On Sunday evening, July 12th, the city of Hollywood bid a fond farewell to The House of Blues with ‘A Night of Oneness.’ The benefit concert was held to support an emergency fund for Full-Circle Learning Preschool, which creates educational access for migrant families in Ventura County, CA, and Oneness’ upcoming series of musical empowerment projects for youth in several locations nationwide, which includes Los Angeles, CA, Baltimore, MD and Pine Ridge, S.D.
Hosted by ‘The Office’ cast member Oscar Nunez and comedienne/actress Nikea Gamby-Turner, the event began at 5 pm with a silent auction that featured one-of-a-kind music memorabilia from iconic music artists such as Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana, Alan Parsons and a special series of original artwork from young Baltimore muralists, in addition to other unique items.
Notwithstanding, it was music that took center stage that Sunday evening, with an exciting, eclectic mix of genres. The musical performers included “reggae royalty” Bambaata Marley (grandson of the legendary Bob Marley), American Idol favorite Allison Iraheta (featuring her band Halo Circus) Grammy-winning producer KC Porter, debuting his pan-Latin band project ‘Cruzanderos’, power trio Heliotrope ( featuring former members of WAR and Tower of Power) singer-songwriter and TED speaker Chris Pierce; multicultural LA band The Bricks (originally formed during a Oneness youth project) and introducing pop vocalist Samantha Elizondo, who performed her own, original songs as well as closing out the show with her exciting, full Mariachi band.
However, in spite of the dazzling array of visual arts and warm, vibrant music that the evening served up, for many patrons it proved to be a bittersweet affair as they came to grips with the fact that The House of Blues, a beloved and vital part of the Los Angeles music scene for the past twenty years, will be closing its doors forever at the end of this Summer. Observed one middle-aged gentleman, “It’s hard for me to believe that tonight is gonna be one of the final shows here! I’ve been coming here since it first opened its doors. I’m sure gonna miss this place!”
Other patrons took their final walk around the venue’s unique exterior, commenting on how much its disappearance will deprive West Hollywood of its colorful, unique landscape. “Well, there goes another landmark!” noted a thirty-something patron, as she downed her drink. “”Unity In Diversity!” declared another patron, reciting the venue’s famous motto as she lifted her bottled water in salute. It was a “short but sweet” fitting
farewell to both the night’s festivities and to one of Los Angeles’ truly classic venues.
All photos by Lenny Trujillo
Oneness, a 501 nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the elimination of racism and the promotion of unity through music, the arts and education. Full-Circle Learning brings a strong academic and character-building foundation to children at special learning sites around the world.