Editor’s note: We are 11 days into 2019, but the memories are still fresh from the end of the year festivities. Live on Green Pasadena is one of the events that happened on the last few days of December. Our contributor Ricky Ricardo was there, and below you’ll find his photos and observations.

— By Ricky Ricardo —

I was fortunate to attend the 4th Annual Live on Green Pasadena event. It is beyond me that I’ve missed this event in the past. But I have it already penciled in for next year.

This incredible three-day event celebrated the Power of Music, taking place Dec. 29-31, 2018, at the Pasadena Convention Center. Thousands of people were in attendance for the days’ festivities. I was there on Saturday, Dec, 29th. The crowd consisted of residents of Pasadena and the Greater Los Angeles area, as well as football fans in town following their teams to the Rose Bowl game between the Washington Huskies and Ohio State Buckeyes.

The opening ceremony was hosted by former Rose Queen Ashley Moreno. The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Color Guard Team Posted of Colors and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. The 2019 Rose Parade Queen and Court were introduced, consisting of Queen Louise Siskel, and Helen Rossi, Rucha Kadam, Lauren Baydeline, Micaela McElrath, Sherry Ma and Ashley Hackett.

Opening remarks were provided by Barbara Cocks, President of Marketing Firm Huerta Quorum; Monica Spiro, Marketing and Communications Services of Dole Packaging Foods; and Andi Poch, Vice President of Integrated Partnerships.

The John Muir High School Choir, directed by Cassandra Franklin, sang a medley of pop tunes to the delight of all. The New York based Sing for Hope, a non-profit organization founded by opera singers Monica Yunis and Camille Zamora, supports artists who want to use their art to give back to their community. Alex Boyes’ powerful voice and contagious energy was on full display during this portion of the program. He thrilled the crowd with “Celebrate,” an upbeat, up-tempo tune that was just right for the occasion. Alex Boye blend of African- infused pop music coupled with vibrant, dynamic visuals have led to viral hits, with almost 1 billion views on his YouTube channel.

Brian James, Assistant Principal at John Muir High School, and Cassandra Franklin, accepted the inaugural west coast donation of The Sing for Hope Pianos. The Sing for Hope Pianos places artist designed pianos throughout New York City’s parks and public spaces for anyone and everyone to play. Each Summer, the pianos bring individuals and communities together in an open festival of art for all. After their time on the streets, Sing for Hope transports the instruments to New York City’s public schools where they become hubs for Sing for Hope’s ongoing creative programs and enrich students’ lives for years to come.

After the opening ceremony, I enjoyed the colorful live dance performance of The Ballet Folkloric Los Angeles Youth Dance Group outside on The Paseo – Let Us Entertain You Stage.

The Culinary Stage featured a mouthwatering live cooking demonstration with Chef Jamie Gwen. Chef Gwen’s segment, “Get Your Grill On,” featured a demo of Bill Bailey’s tri-tip. She prepared, cooked, and carved-three meals out of a recipe that can be found on www.billbaileys.com.

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Catie Waters

The crowd and I enjoyed the music of Catie Waters. Ms. Waters is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She combines her expressive contralto vocals with an eclectic mix of jazz, soul, and rhythms and blues that draws comparison to Jessie J and the late great Amy Winehouse. Catie Waters thrilled the crowd with tunes like “Stone Child,” “Spirit in the Sound,” “Midnight,” “Wicked,” “Control,” and a great tune to ring in the New Year – “Better Day.”

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Felice LaZae

Felice LaZae is a singer, songwriter and vocal producer with roots in R&B, soul, and a dash of rock and roll that create her unique dark pop sound. Felice LaZae had the crowd rocking throughout her set with the tunes “Feel it Still,” “Gravedigger,” “Turn off the Lights,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Valerie,” and “Need to Feel.”

The Los Angeles Cultural Festival presented a vibrant, breathtaking display of costumes worn by beautiful models representing the rich diverse communities of the Greater Los Angeles area. (Mark your calendars for their annual Hollywood Carnival – June 29, 2019.)

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Los Angeles Cultural Festival’s costume display


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Philip Phillips

Chef Jamie Gwen- four-time cookbook author, winner of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, and frequent guest of KTLA’s Morning Show, prepared some delicious treats like spicy pineapple salsa, pineapple oatmeal, and a vegetarian burrito bowl.

My enjoyment of the 4th Annual Live on Green Pasadena concluded with a wonderful set presented by Phillip Phillips, Fox’s American Idol winner. Phillips has released two chart topping albums and taken his expansive brand of soulful, earthly guitar-fueled rock to stages across the globe. Mr. Phillips became a household name after releasing his five-time platinum single “Home.”