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NAJEE’S NOTES: Jazz at Drew returns Oct. 6

By Najee Ali

Contributing Writer

Jazz at Drew is back. I attended last year’s Jazz at Drew concert along with thousands of South L.A. residents who enjoyed themselves. The legendary band Earth Wind and Fire was the headliner act.

That concert was amazing, and I knew Jazz at Drew would be hard-pressed to top it. But this year’s concert features After 7 and several well-known musical acts I’m anxious to see as well. Now in its third year, Jazz at Drew has become one of the most affordable and top festivals to listen to jazz and R&B music.

Charles Drew University, the sponsor of Jazz at Drew, was founded to address the inadequate access to health care in the community of Watts and greater South Los Angeles. For more than 50 years, Drew University has served South Los Angeles with pride and excellence. This concert is a fundraiser we should all try and support.

Jazz at Drew’s mission is crystal clear. They will continue to support students in health professions and biomedical science through scholarships and professional development opportunities and to provide the South Los Angeles area with arts and entertainment as a commitment to engage the community.

Proceeds from the Jazz at Drew fundraiser will also support Drew University pipeline programs that seek to engage youth in math and science from underserved communities.

Drew University values its community members and supporters of its mission of cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service and community

This year’s festival will be held Oct. 6 from noon to 9 p.m. Performers include After 7, the S.O.S. Band, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Jeff Lorber, Paul Jackson Jr., and Everette Harp, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, and DW3.

The festival also features numerous vendors and a health pavilion with free screenings.

For more information, call (323) 357-3669 or

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Bill Cosby was sentenced this week to serve 3 to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault. Cosby being dragged away in handcuffs was a sad sight to see.

The man once known as America’s dad, is now a convicted felon who must register as a sexual offender. Cosby made his own bed and must lay in it. Too often men sexually assault and harass women and then shame them into silence. But not this time.

More than 60 women came forward to say Cosby at some point drugged them and took advantage of them sexually. Cosby cheated on his wife and was exposed to be nothing but a hypocrite and is prison where he belongs.

But let’s not forget about Harvey Weinstein and so many others who should also be brought to justice. If we support the MeToo campaign, we should bring them all to justice and not just the black defendants.

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Speaking of the MeToo movement, my phone was ringing off the hook non-stop with news of the resignation of a South L.A. activist and clergy member from his job at the civil rights group he led in South L.A. because of sexual harassment allegations made against him by his office manager. I will pray for her. I will also continue to pray for the man she spoke out against his wife and children. All I can say is karma is real.

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