Derf Reklaw Life & Legacy Lives on In Leimert Park
Family, friends and music lovers came together for the inaugural Derf Reklaw Experience, Saturday, July 29, 2023, 3:30pm-6pm. This special gathering was presented by The Derf Reklaw Arts & Heritage, at The World Stage Gallery, 4321 Degnan Blvd., in the historic Leimert Park neighborhood in Los Angeles.
By Ricky Richardson | Contributing Writer
(Los Angeles, CA) Family, friends and music lovers came together for the inaugural Derf Reklaw Experience, Saturday, July 29, 2023, 3:30pm-6pm. This special gathering was presented by The Derf Reklaw Arts & Heritage, at The World Stage Gallery, 4321 Degnan Blvd., in the historic Leimert Park neighborhood in Los Angeles.
The Derf Reklaw Experience was emceed by Albert Lord, vice President of Community Build, Inc. This special event was the organization’s highly anticipated inaugural fundraising event.
The City of Los Angeles was supported as the organization saluted community organizers who work tirelessly to preserve Leimert Park’s rich artistic history and musical traditions.
The program got underway with S.H.I.N.E Muwasi’s spirited entrance to get the crowd in the spirit of this very special occasion, to honor the life and memory of Derf Reklaw.
The Libation ceremony was performed by Nzingha Camara. The spirit of Derf Reklaw was in the building throughout the afternoon.
Albert Lord, Vice President, Community Build, Inc. greeted and welcome the multicultural crowd, as we shined the spotlight on Derf Reklaw’s life.
Monilade Walker and Amani Walker-Jackson, Leaders of Derf Reklaw Arts and Heritage gave an overview of the organization and their vision and goals. This is the Mission of the organization: “Derf Reklaw Arts and Heritage is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to preserving arts, music, poetry and dance in the Leimert Park community and surrounding areas by providing scholarships to budding artist who are interested in pursuing careers in the arts.
The organization stands to carry out Derf Reklaw’s rich legacy in Leimert Park by creating projects and cultural activities that supports the arts to help sustain a community that has served as a mecca of black artisan culture in Los Angeles for decades.
Our mission is to give a new generation of artist the opportunity to continue the legacy of Derf Reklaw’s artisanship, while supporting the current artist who has kept the music and culture alive in this wonderful community that Derf called home.”
The City of Los Angeles, Councilwoman Heather Hutt, (10th Distirct), and the Derf Reklaw Arts and Heritage honored several distinguished community organizers throughout the program. Spoken Word artist Kamau Daáood, Don Littleton, Mike Alvidrez, Dwight Trible, Nzingha Camara, Rene Fisher Mims and JaiJae Kabasa. Business owners Sika Dwimfo (unofficial Mayor of Leimert Park), and Ben Caldwell (KAOS Network) were also honored and recognized. The honorees shared fun and fond memories of the late great Derf Reklaw.
The enchanting and memorable afternoon featured spoken word selections by Kamau Daáood, “Leimert Park,” and “One for Derf-So Beautiful.” Musical selections were performed by S.H.I.N.E Muwasi. Don Littleton and Mike Alvidrez performed and original rhythm by Derf Reklaw entitled “Watusi Wu.” The pair was joined onstage by saxophonist Double G to perform “Monk’s Dream.” Additional music selections were performed by Dwight Trible “Throw It Away,” featuring Hiro Morozumi on piano, and Zuri “Stop Them from Dividing Us.” JaiJae Kabasa closed out the live entertainment.
Attendees enjoyed a video tribute to Derf Reklaw which consisted of archival concert footage, album covers, and tours of Japan, appearances on Soul Train, and percussion lessons for future musicians.
The event featured a silent auction, refreshments and several wonderful raffle prizes for dinners, CD’s and packages of Mary Kay Skin Care products.
DJ Focus was on the ones and twos with a great selection of “Derf Reklaw Remixed- A Tribute to Derf’s Recordings.