The Susie Hansen Latin Band performed at Inglewood’s Earth Day Music Festival

— Story and pictures by Ricky Ricardo —

Susie Hansen

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 that was held Saturday, April 20, 2019, on the South Lawn of Inglewood’s City Hall.

The festivities had already started when I arrived on the scene. Several thousand people from near and far heeded the invite to join the City of Inglewood for one of their signature events. This event is part of the City’s commitment to quality living and visionary leadership, and to protect and respect the environment. 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 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.”

Members of the Susie Hansen Latin Band

The 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 had been bundled up on the unusually cold day in the South Bay.

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 on 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 surprised 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!!!

More members of the Susie Hansen Latin Band