First off it’s great that someone put together a festival in LA. It could be questioned why on DIJ weekend but Los Angeles is a big place and as I found out has a surprising number of players young and old anxious to be part of a scene. **** who put this together had his hands full, between coordinating the festival, playing rhythm for some of the esteemed acts or his own trio, keeping everyone happy and selling his own wares, he had to do the work of many people but he created a happening for us Los Angeles area people (and some further out) that does not happen without Tommy's initiative.
I have not done a bunch of these but have gone to DJfest in Mill Valley a couple of times. Love Mill Valley but as a festival this had a lot more going on for it. The artists are great but that’s kind of a given at a festival. It is what else the festival offered which is what made it feel more like a festival than a few workshops and a few concerts. There was an area for booking a trip to Paris, the help for the festival were almost all native’s of France. There were 2 food options one being custom crepes and the other pizza. If that did not agree with you we were 4 blocks from a massive food area. One of the smartest moves, at least logistically, was employing the Raymond Kabbaz center for the event. A small theatre and campus which could house the concert, have a wine and jam band room and multi out door areas for jaming in shade or sun, multi vendors for guitars, books, cds and videos and places for before mentioned food options all within a few yards of each other but never crowded.
Our band the Idiomatiques held the open jam where many of LA’s top players congregated and played together (sometimes too many at one time).https://www.facebook.com/TheatreRaymondKabbaz/videos/10155361595316322/
One always had the option to create a new jam in another location nearby. There was Les fils du ven, a documentary that movie goers coming out of the theater raved about. A lecture the next day with esteemed GJ author Michael Dregni which included an exhibition with original artifacts. It was a great festival, hopefully one that will be repeated next year.