Watts Towers: A Weekend of Drums, Jazz, and Celebration

The Day of the Drum Festival and the Jazz Festival, two lauded festivities, are ready to make beautiful music.

Los Angeles brims with beautiful musical traditions, including those venerable daylong festivals that put the emphasis on a particular place, and/or instrument, and/or style, and/or feel and vibe.

A pair of back-to-back bashes incorporate all of those hallmarks, with style and heart, and they're ready to again bring the percussive rhythms and deep flows to Watts Towers for a weekend of great music.

The 36th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival is up first on Saturday, Sept. 30. The multi-hour celebration will feature Ndugu Chancler and James Janisse as the Masters of Ceremonies, as well as a line-up of drum masters throughout the day.

The Drum Apostles, Kouman Kele West African Dance & Drum Company, and Rhythm Roulette are all ready to bring the perfect percussion to the last day of September.

A Yoruba ground blessing opens the event, a moment that "...unites all cultures based on common themes and principles." Other drumming and dancing acts will also appear on the full roster, too.

And on Sunday, Oct. 1, the 41st Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival takes centerstage, with Alaadun again performing the opening Yoruba ground blessing.

Kamau Daáood and James Janisse are at the mics as Masters of Ceremonies, and the Dee Dee McNeil Jazz Band, Greg Clayborn & Message Groove, and Danny Cortez & Tony Harris Big Band are just a few of the excellent groups and performers.

Blues, too, will make an anticipated appearance when Roy Gaines & his orchestra Tuxedo Blues step onto the stage.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Friends of Watts Towers Arts are the partners behind the two days of sound, story, and community that have become an essential part of LA's yearly music fest calendar.

Kid activities and tours of Simon Rodia's wondrous landmarks are also on the schedule, so check it all out now.

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