When the sun comes out every year, Cal State Northridge gets it together to throw the annual African-American Music Festival. The six-day mixture of education, celebration and music takes place from March 22-27, and this year they've lined up none other than Common as a marquee headliner for the event.

Opposed to normal sunny festival fare such as SXSW or Coachella, the African-American Music Festival is aimed at black youth in middle school and high school. The programming hopes to teach adolescents about the storied (and incredibly innovative) history of black music in America from gospel, blues and jazz to later forms such as hip-hop.

"The festival has been an important addition to CSUN's community outreach in promoting music education regionally," said Pan-African studies professor Deborah Broadous. "We believe in the power of mentorship and exposing these children to the most successful musicians and executives in the business. We hope to encourage these young people to pursue their dreams."

The event was planned out and executed by the African-American Music Association (A2MA) -- a student group that counts Broadous as a mentor and advisor. If you're in the area and interested, you can catch Common's performance for free on March 25 at 4PM during the Music Business College Tour and Student Showcase. He's slated to appear with Ernie Singleton, a former VP of Urban Music at MCA.