Highland Park bandshell gets a makeover in advance of councilman’s concert

New concrete benches replaced wood benches | Katrina Alexy

HIGHLAND PARK –  Crews of city workers have been busy in recent days sprucing up the long neglected  Sousa-Hiner Bandshell and the rest of Sycamore Grove Park  in advance of  this weekend’s Latin jazz festival sponsored and named after  Councilman Gil Cedillo. New benches were installed in front the bandshell, park buildings got a new coat of paint and the grounds were cleaned up (no word whether all those gopher holes were filled).  

The Eastsider last year reported that the historic bandshell is rarely used for concerts and events because of steep city fees. Will this weekend’s concert mean that more music is in store for Sycamore Grove Park?

New benches being pushed into place | Katrina Alexy

Park restrooms getting repaired and repainted | Katrina Alexy

Photo by Katrina Alexy

Photo by Katrina Alexy


Crews working on the grounds in front of the bandshell | Katrina Alexy

Eastsider Ads


  1. Three cheers for CM Cedillo for bringing this facility back to life.

  2. Eureka! Let’s name all sorts of neglected Los Angeles facilities in CD 1 after Cedillo so they get attention. Genius!

    • If we rename Figueroa Street to Cedillo Street will we finally get bike lanes to downtown? Figueroa was named after a former CA Governor, so he is sure to like that to match his aspirations.

      • E-Nuff with this bike lane drama. NObody really gives a shit and now you’re gonna piss all over something positive that ALL residents can enjoy and appreciate? Get over yourself.

    • I was going to call him a narcissist for this but I think you have to be just to get elected. A little too obvious.

  3. Did Cedillo get his name on the concert series because he’s sponsoring it out of his own pocket? Or is he just attaching his name to something that we, the taxpayers, are paying for?

    • Good question.

      Did anyone notice that UNION BANK is prominently displayed on the flyers and posters? That is the likely source of the money for the event. Wonder what the bank gets in exchange for its enthusiastic support of the Councilmember’s Latin Jazz fest?

      Of course, the sudden interest in adding improvements to the park in advance of the event…. that probably came out of a departmental budget like Rec and Parks.

    • It’s not a concert series, it’s just a one-off event. But your mis-statement raises a good point. CM Cedillo should sponsor a follow-up music series. Who cares if Union Bank is paying, as long as it can bring *sustained* community development in the form of regular local events AND ongoing maintenance of the facility.

      That would be a real improvement!

    • EVERYthing that goes on at a public park has to supported to some degree by taxpayers. I believe that’s the deal. You whiners only intensify resentment of natives with your constant whining and complaining about EVERYthing(?!).

  4. Didn’t the famous bandmaster live across the street?

  5. The bicycle boys are such sore losers. Waaaaah!

    • Say the people who kick and scream, with no factual support, the world will come to an end if bike lanes are installed on Figueroa.

  6. Politics 101: Give a bunch of drunken Burros a party with some free music and they will love you forever!

  7. Parks, schools, and communities should be clean, safe, and beautiful places for us all to enjoy! It’s our taxpayer rights! It’s a DUTY – requirement!!! Is Cedillo doing it for self-promotion?

    • Well isn’t this concert an example of something clean, safe, and beautiful that everyone can enjoy? What is really your complaint (whine?) about this particular politician that doesn’t apply to virtually every other in this city?

      • Wait, what if I don’t like Latin Jazz? What if I like Latin Jazz but I can’t go to this event because I have a prior engagement? Therefore, one can conclude that this one day event is NOT for “Everyone to enjoy!” I’m sorry you have little expectations for your public servants or maybe you just don’t get around the City of LA very much because there are actually better looking districts than CD 1. Maybe you don’t even make it out of County of LA, California, or the United States. My point is how about something that EVERYONE can enjoy on a daily basis versus a one day fix/band-aid! Let’s see – Let’s try clean streets, sidewalks, proactive gang graffiti removal, enforcement of Building & Safety Codes, and how about proactive policing versus reactive! Sounds like you’re on Cedillo’s payroll. La Raza tiene que utilizar su capacidad intellectual y no permitir que Cedillo y los demas politicos latinos no cumplan con su deber hacia los residentes de Los Angeles. Nuestros hijos merecen vivir en comunidades que todos podramos estar orgulloso de decir que vivimos en Los Angeles.

        • El Cid, you seem a little touchy today. Maybe what you need is an afternoon at the park, listening to some Latin Jazz.

        • Guau?! Your post is loaded with prejudice and stereotypes about local Raza that is presumably based on your own family experience. Otherwise, I’m college-educated, have visited and lived in other countries for weeks (and months) at a time, and have traveled to virtually every major American city in the country several times. Is that okay? May I continue to self-identify as Raza? Or is that identity mutually-exclusive with the “proactive” criteria you’re trying to describe? La Raza si es capaz de determinar la dirección de nuestra comunidad con el apoyo no recetas de los recién llegados todavia amargos por no conseguir lo que exigieron. Su prejuicio también subyace su crítica de un político local que se puede nivelar hacia prácticamente cualquier político en el estado. Las preciosas agendas de recién llegados es tan equivocada si no corrupto como cualquier política o evento de Cedillo. Deja a los recién llegados amargos (y a los vendidos) diminuir algo que debería ser un evento unificador en nuestra comunidad. Ha llegado la hora de dejar su prejuicio divisiva (autoaborrecimiento?) y recoger un propósito unificador. Btw, I’m on nobody’s payroll and my expectations are of ourselves not elected officials. They respond to our guidance and I have no objection to them independently proposing cultural events that benefit everyone . . . except those who harbor an underlying objection or fear to events reinforcing the “latino” history and identity of our communities.

          • Proper Dos – you are dropping science on these fools. I only wish I knew how to say that en Castellano.

      • I’m with you Proper Dos. So much griping from residents of a neighborhood so long neglected. They seem to resent any positive gesture because it isn’t a panacea for their many needs. My dear, departed grandmother would refer to them as limosneros con garrotes – beggars carrying clubs.

        • Agreed. What I also resent is resentment of anything positive that does not emerge from or support their precious agendas. As IF they relocated to our neighborhoods beFore they became worthy of investment and increased safety. That improved scenario is a transition that WE earned and cultivated. I’ve got no problem welcoming newcomers and investment in our communities but I will object to missionary-like agendas and statements that reveal their need to civilize the natives before they can comfortably settle among us. Without considering just how much of their customs and behavior clashes with the values and standards of decorum that already exist in our neighborhoods. They should either learn to adapt or keep on transplanting.

          • blowingrazaberries

            Nah, you can’t use ‘suck it up or get out.’ Lazy logic. You’re trying to make this into a quasi Raza vs. newcomers cultural war while ignoring Cedillo’s craven politicking which is the original topic at hand. What has Cedillo done for CD1 besides throw a party immediately on the heels of a spate of terrible press. Compare Cedillo’s community activity with other CD leaders and you see very little accomplished for the greater good of CD1. I’ve gotten a dozen emails from Cedillo in my email over the past two months. SIX of them are about his freaking Latin Jazz party. What does that tell you about where his priorities lie? This party was clearly about trying to burnish his image in his own district because, simply put, he is not well liked.. Let’s not get sidetracked with a spurious “Who’s more Raza” thread.

    • You know what he is NOT going to do? He is NOT going to look into the exorbitant fees involved in renting this band shell. He is NOT going to look into what is keeping the commissary permanently closed. He is NOT going to improve pedestrian access via the bridge across the 110 freeway and the Arroyo Seco (not handicap or stroller accessible). He is NOT going to be able to sustain this level of advertising and promotion, so enjoy it while it lasts! This money could be going to fix your broken sidewalk.

      Cedillo is unabashedly a supporter of Latino culture and the arts, and deserves praise for that financial and PR support.

      He is also a tone-deaf leader, unconcerned with the nitty-gritty work of a city councilman’s office. He should go back to work in Sacramento, or find a congressional seat to keep warm. Hopefully, his 2nd year in office won’t be as bad as his first.

  8. I love that the park was cleaned up and the having a Latin Jazz Festival. However it is always the intention. the narcissistic nature of this councilman that ruins it for me. These wise words from a fellow community member are what summed it up for me. “gil cedillo’s latin jazz music festival” — not highland park, not sycamore grove, but gil cedillo. can’t this man ever stop campaigning?

    Gil Cedillo cares way more about being the center of attention than he does for the community. This event proves that yet again. Ugh!

    • Kelly – Cedillo appears to be a vain glorious, attention hungry guy. So what? He is not supposed to be your best friend or model of decorum. Judge an elected official by his/her accomplishments – and on that front, we are early in the game.

    • A narcissistic politician? Say it aint so!

  9. What did Union Bank get from Gil Cedillo? They got a bank branch inside of Lincoln High School. I suspect Gil had something to do with that.


    • The bank branch inside Lincoln High has been open for a lot longer than Gil Cedillo’s campaign focus in the area. For those looking for an evil bank, UBOC probably isn’t the one to focus on. I work as a realtor in the area and can tell you that they have one of the best options for people that need loans that might not fit the ‘classic’ spectrum of borrowers.

      It’s called the economic opportunity mortgage and it absolutely helps the people that fit the qualification standards and buy or refinance in certain census tracts that meet some internal criteria. Most parts of Highland Park fit and it makes for a pretty nice investment in the area.

      As to the corporate sponsorships of this event, I was absolutely blown away (in a positive) by the size and scale of this concert yesterday and the almost continuous branding of the event as ‘Gil Cedillo’s concert’
      Say what you will, but this was a nice event with positive vibes and a lot of happy attendees. My kids played in the park, listened to music and lot’s of our neighbors did too.

      • Adam-

        OK, maybe it was not the bank branches in the high schools, but it is sad that Gil’s reputation for selling out his constituents is so cemented that people assume that Union Bank hired Gil’s son (like the Water District in Montebello) or some other piece of back rubbing and ego stroking.

        I suppose later we will find out what Union Bank “got” for its investment in the Councilman.

  10. Adam, here-here. It was a surprisingly inclusive, well-attended and enjoyable event. The pissy bicycle boys, many of whom are not residents of this area appear to be interested in their cause at the expense of all other cimmunity needs and interests. Best that we do as Cedillo has done, just say no.

    • Hear hear! Those biker boyz! When will they learn? Uncle Gil will keep the “free” concerts going all year long. Hooray! Next time I hear he is also going to hand out free bread too!

      Biker boys and their little push bikes! Hah! So sillly!

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *