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The Heat was brought to the So Cal Region at the First Annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival

By Naomi K. Bonman

Grooving, singing, kicking back, and just having the moment of the their lives are just a few words describe the emotions of soul lovers during this past weekend’s first annual Los Angeles Soul Fest. From July 22 to July 24, Southern California residents enjoyed a handful of activities at the Autry Museum of American West Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

The LA Soul Fest is the baby of Mark Douglas, CEO of Airborne Tickets that has blossomed and exceeded his exceptions. For the first annual Soul Fest, the event was very well attended and was an ultimate success. It brought out people of all ages and nationalities with everyone being there for one sole purpose—to enjoy some great soul music.

“Whether its vocals, instrumental soloists or a band, it doesn’t matter as long as each artist has the ability and talent to inspire and connect with an audience,” stated Los Angeles Soul Festival Head, Mark Douglas. 

This year’s talent included Grammy, Soul Train, BET, NAACP Image, Billboard, and ASCAP award-winners and nominees, as well as international and newly discovered talent. Highlighted acts included Eric Benet, Angie Stone, Marsha Ambrosius, Lalah Hathaway Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Joe (Joe Thomas), Melanie Fiona, Eric Roberson, Rahsaan Patterson, Goapele, Vivian Green, Loose Ends featuring Jane Eugene, Avery Sunshine and Conya Doss. 

Great music would not be complete without good food and refreshing drinks. Guests were able to put their taste buds to the test with a variety of delicious food from several local food trucks. There were also smoothies and slushy trucks to cool patrons down from the heat. And of course, when it you’re groovin’ you usually want to have a drink in your hand. There was a 21+ drinking area that served a variety of beer and wine from vendors which included Stella Rose, Budweiser, Budlight, Stella Artois, Shock Top and Golden Road Brewing.

To keep up with the LA Soul Fest for the next year or to view photos and videos from this year, visit lasoulmusic.com or follow them on Twitter @LASoulFestFacebook and Instagram.

7 Web Sites and Apps to Help You Find and Support Black-Owned Businesses

There are so many reasons why it is important to support black-owned businesses. Black-owned businesses represent just 7 percent of all small businesses in the U.S., but they create jobs and contribute to the economic strength of urban communities.

Many more people would like to support black-owned businesses by buying their products and services, but they often lack information on where exactly they are located. So, here are 7 web sites and apps that will help you find and support black-owned businesses across the globe:

#1 – iZania.com: a social networking site for Black entrepreneurs, professionals, and consumers. The site includes a business directory, networking forum, online marketplace, blogs and more.

#2 – WhereYouCameFrom.biz: a local business search app with up-to-date information on black owned businesses in the Atlanta area. The businesses are listed across categories and even ranked according to the number of referral counts received by peers.

#3 – WeBuyBlack.comthe largest online marketplace for black businesses and sellers. Black-owned vendors include clothing and accessories, jewelry, toys and games for children, health and beauty products, products for the home, and more.

#4 – Afroworld.org: is a web site of global black businesses and black professionals. Their slogan is “We Help Afroworld Professionals and Consumers Connect.” The site allows consumers to search for African American professionals and businesses by specialty or location, and compare quotes, reviews, and profiles on each Afroworld professional.

#5 – BlackBusinessNetwork.com: Produced by Tag Team Marketing, this site specializes in marketing the products and services of black-owned businesses to black consumers. Business owners from all over the world can sell their products and services through the online store, and consumers can shop for products they know are made from Black-owned companies.

#6 – PurchaseBlack.com: an online marketplace to find quality products from selected Black-owned businesses. They also have a mobile app that allows customers to search black-owned products and services.

#7 – 2MillionJobs.com: an online initiative that encourages people to spend $20 every week with local and/or online Black businesses. Their goal is to create two million jobs for black workers and eliminate unemployment for blacks by the year 2017.

 

To Jumpstart New Instrumental Program, San Bernardino Valley College Launches Summer Band

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- To launch the new instrumental program at San Bernardino Valley College, a Summer Band has been formed, comprised of SBVC students and area high schoolers.

Valley College hasn’t had a band program for about 15 years, and Professor of Music Margaret Worsley was hired in January to get the instrumental music program up and running.

“This will be no easy feat, as none of our former repertoire (music) or instruments remain, and starting from scratch isn’t cheap,” she said. “But, we’ve got to begin somewhere, and a Summer Band seems as good a place as any! No audition was required to join the band, simply a humble amount of experience on an instrument. This session, we’ve welcomed current students at Valley, as well as local high school students looking to keep up their chops during the summer.”

Worsley says the Humanities Department is “very excited” to bring back the instrumental program, adding, “We are presently writing curriculum so that instrumentalist music majors will soon have a large ensemble to participate in, as fulfillment of their degree requirements. Our future dreams are big, and include outreach and involvement with local high schools and community players. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and that first baby step is Summer Band. I’m looking to start a Community Band in the fall, which will rehearse once a week.”

The Summer Band rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m. This summer, they are sight-reading and focusing on American pieces. For information on future performances, please visit www.valleycollege.edu.

While an audition for participation is not required, there is an audition for seating. Any-one looking to participate in the instrumental music program or Summer Band can email Worsley at mworsley@valleycollege.edu.