Explosive 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza with Salsa at Exposition Park
— Photos and story by Ricky Ricardo —
Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren D. Price and The New 9th, presented the annual 4th of July Community Festival and Fireworks Show on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
This extremely popular Independence Day Celebration was held on the South Lawn of Exposition Park. All attendees were able to enjoy and experience a day of engaging fun with delectable food, games, and activities for all ages, followed by an awesome fireworks extravaganza around 9:00 pm.
Greg Johnson, Marketing and Promotion Director, 102.3FM Radio Free KJLH served as Master of Ceremonies and welcomed early arrivals to the celebration. The live entertainment got underway at noon, presented by The City of Los Angeles and KJLH Radio with a stellar line-up of R&B, Soul, and Latin music. This year’s celebration featured an eclectic world music showcase allowing attendees to visually and musically travel to various countries on the 4th of July.
Our first trip found us in the mist of Carnaval, or better yet, World Cup fever in Brazil. Guadalupae D’Lushus & Sambalushus Dancers’ visually captivating performance was one of many highlights throughout the afternoon. The leader sang and danced to the tunes “Brazilian Funk Ain’t Got No Color,” Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes and concluded with “Conga” by Gloria Estefan.
AprilFoolChild is a rising star. The crowd was pleased to vibe with her throughout her set, along with her back dancers Luis and Coco and DJ Marco Dash. Her set featured the songs “Mangos,” “Forever,” “Highs and Lows,” and “Hear Me.”
The show continued with another crowd favorite from Los Angeles. Iman Europe dazzled the crowd with her set of original tunes accompanied by DJ Wavy Baby on the ones and twos. Iman Europe performed “Let’s Ride,” “Studio,” “Blessing,” and concluded her set with “Westside.”
Tropi Corrilo aspires to preserve Afro-Tropical music and culture by honoring its roots as they write and perform innovative music that transcends those traditions into today’s times. Throughout their set they fused sounds of Colombia (Cumbia), Puerto Rico (Bomba), and rhythms of Cuba, Trinidad Y Tobago, and Dominican Republic. Their set featured the tunes “Oye Mi Ritmo,” “Ay Morena,” “Descarga de la Selva,” which allowed everyone to stretch out. They continued with “Selva de Cemento,” “Negro Yo Soy” and concluded their set with “Capital.” The band is led by Richard Herrera-congas/vocals, Amber Morse-guitar/vocals, Hector Torres-guitar, Fermin Sifontes-keyboards, Fredirico Zuniga-bass, and Caityn Moss on drum.
Vocalist Maurice Smith rocked the stage beginning with “Let’s Go Crazy,” followed by “Do You Remember the Time,” and “She’s Always in my Head” to name a few.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist Tyler Conti is another person deserving of greater recognition. He held his own during his time in the spotlight with the following tunes “Like the Way You Work It,” “I Want to Rock With you,” “Time Today” and concluded his set with What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.
Conganas took the crowd on a final global journey musically. They opened their set with “Azucar,” “Scheherezada,” and “Vampiro Tropical.” Conganas which means “with passion” features some of the most talented and experienced players in the Los Angeles music scene today. Its band members not only perform with their own bands, but they are also touring musicians with some of the greatest bands and musicians in the Latin Jazz, R&B, Pop and Soul Music genres. The musicians on this gig consisted of Christian Moraga-leader, drums/percussions, from Chile, Fermin Sifontes-keyboards, from Cuba, Juan Carlos Portillo-bass, and Joel Nunes on Eiwi, from Cuba.
The stage was LIT before the first explosive fireworks was set off with a fantastic performance by Jade Novah followed by the headlining set by YOYO.
The 4th of July Community Festival and Fireworks Show was sponsored by The Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, 102.3FM Radio Free KJLH, Exposition Park California, University of Southern California, USC Civic Engagement, Arrowhead Water and McDonald’s.