Musicians Try To Defend Community Farm in South L.A.

Musicians Zach de la Rocha, Quetzal, members of Ozomatli, and others join 350 families in South Central Los Angeles to Save the Community Farm. The Nov. 22nd concert at 41st and Long Beach Ave. will mobilize the community in Support of the South Central Farmers.

For 13 years, 350 families have tended a 14-acre community farm in the middle of South L.A.’s gritty industrial belt. Growing their own cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and other staples has helped make good nutrition affordable. Traditional crops like chipillin, alachi, quelite and pipicha have helped keep traditional cuisine and folk-medicine alive.

The City of L.A. acquired the land in the late 1980s, but abandoned plans to build a trash incinerator after community protests. In 1994, officials transferred title to the Harbor Department, which contracted with the L.A. Regional Food Bank to operate a community farm on the property. In 2003, the City Council agreed to sell the 14 acres back to the original owner, private developer Ralph Horowitz, who wants to demolish the garden and build a warehouse.

The 350 families – organized as South Central Farmers – have camped out in the field for weeks to prevent Horowitz from grabbing the land.

Ozomatli began their career in the Los Angeles and San Diego/Mexico border-area club scene.

Zach De La Rocha is the former lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, a politically-inspired band founded in who were highly regarded as one of the most influential rock bands in recent history, having helped pave the way for many of today's hard rock bands that fuse rap and rock.

Son De Madera was founded in 1992 and endowed with an enormous talent for musical arrangements and tradition research, Son de Madera represents the leading success in the current Son Jarocho movement.

Los Cojolites: Six years ago, the Center for Documentation and Research of the Son Jarocho, began their efforts to recover their history and culture in the refinery town of Cosoleacaque. A lot of workshops and classes were going on, and Los Cojolites project was one of them. It was made up of a group of kids that were getting together to learn how to dance and play the "son jarocho."

In 1993 Flores formed “Quetzal-A new experience in Chicano Music.” His idea was to push the boundaries of Chicano Music as we knew it. The centerpiece would be female vocals and the use of the violin as the lead instrument. Proclaimed by no less an authority than Los Lobos as ready to carry the torch for Los Angeles's Chicano community, Quetzal embody the soul and the struggle at the heart of the Mexican-American legacy. Their mix of Mexican and Cuban rhythms, jazz, and rock is supercharged by the dynamic vocals of siblings Martha and Gabriel Gonzalez, who could send brown-eyed soul trifles straight to the top of the charts if they wanted to. Their music is informed by radical authors and grassroots tenacity.

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