The Taste of Soul Family Festival attracted the biggest crowd ever during the daylong event on Saturday, Oct. 21. 

According to city officials, nearly 500,000 people attended “biggest and baddest block party in all of Los Angeles,” which is how Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., TOS creator/founder, describes the iconic event.


Upon hearing the attendance record, Bakewell responded, “500,000 attendees! Wow! 




That is a number I have a really hard time grasping, UNBELIEVABLE!





Words cannot express the appreciation that I have to all those who came out and supported Taste of Soul and the hundreds of businesses that participated in the event.”



The supporters included elected officials, community leaders, and business executives such as U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, L.A. Councilwoman Heather Hutt, and L.A. Councilmember Curren Price. 



Other notable guests included Dr. Ben Chavis, president/CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Alberto Carvalho, LAUSD superintendent; and retired Congresswoman and Ambassador Diane Watson.


The huge free festival, which extended along Crenshaw from Obama Boulevard to Stocker Street, was a multigenerational affair with activities for the entire family.  Highlighting the event were 300 vendors offering food, shopping, job information, health screenings, financial management guidance and more.


Young people enjoyed fun, games and learning opportunities at Children’s World sponsored by First 5, Lucas Museum and Santa Monica College. And adults packed out the She Ready Comedy Lounge and Beer Garden hosted by Mothers In Action and Tiffany Haddish, TOS Celebrity chair.


As usual, the entertainment at Taste of Soul “off the chain” with performances by an array of regional and national artists. Bakewell Media “Music for the Soul” Soundstage presented by Chevrolet featured The Whispers and The Delfonics Experience, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage sponsored by City National Bank was headlined by Mali Music and Norman Hutchins, and the KJLH Music Stage presented by Delete the Divide starred Johnny Gill, October London, and KJLH owner Stevie Wonder. 


“Taste of Soul is a huge undertaking.  The fact that it is free for the community makes it that more challenging,” noted Bakewell, who also commended the community for maintaining the event’s reputation as a safe place to visit. 


I would be remised if I didn’t acknowledge all of our corporate and government partners that have supported not only Taste of Soul, but our entire community in a very big way to ensure that Taste of Soul continues to be one of the driving economic engines for our people and the ABSOLUTE best party our community has,” added Bakewell.


The Taste of Soul partners are Bakewell Media, Los Angeles Sentinel, L.A. Watts Times, Mothers In Action, Brotherhood Crusade, 94.7 The Wave, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, LAUSD, 102.3 Radio-Free KJLH, CBS/KCAL Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall and the Law Offices of Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell and Diggs.


Sponsors include Metro, Chevrolet, City National Bank, SoCalGas, Chase, Destination Crenshaw, HPP Cares, Waymo, AAA, Wells Fargo, McDonalds, Bank of America, SEIU 2015, Southern California Edison, UCLA Health, South Coast AQMD, Pasadena City College, DoorDash, MLK Community Healthcare, US Bank, California Black Power Network,  California Teachers Association, California Black Media, Watts Health, Metropolitan Water District, Lucas Museum, Charles R. Drew University,



UTLA, AT&T, Anthem Blue Cross, Verizon, Californians for Energy Independence, Kroger, American Heart Association, Providence, LADWP, Self Help Federal Credit Union, Superior Grocers, Cal Fire, OneLegacy, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Blue Shield of California, St. John’s, Center for Healthcare Rights, Commerce Casino & Hotel, Kaiser Permanente,



Long Beach PD, Cedars-Sinai, Center Stage Group, Ozeran Law, NHS, Save Our Water, Lee Andrews Group, Airbnb, SEIU Local 721, Private School Village, Law office of Vincent Davis, USC, Comerica Bank, West Basin, LAWA, California Highway Patrol, ABC7, Black Girl Sunscreen, First 5, MRKT Co.,  and AltaMed.



To learn more, visit: https://, https://,


Taste of Soul Photographers: Robert (CameraMan) Torrence, E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Renee Newman, Larry (Bull) Russell, Kirk McClain, Bre Vanderbilt, and Malik Perry.

Category: Cover Stories