For as long as the West Oaks Lane Jazz festival has been around, Charita Powell, owner of Amazulu shop in Reading Terminal Market, has sold her African themed jewelry and housewares under a tent along Ogontz Avenue.
She’s been attending the festival long enough to see change and transformations. “It’s been a process. At first when they called it a ‘Jazz Festival’ it wasn’t quite jazz yet. “I think it was a process of appealing to what the public wants as far as music, and I think now, this year’s line up is just wonderful.”
Having grown up in the West Oak Lane area, being a vendor at the festival is an opportunity not only to sell her hand crafted jewelry and eco friendly lights, but to see family and old friends who visit her booth.
Amazulu represents ‘where cultures meet’, and it shows in Charita’s craft. She has traveled all over the world and gained knowledge from the different cultures she experienced. She takes those experiences and portrays them in her art.
“It’s an artists festival,” she says about West Oaks Lane Jazz Festival. “Down to the music, to the craft area… you’ll just see quality artistry.”
Amazulu represents a strong sense of culture and unity, which is also how Charita feels about the festival. “The West Oaks Lane Jazz festival brings diversity, a celebration of music, and families together.”