The African American Advisory Alliance and Music Changing Lives non-profit organization collaborated to bring a live music event to Downtown Pomona on April 23.
With vendors selling products from their own small businesses.
Inside the Alliance Community Cultural Center, attendees could hear smooth Jazz coming from performers such as Jeff “The Great,” who played instruments consisting of pianos, saxophones, guitar, and drums.
Around 25 community members attended the event with performers who were not too far away from the audience.
The band played many jazz songs, most of them being composed by the band themselves. Throughout the performance, the performers would break out into solos that were all done on the spot through improvisation.
Serenity Harrison, a resident of Pomona, expressed her gratitude for the representation of her culture.
“It was very nice to hear music like this and just to have people appreciating Black culture and just having a good time,” Harrison said.
Robert Neville, an attendee and resident of La Verne, said that watching the performance was very interesting.
“It is very fun to see other cultures take on music because every race has so many unique styles,” Neville said. “This performance was great from a cultural standpoint and entertainment standpoint. I really liked when the performers would branch off into their own solos as I felt like that was really when the performers got to express their individual selves.”
There were also many live performances at the main center stage outside at the Diamond Plaza by a variety of performers.
There were solo singers, bands that sang rock, jazz, pop and even some duets. This was done while many artists made art on canvas attached to the walls of downtown Pomona.
People sat down on the concrete steps that surrounded the performers playing. With many attendees walking around enjoying stands or art while they listened to the live performances in the background.
Throughout the performance many of the attendees sang along to the songs that they knew the lyrics to. There was a sense of engagement and community throughout the entire event.
Marie Anderson, an artist at the event and resident of Pomona, expressed her thoughts on the event.
“It’s awesome that there’s a place where I can both make my art in front of people and display in order to create this one giant collab between others,” Anderson said. “I love coming down here for the art walk, but it was really nice to hear these live performances.
“My children love it, I love it, and it’s just adding more art to the art walk,” she added.
Trevor Richardson, an attendee and resident of Montclair, said his favorite part of the event was the variety it offered.
“There were so many different styles of singing and expression conveyed through the live performances,” Richardson said. “It is important we appreciate all genres and cultures when it comes to art so we can broaden our taste.”
The event will continue the last Saturday of every month, which coincides with the art walk that also happens in Downtown Pomona.
The Downtown Pomona Art Walk starts at 406 W Second St., Pomona. For more information visit downtownpomona.org
Joseph Chavez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.