By Ricky Richardson
The City of Inglewood partnered with Clippers Arena Inglewood, Consolidated Disposal Service (A Republic Service Company), West Basin Municipal Water District and 102.3 FM, RadioFree KJLH for the annual Earth Day Music Festival, Saturday, April 20, 2019, on the South Lawn of City Hall.
The festivities were already on and crack a lackin when I arrived on the scene. Several thousand people, 4,000 to be exact, from near and far heeded the invite to join the City of Inglewood for one of their signature events.
The City of Inglewood presented this event as part of their commitment to quality living and visionary leadership, to protect and respect the environment. A huge round of applause and shout out are for Angela Williams and Joi Aldridge of the Environmental Services Division of the Public Works Department, for organizing and producing the Earth Day Music Festival. This was a tremendous undertaking with immediate and noticeable rewards-4,000 happy faces and smiles. Various resources booths provided information to raise awareness about our responsibility to Mother Earth.
The host of this fun-filled, engaging family event was none other than, Guy Black, Radio Personality, 102.3 FM, RadioFree KJLH. DJ Jeff Onee manned the soundboards to provide an eclectic mix of music to enhance the vibes of the Earth Day Music Festival.
Singer/Songwriter Phillip Lauth made a returned engagement to entertain the crowd. Mr. Lauth is the artist who holds the record for the most appearances/performances at the Earth Day Music Festival. That says a lot about his popularity.
Actor/comedian Flex Anderson introduced his wife, Shanice as the next performer to take to the stage. Her opening tune was “Can You Dance,” featuring a multi-cultural talented group of dancers. She continued her set with “The Way You Love Me.” The next portion of her set honored her musical influencers, first with “Square Business,” by Teena Marie, “Heart Break Hotel,” by Michael Jackson followed by “Lovin’ You,” by Minnie Riperton. I can assure you that Shanice hit all the high notes and the right notes. Shanice continued her set with “Saving Forever for You,” “Don’t Settle for Less,” “This Love is Real,” “I’ll be Your Fantasy,” “I Love Your Smile,” and closed her set with “I Won’t.”
Club Nouveau consisting of vocalist Jay King, Valerie Watson English and Samuelle Prater laid down a heavy dose of R&B, Soul and high-octane dance tunes. They cast a spell that had the crowd “Under a Nouveau Groove” throughout their set. The opened their set with “Let It Go,” followed by “That Ain’t Love,” from their latest CD/EP Consciousness. Club Nouveau continued their set with “Tonight, Get a Hold of Me,” “Heavy on my Mind,” “Situation #9,” “Why You Treat Me So Bad,” “ I Want to Change the World,” and concluded their set with an up-tempo version of “Lean on Me.”
Susie Hansen Latin Band literally heated up the festivities with a set of spicy, Latin rhythms to the delight of the salseros in the crowd. The sun finally came out during their set. Up until their set, everyone was bundled up on this unusually cold day in the Southbay.
Two soulful crooners performed backed to back sets. Kenny Lattimore and Eric Benet turned up the wow factor to the delight of their adoring fans. Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance to introduce Eric Benet. What an honor.
The rest is history in the making, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. The Conductor of Funk introduced the last and final act of the evening. Con Funk Shun turned up the throttle and went full steam ahead with a set of classic hits from their extended catalog. Their set was “Ffun,” and people had no choice but to “Shake and Dance with Me” throughout their highly entertaining set.
This evening will go down in the record books as the largest and most successful Earth Day Music Festival in Inglewood. The producers of this year’s festival raised the bar for future celebrations. Don’t be surprise if next year’s stellar line-up continues to broaden and enhance the Earth Day Music Festival, one of several signature events in the City of Inglewood. Stay Tuned!!!
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel.