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Lummis Day 7 to Celebrate NELA's Diversity

This year's event boast the widest range of talent yet, say organizers.

Lummis Day 7 to Celebrate NELA's Diversity

For nearly a decade, Lummis Day has been a celebration of Northeast L.A.'s diverse cultural Heritage and a tribute to its namesake's legacy of throwing eclectic bohemian parties.

Through those parties, known as "noises," would bring together the Arroyo's leading intellectuals and artists to indulge in equal measures of cultural exchange and revelry.

According to Eliot Sekuler, of the Lummis Day Community Foundation, this year's event continues in the spirit of Lummis' "noises," while expanding to reflect Northeast L.A.'s growing diversity.

This year's Lummis Day celebration will be held on Sunday, June 3 on the grounds of Heritage Square Museum at 3800 Homer Street. The first acts will hit the stage at 1 p.m.

This year's agenda, as it has been in year's past, is to bring together Northeast L.A.'s wide array of cultures, which are often fragmented in day to day life.

"Los Angeles is so diverse, so multicultural, but at times, very segregated," Sekuler said.

Lummis Day's organizers cast the largest net ever in assembling this year's lineup, drawing in artists like Maya Jupiter and the Solar System, a group which synthesizes soul, dancehall and hip-hop. The band is fronted by Jupiter--who was raised in Australia by Mexican and Turkish parents--and features renowned Highland Park guitarist Quetzal.

Also performing this year will be sitar virtuoso Paul Livingstone and the Arohi Ensemble, playing a hybrid style Livingstone refers to as "Ragajazz Chamber Music."

Livingstone, a Highland Park resident for 18 years, has performed with artists ranging from Ozomatli to Beck throughout his career. Sunday will be his first Lummis Day performance.

"Highland Park is just a glangin' community full of diversity and artists without the pretense and expense," said Livingstone, using an adjective that expresses "the highest spirited experience possible."

Livingstone promised a set that rode the borderline between precision and pure excitement.

"I'll be playing sitar and fretless guitar, we have Peter Jacobson on cello, Sheela Bringi on bansuri flute, Javad Butah on tabla and Dave Lewis on drums.  All magnificent creative players with unique skills, everyone has to memorize difficult passages at the same time improvise on the very edge of their capabilities," he said.

As in previous years, 2012's Lummis Day Celebration will be preceded by a poetry reading and art exhibitions at the Lummis Home and Garden on 200 East Avenue 43. Among the featured  poets will be Hector Tobar and Mary Fitzpatrick.

Readings are set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

2012's Lummis Day art exhibition, titled Outside, will feature artists working on the fringes of Northeast Los Angeles arts.

"We're looking to go against the conventional norms of what is expected," Lloyd told Patch in April. "We don't want any paintings of Suicide Bridge in Pasadena."

Sekuler thanked community organizations like the ,  Lincoln Heights, LA-32 and s for setting aside funds for the event--which is again free to the public.

He also lauded local Councilmen Ed Reyes (CD1) and José Huizar for supporting the event through in-kind donations, ranging from shuttle buses to folding chairs to canopies.

"We couldn't do it without the support of those two council districts," Sekuler said. "They really see the value."

He added that, much like Huizar and Reyes have donated to the festival, many of Lummis Day's performers are giving their talents for a reduced charge, in recognition of its cultural value to Northeast Los Angeles.

"We really did want to distinguish Lummis Day from other festivals by having a social agenda beyond just being a party," Sekuler said. "We have a lot of people performing who, if we didn't have that agenda, would be asking for a lot more money."

More information about Lummis Day, including a full roster of performers, can be found here.

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