Vice Mayor Announces Ohio Players to Headline 7th Annual Uptown Jazz Festival

Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson announced the full lineup for the 7th Annual Uptown Jazz Festival, to take place on Saturday, June 9 at Houghton Park from 11:30AM to 6:30PM.

In partnership with Sixth District Councilmember Dee Andrews and Seventh District Councilmember Roberto Uranga, this year’s free festival will have music, food, a bar garden, vendor booths, a kids’ area and more, it was announced.

“Summer concerts are a tradition here in Long Beach, and we have a lot to celebrate at this year’s Uptown Jazz Festival,” said Richardson in a statement. “In our 7th year, I am thrilled to bring the legendary American Funk and R&B band The Ohio Players, returning favorite DW3, and more great bands to Uptown. It will be an amazing show that the entire family can enjoy!”

The complete lineup includes:

  • Ohio Players – Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, the Ohio Players (formed in 1959) is an acclaimed American funk and R&B group who enjoyed their greatest success in the 1970s, notably with their No. 1 album “Fire”, led by the No. 1 title track and subsequent No. 1, “I Want to Be Free”. Heralded as the Ohio Players’ masterpiece, the record combined seductive soulful vocals, the groove and beat of funk, and the alluring poetry of R&B to create something timeless. The group is also known for their hits “Pain”, “Funky Worm” and “Love Rollercoaster.”
  • DW3 – DW3 is Southern California’s premiere R&B, funk, and contemporary urban jazz powerhouse.  This will be the seventh year that the versatile ensemble has performed at the Uptown Jazz Festival!
  • Elaine Gibbs & Nu Soul – Elaine Gibbs was a finalist on Season 1 of the X Factor, and has been a singer since the age of 13. She is a writer, producer and performer who is known for her emotional and wide-ranging R&B voice.
  • La Verdad – L.A based La Verdad is one of the cities hottest Latin Jazz Salsa bands. Their stellar musicianship and infectious rhythms will surely get you on your feet and dancing.
  • Biscuits & Gravy – Biscuits & Gravy is a band built on friendships that exceed 30 plus years.  Members of the band come from various parts of the Los Angeles Region, such as Long Beach, Compton, Watts, & Carson creating a sound that will get you moving.  Band members include David Wills (Drummer), Gene Durham (Bass), Emery ‘Funky E’ Beckles, and Kenny Harris (Lead, Background Vocals, & Percussion).

Andrews stated that the Uptown Jazz Festival brings out residents from all over Long Beach, and hopes this year’s event will be another great gathering of those enjoying an afternoon of good food and music.

“The Uptown Jazz Festival continues to be a fun and entertaining day to celebrate community,” said Uranga in a statement. “I look forward to spending time with neighbors and friends as we celebrate summer and all that Uptown has to offer.”

For more information, check out the Facebook event page here.

Houghton Park is located at 6301 Myrtle Avenue.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.