A Culture of Change at Jazz Reggae Festival
Los Angeles-I mis-calculated my arrival time to the campus of UCLA due to errands that I had to take care of. I missed the performance of the group Louder Than Words featuring Alex Isley, the daughter of Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers. I also regret that I missed Kalil Wilson & The Berkeley Everett Sextet for my annual dose of jazz at the 23rd Annual UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival presented by Scion, May 24-25, 2009 on the Intra-mural Field.
I enjoy the fact that the organizers allow students groups to perform who attend UCLA. Pangea Collective made a good impression on me last year and made a better impression for their return engagement. Nikhil Korula Band featured the powerful horn section from Pangea Collective for a set drenched in funky sounds of Tower of Power and James Brown Band.
Vocalist Mateo was another highlight on day one of the festival. He belted out original materials from his upcoming debut CD. He is also a talented piano player. Nino Moschella performed and also contributed to the overall success of Jam Day.
Ayo is a rising star in the music industry. She rocked the festival with a set of tunes form her critically acclaimed previous CD’s. The crowd were treated to some R&B, reggae, Afro-beat merenaded in American soul.
It was obvious from the crowd reaction that adding hip-hop to the line-up was a wise decision and good investment. People Under The Stairs from Los Angeles and De La Soul from the East Coast got the crowd up and on their feet with their electrifying lyrics.
Vocalist Leela James kept the momentum up and moving forward as she demonstrated her artistry and range as a singer performing old school jams from her lastest CD Let’s Do It Again. Be sure to catch this phenomenal performer at a festival in your city this summer.
A record setting crowd were present to see Jam Day headliner Erykah Badu the undisputed “Queen of Neo-Soul” performed an extremely entertaining set of hits from her current 5 albums. If you didn’t get enough of her performance or if you want to experience the charm of Ms. Erykah Badu-you can catch her performance at The Grove of Anaheim on June 2nd and or at Club Nokia at LA Live in Los Angeles on June 5th.
Monday-Memorial Day at the Jazz Reggae Festival. The speakers were thumping and the people were bumping to the infectious contagious rhythms from several Caribbean Islands. A large contigent of the crowd were adorned in clothing and or displayed flags of their country. Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad Y Tabago were just a few of the countries represented at the festival.
In between sets-DJ’s provided the grooves to make your body move. Music were rotated by DJ Higher, Edley Shine, Q BWOY, DJ White Lightning and Jamaican Gold Sound.
Live music sets were provided by Dan Marcus I of Belize, the beautiful Nola Darling (Nikkobya and Aziza), ELJAI. The tempo of the music increased with the dancehall sounds of Tanto Metro and Devonte. The crowds were in for a triple treat from Jamaica in the presence of Cherine Anderson, singer, songwriter and actress as she performed the hits from Kingston State of Mind.
The talented on the stage as well as the temperatures for the festival got hotter and hotter as the afternoon progress. Contributing to the tropical heat wave were Assassin, Machel Montano, Peetah & Mojo Morgan of Morgan Heritage and Movado the headling closing act.
The 23rd Annual UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival presented by Scion will go down in the record books as the largest attendance when the final numbers are announced.