOYE SHABAZ

AND HE WILL TAKE IT--TAKE IT

FOR THIS GROUND BLESSING.

CLEANING THE SPACE.

CLEANING THE SPACE.

THE GROUND BLESSING.

NMONDOYE SHABAZ.

[AFRICAN MUSIC PLAYING]

[WOMAN SINGING IN

NATIVE LANGUAGE]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

[CHINESE MUSIC PLAYING]

MAN: YEAH!

[APPLAUSE]

DAAOOD: ALL THESE CATS GOT CATS

AND ONE CATRESS, YOU KNOW, IN

THE BAND HERE. THEY GOT ROOTS

HERE MAKING THIS MUSIC

AND DOING THIS THING.

ALL RIGHT, COME WITH IT.

[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

CHERRY: REALLY, WE COULD PLAY

THAT ALL DAY. HA HA HA!

DWIGHT TRIBLE: ♪ THE ONLY MOMENT

WE GOT RIGHT NOW

THE ONLY MOMENT WE GOT RIGHT NOW

IS NOW, Y'ALL

WELL

THE PAST ALREADY GONE

IT'S GONE, Y'ALL

ALL WE GOT LEFT RIGHT NOW

WHOA

NOW

[VOCALIZING]

[VOCALIZING]

TURN OFF YOUR MIND

RELAX INTO DOWNSTREAM

IT'S NOT DYIN'

IT'S NOT DYIN'

LAY DOWN ALL CARES

LET THE LORD

OH, IT'S FREEIN'

YEAH, IT'S FREEIN'

OH, OH, OH, WELL

OH, OH, YEAH, WELL, WELL

FREEIN', YEAH

COME ON, OH

[VOCALIZING]

YEAH

YEAH

YEAH!

YEAH! OH

ONE MORE, BABY! YEAH!

YEAH

WELL

ALL RIGHT

OH

YEAH

WELL

NOT 3 MEN

YEAH

NOT 3 MEN

WELL

YEAH

NOT 3 MEN

SAID

REAL LIFE

HEY

REAL LIFE

REAL LIFE

COME ON, YEAH! YEAH!

YEAH! YAHOOOO!

YAY! IT'S ALL GOOD

YEAH

WHOA

HEY, BRIAN!

YEAH!

[VOCALIZING]

WELL! WELL! WELL! EY!

EY! EY! [VOCALIZING]

HEY, OH, MY

OH, MY ♪

[VOCALIZING]

[LAUGHS]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

PATRICE RUSHEN: WE ARE VERY,

VERY HAPPY AND VERY PROUD TO BE

HERE. WE'RE GONNA CONTINUE AND

WE'RE GONNA PLAY A PIECE NOW BY

A FAMOUS PIANIST AND COMPOSER

NAMED HERBIE HANCOCK. THIS IS

CALLED "DOLPHIN DANCE."

[JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

HOOKS: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US

FOR JUST A PEEK OF WHAT THE

WATTS TOWERS ARTS CENTER CAMPUS

HAS TO OFFER. WE HAVE ONLY SHOWN

YOU A FEW OF THE ARTISTS AND

MUSICIANS THAT SHARED THEIR

GIFTS WITH OUR COMMUNITY. AND IF

YOU GO TO KCET.ORG AND WATTS

TOWERS YOUTUBE CHANNEL, YOU WILL

FIND MANY MORE VIDEOS, ARTICLES,

AND PERFORMANCES FROM ACROSS

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

THE MARATHON CONTINUES.

ANNOUNCER: MAJOR FUNDING FOR

THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING WAS PROVIDED

BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR

THE ARTS AND THE LOS ANGELES

COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS

AND CULTURE.


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