The jazz world mourns Buddy Collette

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Buddy Collette was born into a family of musicians in Los Angeles. He grew up dreaming of a career in jazz; he got that and much more. Collette played the saxophone, the clarinet and the flute, but he was also a jazz educator.

Collette was a key figure in the thriving Los Angeles music scene on Central Avenue in the 1950s. He helped keep Bebop alive, and he played a key role in the development of the Cool Jazz movement.

He was also a pioneer and a civil rights activist in the fight against segregation in the music industry. Collette was the first African American musician to play live on television.

Frank Potenza performed with Collette. He is now the chair of the studio/guitar jazz program at the University of Southern California. He said Collette is an iconic figure in Los Angeles and in the history of jazz.

Collette will always be remembered for his great music. One of his favorites was Blues for Torrance, a song he wrote as a tribute to California.

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Councilwoman Jan Perry celebrates opening of new, full-service grocery store in South Los Angeles

Listen to a radio story by Annenberg Radio News reporter Matthew Richmond

Press release from the office of Eva Kandarpa Behrend.
imageLos Angeles — Over 800 people lined up outside the new Superior Market in South Los Angeles to take part in a much-anticipated grand opening ceremony this morning. Councilwoman Jan Perry joined members of the historic Central Avenue community and managers from Superior Market to officially open a new, 34,000 sq. ft. full-service grocery store at 2000 South Central Avenue. The new grocery store marks the first of its kind to open in the Southern portion of the Ninth District in over five years.

Superior Market plans to celebrate its newest location with food specials and giveaways throughout the weekend.

“Today we are celebrating the first of many great redevelopment milestones in our community,” Perry said at during the opening ceremony. “We now have our very own full-service, community-serving grocery store here in the heart of Central Avenue. No longer will our community members have to travel long distances to access what every neighborhood should have by right-a grocery store with fresh produce and many fine food products to choose from.”

Superior Market hired 130 employees with the help of the workforce development office and Los Angeles Trade Technical College with an emphasis on local hiring. New employees were on-hand to greet and serve the hundreds of customers who came to the store’s grand opening celebration.

The new Superior Market is part of a larger mixed-use development that includes 45,000 sq. ft. of retail and 85 units of affordable family housing developed by Beyond Shelter and Oppenheim LLC. The project represents a $27.5 million dollar investment in the community.

“When, I took office over 8 years ago, I joined in a discussion with everyone-stakeholders, local community members, business owners, developers, and non-profits. That conversation has led directly to today’s opening,” added Perry. “We have all understood, invested, and believed in the idea that Central Avenue would be a revitalized community complete with neighborhood-serving amenities and quality housing options for all. And, now the proof is all around us.”

Central Avenue is home to major redevelopment efforts initiated and supported by Councilwoman Perry who is committed to maximizing the use of government agencies that include the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Los Angeles Housing Department to stimulate economic development, create jobs and provide much needed affordable housing for the community. Next month, the city will celebrate the opening of a new Neighborhood City Hall, a $13 million dollar investment by the City of Los Angeles in the community. The building will be Silver LEEDS certified, meeting strict green building design guidelines. More family housing and another grocery store are set to open at Adams & Central along with a senior housing project with retail space at 33rd and Central in Spring of 2010, offering a fresh new look to the historic Central Avenue community.

Councilwoman Perry represents the Ninth Council District, which encompasses the most culturally diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles, including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles.