An intersection in Leimert Park will be dedicated on Saturday as Barbara Morrison Square in honor of the late legendary jazz singer, coinciding with the anniversary of her birth and the inaugural edition of the Barbara Morrison Jazz & Blues Music Festival.
Councilwoman Heather Hutt, whose 10th district includes Leimert Park; Morrison’s longtime partner Tim Morganfield; and members of Morrison’s family are scheduled to speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony at the intersection of 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard.
Morrison has sung with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Kenny Burrell, Hank Crawford, Nancy Wilson, Mel Tormé, Ray Brown, the Count Basie Orchestra and Doc Severinsen’s Big Band.
According to the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where she served as an adjunct professor of global jazz studies, she performed at Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with Ray Charles, and sang at jazz festivals around the world. North Sea, Bern and Playboy.
Born September 10, 1949 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Morrison began performing at the age of 10 in her home state. During her career, she appeared on more than 20 recordings.
She founded the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in 2009 to bring music to the Leimert Park community. Morrison often gave free music and singing lessons to children and gave them the chance to perform on stage.
She also founded the California Jazz & Blues Museum in Leimert Park in 2011.
Morrison died March 16 at the age of 72. She had been hospitalized in early March due to cardiovascular disease.
“The legacy and impact of the legendary Barbara Morrison presents several life lessons about the essence of resilience, which is the ability to persist and pursue a vision in the face of hardship and adversity,” said the then Councilor Herb Wesson in his motion to dedicate the hub in
“She has not only inspired many around the world through her music, but she has also dedicated her life to uplifting the communities of Leimert Park and Greater Los Angeles.”
The festival will follow the intersection’s grand opening and run until 7 p.m. at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, adjacent to the intersection. Admission is free upon registration. here.
The musical lineup includes Mike Mann and the Cowboy Soul; Al Threats & Amusement Park; Lady Rene Blues; Torrence Brannon-Reese & His Everything with Soul Band, featuring Melba Joyce; Ray Bailey and Friends, with Brenda Lee Eager; Chester Whitmore and his Opus One Big Band, with Dwight Trible; The Barbara Morrison Band with Elaine Gibbs; Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band; Son of muddy waters; and Eloise Laws.
The festival will also include an art walk featuring works from Morrison’s California Jazz & Blues Museum, a “Kids Korner” in Leimert Plaza Park, and a variety of vendors and food trucks. More information about the festival is available at www.tbmpac.com.