Get your RAJ – Rhythm & Joy – on this Saturday, August 29th. Come visit us at the RAJ Festival. Look for the Million Mamas Movement booth, near our sister organization, Compassionate California booth and many others. You can sign SB277 Referendum petitions, too.
Music is a healing force and Rickie Byars Beckwith is a most beautiful expression of this truth. A visionary, a musical genius, a healer, a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a beautiful humanitarian. The music that Rickie creates individually and with her husband, Michael Bernard Beckwith, is some of the most healing music I’ve ever heard.
RAJ is a party on purpose! It’s a super fun, free, uplifting, eco-friendly family event. The 3rd Annual RAJ Festival happens on Saturday, August 29th, from 12pm – 10pm at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills. RAJ 15 is a soulful celebration that demonstrates the impact of music as a catalyst for changing lives.
The theme for this year’s RAJ is Bringing People Together Bridging Communities. Rickie said, “when I caught the vision for this festival, while I wanted music to be the focal point around the gathering, I saw it as so much more. I wanted to bring diverse groups of people together, and by diverse, I don’t mean black and white. You see diversity throughout the festival – in the array of music we present ~ from jazz to funk ~ age groups from young to older, in the types of foods served ~ it’s in everything!”
This year RAJ has aligned with 2 powerful, life changing organizations, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), a repertory company that connects the experience of people living in poverty to the social influences that shape their lives. The other is Culinary Arts Kids Eat (CAKE), an organization that educates students on life skills through practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the culinary arts. Each of these organizations serve to provide a wholistic experience of creativity, healthy eating, and sustainable lifestyle. There are many RAJ supporters including LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley Thomas, 2nd District; the South Coast Air Quality Management District; LoveTrust Media; KPFK; US Congressman, Brad Sherman; Los Angeles City Councilman, Bob Blumenfield, 3rd District; Kuumba in Motion; Singin in the Rain with Sunny Chayes; and more. Event Water Solutions is offering clean, filtered water but you’ll need to bring your own containers – how is that for eco-cool?
What a line-up of activities! Musical inspirations include; Street Car Renaissance, Dwight Trible, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dudley “Declaime” Perkins, Andrea Lane, Nate Hancock & the Declaration, Leo Gallo, The Kev Choice Band featuring Jannifer Johns, DJ Shiva, the Afro Blues Tribes of Joseph, Jami Lula, Rob McDonald and the Old School Band, the Agape International Choir, and Rickie Byars Beckwith. Kids activities. Drum circle with Idris Ester. It sounds like there will be musical surprises, too. Rickie shares, “Another great thing about RAJ is that you never know who’s going to show up. In the past, Chaka Khan, Common, the Mothers of Invention and Eric Benet have graced the stage of RAJ. Anything wonderful can happen.”
So, right now, take a moment and pause Think of a favorite song or songs. Where do they take you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What would the musical soundtrack to your life sound like? Music is a healing force of the world! Music has been and is at the center of my life since I can remember. When I was a little girl, music was always playing, my dad and I used to dance to Nat King Cole. I’d hear Ella Fitzgerald, Satchmo, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Broadway musicals and more. My older cousin loved The Beatles and I can remember hearing, Hey Jude, and Let it Be, when I was 9 and 10. I loved the Mamas and Papas. At 11 and beyond, I began to listen to my older brother’s musical choices ~ Stevie Wonder, Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye. I LOVED watching Don Cornelius and The Soul Train. I heard James Taylor and Carole King through a friend’s sister. As a teenager, I listened to many artists. My friend, Rudy, told me that I should have a radio growing out of my ear because I carried a hot pink radio with me during my senior year in high school. I was one of those people who actually went to dance clubs to dance and hear the music. I went to college in New York City when I was 17 and majored in nightlife while I studied Advertising & Communications during the day. There was nothing like hearing Michael Jackson’s, Pretty Young Thing, while on the dance floor at Studio 54, or see Mick Jagger at the club while the DJ played, Shattered. The musical soundtrack of my life is varied and beautiful. I studied dance for many years and I have cellular memory with certain songs that I hear. I was a partner in a music pr company. Music is central to my life. I am married to an incredible singer/songwriter, John Silvers, and our daughter is a singer/songwriter, too. Music uplifts, transforms, reveals, heals and inspires. It brings us together ever reminding us that music itself is a universal language.
Give yourself and your family a special memory. Get your RAJ on. Admission is free. You may reserve a spot in the shade for $25. www.rajfestival.com