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Angel City Jazz Festival 2021 (Public Domain)
MUSIC: Angel City Arts presents the 14th Annual Angel City Jazz Festival October 1-15 with performances from Highland Park to Brentwood at REDCAT, 2220 Arts + Archives, LACMA, the Lodge Room, the Ford, and Skirball Center.

Angel City Jazz Festival 2021

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Date(s) - 10/01/2021 - 10/15/2021
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM

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Angel City Arts presents the 14th Annual Angel City Jazz Festival October 1-15 with performances from Highland Park to Brentwood at REDCAT, 2220 Arts + Archives (formerly the Bootleg), LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), the Lodge Room, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Skirball Center. This year’s events mark the festival’s return to presenting concerts with live audiences after more than a year of virtual-only events.

This year’s event will host fifteen concerts during the first half of October featuring live performances by the Mark Dresser 5 with Michael Dessen, Joshua White, Mark Ferber, and Chris Speed, the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio with Rich Brown and Larnell Lewis, the Corey Fogel Group featuring Judith Berkson, Beth Schenck, and Mattie Barbier, Amirtha Kidambi’s Elder Ones with Matt Nelson, Eva Lawitts, and Max Jaffe, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Bridge to Everywhere, the Cathlene Pineda Quartet, NOICE, the Dan Rosenboom Quintet, and Jon Hatamiya’s Big Band, the Jeff Parker and Elliott Sharp Duo, the Muttdoggs (Mike Watt, Motoko Honda, Joe Berardi) with special guest Petra Haden, Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble with special guest Dianne Reeves, Myra Melford, and the Jamie Baum Septet+1.

Jazz never stands still. It’s constantly evolving and reinventing itself. While some festivals nostalgically look back, Angel City unapologetically looks forward to encouraging and embracing the metamorphosis of the genre. Although a cradle to 1960s innovators such as Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and Charles Lloyd, Los Angeles never consistently hosted a festival dedicated to post-traditional improvisation until innovator Rocco Somazzi founded The Angel City Jazz Festival in 2008. The Angel City Jazz Festival has helped establish LA as a jazz destination through twelve years of live concerts featuring artists such as Bill Frisell, Archie Shepp, Bennie Maupin, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, Ravi Coltrane, Nels Cline, Tigran Hamasyan, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and many others.

The festival will kick off Friday, October 1 at REDCAT at the Disney Hall in Downtown LA with longtime festival favorite San Diego based bassist/composer Mark Dresser leading a new Quintet with Michael Dessen, Joshua White, Mark Ferber, and Chris Speed, followed by Canadian supergroup the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio with Rich Brown (Dapp Theory) and Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy). The music continues Saturday, October 2 at 2220 Arts + Archives (formerly the Bootleg) with LA’s own experimental percussionist Corey Fogel’s Group featuring ECM recording artist Judith Berkson, followed by NYC based Carnatic vocalist Amirtha Kitambi’s Elder Ones.

The festival’s only free event, in cooperation with Jazz at LACMA, will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra on Friday, October 8. Founded in 1961 by piano legend Horace Tapscott, with over 300 musicians on the roster over the decades, LA jazz luminaries who have come out of “the Ark” include Kamasi Washington, Phil Ranelin, Dwight Trible, Jamael Dean, and Maia and Kamau Daaood. P.A.P.A. is currently led by second-generation Arkestra drummer Mekala Session. Like many ACJF/Jazz at LACMA events, this concert will be a true celebration of Black Los Angeles’ jazz heritage.

Saturday, October 9 will see the ACJF partnering with LA-based recording label ORENDA to present a celebration of their 100 releases with Bridge to Everywhere, the Cathlene Pineda Quartet, NOICE, the Dan Rosenboom Quintet, and Jon Hatamiya’s Big Band at 2220 Arts + Archives. Then Sunday, October 10 will be a jazz treat for music hipsters with Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and seminal experimental musician Eliot Sharp performing as a duo, followed by legendary LA bassist Mike Watt bringing his Muttdogs with festival favorite Motoko Honda, The Fibonaccis’ drummer Joe Berardi, and special guest That Dog/Decembrists violin player Petra Haden, to the Lodge Room in Highland Park.

The penultimate event will see the festival return to its longtime home, the Ford Theater for what is certain to be a sublime evening of Billy Childs’ Jazz Chamber Ensemble with special guest Dianne Reeves on Thursday, October 14. The festival will conclude on Friday, October 15 exploring the distaff side of jazz at the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Skirball Center with ACJF stalwart Myra Melford in a solo piano performance followed by acclaimed flutist Jamie Baum’s Septet+1, coming in from NYC for a rare LA appearance.


Angel City Arts is a music presenting non-profit organization committed to cultivating and revitalizing jazz culture in Los Angeles.

IMAGE courtesy of Angel City Jazz Festival (Public Domain)

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