Jazz is one of the purest forms of music, birthing today’s rock & roll, R&B and hip-hop. While evolutionary, jazz has become a relic due to the obsession with 808. However, it’s producers and DJs such as Leimert Park's own Linafornia who keep jazz's rich history alive. This weekend, she performs at the Church in the Park extravaganza, and locals in the know are excited.
Originating in 2010, Mark de Clive-Lowe’s Church in the Park is an annual summer dance party — a night of live remixed experimental music from the biggest beat-makers, producers and orchestrators in the world. Featuring jazz, soul and club music, it has offered previous headliners such as greats Questlove, Kimbra and Jean Grae. This year, Linafornia makes her debut as a beat-scene favorite thanks to her soulful and body-moving résumé. But who is Linafornia?
“Linafornia is just a name I created that reflects the love and pride for where I’m from, which is California,” says the 28-year-old beatsmith.
Discovering her passion around 2010, the multi–award-winning producer is best known for her breakout debut album, 2016's Yung. Using unique resources to find creativity, Linafornia credits her sound as being heavily influenced by Brazilian musicians Arthur Verocai and Azymuth.
“I love a lot of Brazilian music," she says. "Especially from like the '70s — that just does it for me every time.”
Linafornia has captivated crowds with her brilliant mixture of jazz, funk and soul, infused with today’s hottest hip-hop. With a rapidly growing fan base, Linafornia quickly found residencies throughout the Los Angeles music scene.
“My first residency was for Queens of the New Age last year and it was at the Resident on Hewitt in downtown L.A.," she says. "Queens of the New Age is a female artist–focused event curated by Fred McNeil, Paress Salinas and Sean Gaynor. I was part of their monthlong resident series called Autumn along with singer-songwriter Mereba and Azul. It was such a beautiful show, and amazing guest lineups every time. My second and most recent residency was at the legendary Low End Theory at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights. This time I got to exercise more of my DJ muscles because I had better tools/equipment to supplement that. My residency was in July for a month and I was the last guest resident chosen for Low End Theory to wrap up 11 years of the event being active. On my last official show there, I debuted a three-piece band that accompanied me while I played my beat set, and that was amazing. I’m honored to have been chosen as the last guest resident for such a legendary entity.”
Piling on the accolades, Linafornia plans to perform an amazing set for her Church in the Park debut. She'll be sharing the stage with Bugs in the Attic, The Beat Junkies and the creator himself, Mark de Clive-Lowe. When asked what to expect, Linafornia proudly says, “Beats, rhythms, melodic samples and effects triggered in real time around 7 p.m.”
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Church in the Park is an all-ages event with free admission hosted by well-known composer Carlos Nino. The scheduled 10-act lineup is filled with special guests and a vinyl pop-up from WaxaddictLA. Excited, Linafornia says, “The line is fire from top to bottom. I wouldn’t want to miss a thing.”
The artist credits her upbringing in South Los Angeles for developing her signature sound.
“Leimert Park is dope because it’s like a hub for black artists.' she says. “There’s the World Stage, which is a legendary jazz spot; Vision Theater; Kaos Network, which is the home of Project Blowed, which has been one of the longest-running hip-hop open mics in America and is now home to Bananas — a really fun DIY party, which is one of the shows I cut my teeth at as far as playing live beat sets and performing. No matter how far I travel, Leimert Park will always be my home.”
Linfornia performs at Church in the Park at Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park, on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.