University of Southern California

Festival of Books 2013

USC Stage – Saturday Peformers

Foshay High School Jazz Ensemble Foshay High School Jazz Ensemble (musical performance—jazz)

The Foshay High School Jazz Ensemble will perform under the direction of award-winning conductor Vince Womack. The ensemble has served as a breeding ground for legendary jazz musicians like Eric Dolphy and Billy Higgins and has performed with Dave Koz and David Benoit. This dynamic, swinging ensemble simply makes you feel good!


Trio EllasTrio Ellas (musical performance—contemporary Mariachi)

Trio Ellas is a female power trio who makes music that blends traditional mariachi and classic romantic with a fresh contemporary twist. In 2012, they completed a tour of Okinawa for USO (17 shows in 5 days!), were honored to perform at the annual LULAC convention in Orlando, and performed at the Latinos Unidos event at Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. The summer of 2012 also included a two-week run at the Hollywood Bowl’s Summer Sounds children’s program and a performance the San Jose Latin Music Festival. In September, their debut album Con Ustedes…Trio Ellas (released May 2012) was nominated for a Latin Grammy.


Javon JohnsonJavon Johnson (spoken word)

Javon Johnson is currently the Visions and Voices Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at USC, where he teaches in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. He earned his Ph.D. in Performance Studies, with a cognate in African American Studies and a certificate in Gender Studies, from Northwestern University. He is a back-to-back national poetry slam champion (2003 and 2004), has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café and TVOne’s Verses & Flow, and co-wrote a documentary titled Crossover, which aired on Showtime. He has written for Our Weekly and Text & Performance Quarterly, and is currently working on a book, tentatively titled, Owning Blackness: Poetry Slams and the Making of Spoken Word Communities.


Aaron ChildsAaron Childs (musical performance—popular music)

Aaron Childs and his band are all about creating positive energy and unity through music. Striving to make every performance an experience, they incorporate choreography and a constant groove to keep the audience dancing. Aaron and his band invite you into their world, hoping to provoke the feelings of happiness, love and passion that have surfaced for us all.


19231923 (musical performance—jazz)

1923 is a jazz-based trio based trio whose style is almost purely improvisational. Their music is drawn from the avenues of Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Rock and many other genres. The group performs covers as well as originals, and is dedicated to musical excellence.


Exploding FlowersExploding Flowers (musical performance—popular music)

The Los Angeles–based band Exploding Flowers recently released their debut vinyl album on Smashitup! Records with an upcoming cassette release of the LP (along with bonus track) on Burger Records. The band has performed with The Undertones, Weekend, Fresh & Onlys, Wymond Miles and Tommy Keene. Their music has been described as “some of the most dynamic, self-assured, jangly pop I’ve encountered in a while. There are twinges of psychedelia in all the right places and all sorts of cool effects pedals being put to great use” (KCRW DJ Marion Hodges).