The Simon Rodia  
Watts Towers Jazz Festival  


Design: John Outterbridge 2001 A.D.

  In 1976 three community artists, John Outterbridge, then director of the Watts Towers Arts Center, Alonzo Davis, founder of Brockman Gallery and Greg Bryant a local musician, established Los Angeles's first Jazz Festival.

  .Inspired, perhaps by the similarities in the virtuosity Simon Rodia employed in the construction of the Watts Towers and Jazz, America's only indigenous art form the festival is still one of the most significant annual events in Los Angeles.

  The event draws a local, national, and international audience. It has been acknowledged by musicians as "...having the ambiance..." in which they best like to perform.

  The musicians in the list to the left of your screen represent the entire spectrum of the jazz idiom over the years. They will continue to be recognized as the makers of its history.

  The festival has traditionally featured a broad assortment of arts and crafts by community artisans, varied and always delicious ethnic cuisines, children's workshops and related exhibitions. It has been held on the last weekend in September throughout its history.

  In recent years co-sponsers, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the Friends of the Watts Towers Art Center, have staged the event. It has remained free to the public. It is an annual welcome extended by the peoples of Watts to all the world!

Mark Greenfield