|HOLLYWOOD, CA—In one of most anticipated and acclaimed events of the year, Forest Lawn—Hollywood Hills presents The Celebration of Black History, a one-night-only spectacular of music, dance, and spoken word celebrating black culture in honor of Black History Month. With its proximity to Valentine’s Day, this year’s event gives a special nod to anyone celebrating love in its many forms. On Saturday, February 15, 2019, producer Mychal Henry of MjDD Production Studio brings a rare opportunity to see an impressive lineup of choirs, soloists, musicians, comedians, African dancers, and speakers hailing from across Southern California. The event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis and also offers receptions with refreshments.
The Celebration of Black History brings together the distinctive sounds of jazz, blues, and gospel music in a one-of-a-kind performance that honors the influence of black artists on music. Featured performers include Elaine Gibbs of the international music competition show The X Factor, powerhouse comedian Six Foota Slimm, and keynote speaker Dr. Terrance Roberts, an author, retired professor, and one of the Little Rock Nine. Producer Mychal Henry along with music director Chris Thomas and music coordinator Keith Spentz bring all-star performances, including Umoja African dance by Makeda Kumasi; music and vocals by the MjDD Inland Empire Band, GMWA Gospel Choir of the Inland Empire with director Dansby Sturdivant, Seventh-day Adventist All Nation Choir, David Hannan, Aaron Harper, David McClendon, Scotty Pierce, Pershetta Slack, Rickey Vivey, and saxophone by Donald Hayes, who just returned from touring with Robin Thicke and Fantasia; a skit by Jeanie Gaines; spoken word and solo by celebrated vocalist Phalia Louder; spoken word by Reverend Henry Horsely; as well as a tribute to Janice Freeman and an in-aisle Valentine’s sax serenade by Robert Parker, Vaughn Fahie, Martin Murphy, and Donald Hayes.
The Celebration of Black History features performances of music and spoken word by some of the most iconic names in black culture, including Maya Angelou, Louie Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, The Gap Band, Whitney Houston, Langston Hughes, James Ingram, Mahalia Jackson, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Donald Lawrence, Prince, Diana Ross, and Richard Smallwood. The event celebrates the vitality of black culture through community gathering, sound, and celebration.
“Last year’s celebration of black music was one of the most outstanding music performances I have ever experienced,” says Rodolfo Saenz, Forest Lawn’s Senior Vice President, Marketing. “Forest Lawn is excited to present an even more unforgettable evening celebrating black culture and love.”
“This year’s concert builds upon the celebration of Black History Month with an emphasis on Valentine’s Day,” says event producer Mychal Henry. “A stellar ensemble of talent will sing, dance, and perform music and spoken word, designed to make the heart swell in singles and couples alike. This is sure to be an evening you don’t want to miss.”
The Celebration of Black History takes place on Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 6:00–9:30 PM, inside the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn—Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Doors open at 6:00 PM for a pre-show reception with refreshments and music by DJ Dan Jackson, with a 7:00 PM curtain for the performance. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis and will begin at 6:00 PM; standing room only is anticipated. Admission and parking are FREE. Visit www.forestlawn.com for more information.