The World Stage Celebrates 25 Years
Purchase tickets at $30.00, $45.00, & $60.00
When The World Stage opened in 1989, it was just in time to help lead Leimert Park’s last renaissance. The Brockman Gallery, for over two decades the anchor of the Village’s cultural life, was getting ready to close. Determined to keep alive the flame of community arts in Leimert, poet Kamau Daáood and drummer Billy Higgins rented a former Brockman storefront and christened it The World Stage Performance Gallery, with a mission to preserve and promote African-American musical and literary traditions. Along with Fifth Street Dick’s, The World Stage became the hub of a revitalized Leimert Park arts scene. In the years since, “The Stage” has hosted jazz workshops, drum circles, jam sessions, and a weekly writers workshop. Some of the greatest names in jazz have made the pilgrimage to this humble but vibrant “jazz church”—Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock and Cedar Walton, just to name a few. The Anansi Writers Workshop has featured literary luminaries like best-selling author Michael Datcher and the late Wanda Coleman.
A quarter of a century later, Leimert Park Village is poised for another renaissance. A long-sought subway stop on the new Crenshaw/LAX line will bring increased visibility, access, and investment to a neighborhood that, in spite of its rich heritage, remains an undiscovered gem in Los Angeles. The Vision Theatre, now under the purview of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is in the middle of an ambitious renovation. New galleries and art spaces are opening, and West 43rd Place is one of the first spaces to be declared by the City as a People’s Street Plaza. The Village is on the move, and The Stage is determined to be at the center of the action.
Help us celebrate our rich heritage and carry it into the future by joining us for a 25th Anniversary Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Billy Higgins, Sunday August 24 6pm, at the Ford Amphitheater. Tickets range from $15 for students and children, to $60 for first tier seats. All proceeds will go toward our community arts education programs. Headlining the all-star lineup is vocalist Dwight Trible, also the new Executive Director of The World Stage. Joining him are pioneering pianist/singer /arranger Patrice Louise Rushen, Carmen Lundy (Winner of the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album), Bennie Maupin (featured on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew), Hubert Laws(who plays flute on Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”), versatile Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, rising talent Kamasi Washington, and the women’s drum ensemble SHINE Mawusi. Musical Director John Beasley leads a house band that includes Trevor Ware, Clayton Cameron, Munyungo Jackson and Jacques Lesure. World Stage co-founder Kamau Daáood will also read, along with poet Jaha Zainabu.