You could not have driven anywhere around the heart of Pasadena without hearing the sounds of music in the air. The Make Music Pasadena festival took place today, welcoming thousands of music fans, and about 100 musicians and bands on stages throughout the city. My family and I visited 4 of the stages and had a great time. We began the day at the Paseo Colorado stage where I'll admit the music was hit or miss for my taste, however, my four-year-old definitely thought differently because he danced the entire time we were there. We then crossed the street to the Pasadena Convention & Visitor's Center stage where we had a great time listening to the sounds of Dj Edwin Carrillo and Funkygraffish. Who doesn't love a DJ playing fun dance beats?
The shows here ended at 3, just a little after we arrived, so we traveled down Colorado Boulevard to Vroman's Bookstore. The stage was just outside the bookstore in the little courtyard between the movie theater and the store. We got there just in time to see Independent Music Award Nominee, Jamila Ford, who I had read about but had never heard before. She was amazing. Jazzy, but modern with a voice that could break hearts yet soothe at the same time. Just a wonderful surprise.
After purchasing way too many books (is there such a thing) for our son, we walked across the street to the Luckman World Stage, which was sponsored by the Luckman Fine Arts Center from California State University, Los Angeles. If you are not familiar with the Luckman Fine Arts Center, you are missing out. In fact, check out their 2011-2012 season. Upcoming artists include India.Arie, Jane Birkin, Simon Bolivar Brass Ensemble, Nikka Costa, Anoushka Shankar and Aaron Neville, to name a few. This was how we would end our day - and boy did we go out with a bang. Remember the Luckman name next year because each performer was truly unique and outstanding. Unique sounds, amazing voices, lots of energy and the widest range of talent that only a festival like this could bring together on one stage. The biggest highlight of the day was Ben L'Oncle Soul, a French performer who sang some songs in his native French and some in English. Part John Legend, part Stevie Wonder, the music was like something from the past, but with a fun, party atmosphere that was perfect for today. In just minutes, we went from a medium sized group to a packed street, full of people dancing and clapping. Needless to say, his CD's sold out in minutes. (We'll be downloading off iTunes tonight).
We started our day at noon and kept going until 6 p.m. With five hours to go, I'm sure we'll miss out on some truly amazing performances, but we had a great time today and can't wait until next year!