Turfin in the Dream Court
It’s hard to say what was more inspirational at Saturday’s Malcolm X Jazz Festival — the live musical performances on the Main Stage, the dance troupes on the Katherine Dunham Dance Stage, the spoken word performers on the Javad Jahi Stage, the freestyle b-boy/b-girl and turfin’ at the Dream Court or the crowd, a multicultural, multi-generational calabash of styles and smiles that was 100 percent authentic Oakland.
Nearly everywhere you looked, somethin’ was going on: Rico Pabon getting’ righteously Afro-Cuban with the John Santos Sextet; DJ Abl Dee bumpin’ the slaps for the turfers; capoeiristas playing their game to the sounds of the berimbau; scraper bikes; an acrobatic dunk team; the Guerilla Café’s new hot sauce; arts and crafts; ice cream carts; and people-watching galore.
Old friends, new friends ... it was all good. We even got some summery sunshine that everybody loved, just like that Roy Ayers song.
What an amazing exercise in community-building MXJF has become. I say this every year, but every year, it gets better. Peep the colorful photos; you might just recognize yourself!