Wednesday, February 20, 2019

All the Way Live at the 32nd Annual Jazz Reggae Festival

The 32nd Annual Jazz Reggae, presented by the Cultural Affairs Commission was held on Monday, May 28th, 2018.

Los Angeles-In honor of the festival’s anniversary, Jazz Reggae Festival celebrated three decades of good vibes, jammin’ music and cultural enrichment with a one day festival under the beautiful Southern California sun, Monday, May 28, 2018, at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center.

Jazz Reggae Festival is the largest student-run festival in the nation that celebrates the rich history of jazz and the culturally relevance of reggae.

32 years of music, art and community. From the festivals humble beginnings in 1986, it has continued to grow and develop while forging connections between UCLA and the broader Los Angeles community who consistently return to the festival to enjoy a stellar line-up of music-jazz, reggae, neo-soul, and R&B.

Jazz Reggae Festival continues to evolve from its roots, presenting headliners from the genres of jazz, reggae, as well as styles of music that they inspire. Jazz Reggae Festival also showcase a curated selections of tremendously talented student bands, who serves as opening acts for the professional musicians.

Several thousand music lovers attended the 32nd Annual Jazz Reggae Festival for an awesome line-up entertainment provided by the Global Soul Collective, Sahara Grim, Charlotte Day Wilson, Half Pint, Jamila Woods, and Konshens as the headliner. DJ QBWOY of Jamaica Gold Sounds returned to compliment the festival with an eclectic world music playlist of pop and infectious Caribbean beats between acts and the serve as Master of Ceremony.

The 32nd Annual Jazz Reggae Festival presented by the Cultural Affairs Commission, a student run organization at UCLA.

All six artists/groups performing during this year’s festival performed an outstanding set of music.

Global Soul Collective opened the show with an appropriate tune “Jammin” by Bob Marley that set the tone for the rest of the festival. There set continued with “Tails for Daggo,” “Familia,” and concluded with a gospel tinged “Outro.”

Third year ethnomusicology student Sahara Grimm followed with a set highlighting her silky, smooth vocal styling on the tunes “What’s Inside,” “We give It All We Can,” “The Truth,” “Don’t Cha Know” by Eryka Badu, and closed with an orginal tune “Synthesis.”

Half Pint got down to the business at hand. He had the crowd vibing throughout his set of roots reggae on the following tunes “Greetings,” “Strong Little Girl,” “Crazy Girl,” “Substitute Lover,” “Just Be Good,” “Victory,” and closed with “Suzie.”

Toronto based singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Day Wilson was another highlight of the festival. She entertained the growing crowd with “Stone Woman,” continued with “”Find You,” “Let You Down,” and concluded her set with “Work.” Earlier this year, Charlotte Day Wilson was the recipient of the 2018 Prism Prize, Grand Prize for the Fantavious Fritz directed video for “Work” which came with the Prism Prize Trophy and a $15,000 cash prize.

Chicago based soul singer, songwriter and poet Jamila Woods rocked the stage and festival grounds with an energetic set of crowd pleasing tunes. She opened with “Stellar,” followed by “Breadcrumbs,” and “LSD” this isn’t a song in reference to drugs, refers to Chicago with it’s warm weather in the Summer. Ms. Woods continued with “Very BLK,” “Giovanni,” “In My Name,” “Lonely,” “and her wonderful version of “You Are My Sunday Candy.”

Garfield Spence, who goes by the stage name Konshens is a popular Jamaican dancehall, reggae singer/recording artist. Konshens performed an electrifying set of tunes from his catalog of hits. This was a great way to put the finishing touches on another successful segment of the Jazz Reggae Festival.

A good time was had by the multi-cultural, diverse crowd gathered on the grounds of the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Future generations of jazz and reggae fans were also in attendance, among the crowd were young children from about 1 years old and up.


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Ricky Ricardo is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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