Smooth Grooves at “Taste of Soul”
Los Angeles-The organizers of the 3rd Annual Taste of Soul couldn’t have picked a better day for this annual smorgasbord of music, food, family, friends and fun. The Taste of Soul was held on October 18, it was a beautiful day with cool weather coupled with a gentle breeze that hovered over “The Shaw.” It was all good in the hood as people were partying within the law; up and down The Shaw.
The Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and 94.7 The Wave smooth jazz radio station hosted the 3rd Annual Taste of Soul presented by Fox 11, My 13, Saturday, October 18, from 10:00AM-6PM along Crenshaw Blvd. between Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. and Rodeo Blvd. This year’s event featured a fun-filled day of festivities for the entire family to enjoy. The Taste of Soul tantalized and satisfied peoples taste buds with some of the best food that Southern California has to offer.
On the opposite end of the event-Rodeo and Crenshaw Blvd. The KJLH Radio-free Stage hosted and presented some roof raising gospel music from the likes of Holy Boy, Chaz, Wayne Brady, Leigh Jones, Tony Rich Project, Andre Delano, and Kenny Lattimore to name a few.
Blues and Comedy was featured in an outdoor nightclub setting sponsored by The J Spot Comedy Club and Restaurant. Barbara Morrison and The Sai Whatt Band entertained the crowd with some original R&B and Blues.
The TV One Tent featured a cooking demonstration with G. Garvin. This was also the site for the Town Hall, Round Table Discussion with an emphasis on topics of a political nature of interest to the community.
Pat Prescott of 94.7 The Wave served as Mistress of Ceremony, while DJ Myster-E (Emmanuel Lao) continued to spin grooves to make ones body move in between acts on the 94.7 The Wave Stage.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented Danny J. Bakewell Sr.-Taste of Soul Creator and Executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper with a Proclamation.
The Chosen Gospel Recovery Group performed a set of original uplifting, hand clapping, and foot stomping songs to set the tone for the remainder of the day.
Corbin Bleu (High School Musical Senior Year) brought their very popular TV Show/ traveling musical show to Taste of Soul to the delight of the younger members of the audience. I could see people singing along to every tune performed by this energetic and talented group.
2008 Long Beach Jazz Festival Talent Search Winner Lina is getting much deserved exposure. She was thoroughly entertaining on “I’ll Stick Around,” “Leaving You,” “Smooth,” “My Man,” and concluded her set with “Feel The Love” which she performed with several members of the audience joining her on-stage.
Ray Fuller is a much in demand guitarist as well as a Musical Director. He scatted and strummed his guitar with a set of funky smooth sounds with some Latin rhythms and Brazilian samba. He opened with a tune by Stevie Wonder “If You Really Love Me,” “The Weepers Thang,” blended with “Mr. Magic,” and closed out his set with “I Need Your Love,” by Teena Marie.
Violinist Karen Briggs re-arranged her schedule to appear at this year Taste of Soul before leaving for a tour of Europe. Karen is an exciting performer with a tight band. They performed a mixture of instrumental versions of popular songs such as “Superfly,” “Loving You,” by Minnie Ripperton and “Gangster Paradise.”
Kevin Toney an original member of The Blackbyrds were grooven throughout his crowd pleasing set. He gave the crowd a taste of past, present and future hits. The crowd were swaying to “100 Degrees and Rising,” “Aphrodisiac,” “Walking In Rhythm,” and “Rock Creek Park” with vocalist Evelyn “Champagne” King. Kevin finished his set with “Kings” which is very popular on the Adult Contemporary Radio stations all across the United States. Kevin’s latest CD is entitled A Grateful Heart: Kevin Toney Solo.
The audience was treated to several special guests before the final act took the stage. Brittany Williams-2008 Miss Black California USA Talented Teen urges the crowd to register to vote before the deadline of October 20. Vocalist David Redic performed “Season of Change” which is the theme song for the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. David also performed at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 2008.
The grand finale of the 3rd Annual Taste of Soul featured Brian McKnight and Friends. Jon B sang for the crowd who were anxiously waiting to see Brian McKnight. Brian McKnight featuring saxophonist Boney James was the icing on the cake to close out another splendid Taste of Soul.
In just three short years, Taste of Soul is already on par with “A Taste of Chicago” in Chicago, Illinois, “Calle Ocho” in Miami, Florida and “Fiesta Broadway” in Downtown Los Angeles. This is a must attend event of the year. The 4th Annual Taste of Soul is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, 2009. “Come for the food, stay for the music.”