The 28th Annual JazzReggae Festival | UCLA | May 25th & 26th [PHOTOS]

Concerts

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Every Memorial Day weekend for the past 28 years, UCLA has hosted a music festival called the JazzReggae Festival. Originally, the first day was devoted to Jazz and the second day was devoted Reggae. Though the first day has morphed to a “Jam” day, the festival has always been able to pull in outstanding talent for the price of admission. If you are ever in Los Angeles during the Memorial Day weekend, and looking to enjoy a music festival at an extremely reasonable price, I suggest that you check out the lineup to see if any artists you like are on the bill.

Armed with a photo pass for the event, I was able to take pictures of the artists listed below. Click on the link to check them out!

May 25th, 2014:

  1. The Internet
  2. Aloe Blacc
  3. Snoop Dogg

May 26th, 2014

  1. Kevin Lyttle
  2. Gramps Morgan
  3. Black Uhuru
  4. Ky-Mani Marley

The Internet | UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest | 5/25/14

Concerts

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I saw a lot of bands at Coachella this year (2014), but there was one band that was on my list, that I regret missing: The Internet.

The Internet is a neo-soul band consisting of Odd Future members Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians as well as Tay Walker, Patrick Paige and Christopher A. Smith. They debuted in 2011, and released their debut album, “Purple Naked Ladies” that same year. They released their sophomore album, “Feel Good” in 2013, and have been touring in support of it since its release. When I found out they were performing at UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival, I knew I had to make it in time to see their afternoon set.

The Internet’s performance at Jazz Reggae Fest was, in truth, my first real introduction to the band. Sure, I was familiar with some of the Odd Future music by Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt’s music, but I really didn’t know too much about The Internet other than the video clips I was able to find on Youtube. Watching them live, I was impressed with what I saw and heard.

Their take on late ’90s neo-soul/R&B was something that really hit the spot for me. Syd and the band played a set that really was perfect for the mid-afternoon. Syd’s smooth and understated voice and the band’s clean groove, together with their improvisational playing and singing abilities really demonstrated to me  how capable they were as musicians and how smart they were as performers.

The catalog of music is relatively small having only released two albums, but they covered one of my favorite GAP band songs (“Outstanding”) and I was especially impressed with their cover of Jamiroquai’s “We’re Too Young To Die” (one of my favorited cuts off of “Emergency on Planet Earth”, an album that really pushed the boundaries of British funk/acid jazz to new limits). That cover alone would have been enough to convert me as a fan. It’s an extremely tough song to sing. A clip of that performance is in the video below. Maybe it will make you a fan as well.

I couldn’t find the band’s setlist online, so if you were there and know what songs they performed, let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the post.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OTHER ARTISTS I WAS ABLE TO SNAP PICTURES OF AT THE FESTIVAL!

Rudimental | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)

Concerts
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The surprise set of my Sunday at Coachella was Rudimental; an electronic music, quartet based out of Hackney, London. When I was doing research on them before the festival, I discovered that their first studio album, Homehad reached number one, and was certified platinum, in the U.K., and after watching a few of their live video clips online, I decided to make them a band I wanted to check out at Coachella. I was not disappointed.

Their set was AMAZING! Right from the start, their MC and hype-man, DJ Locksmith, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his boundless energy, running back and forth across the stage, cajoling the late-afternoon crowd to join him and the band in their fervor. Though internet entries describe the band a a group of producer/DJs, they were backed by a full band and a full set of vocalists; each holding their own performing like their life depended on it.

Their infectious sound, which I would describe as a mix of R&B, dubstep, house and drum & bass, was perhaps the most exhilarating, live (i.e. with a full band), party-music I have heard since … honestly, I don’t even remember. Though I had to leave their set slightly early because I had to catch an act across the festival grounds (thus missing the their Fugees cover of “Ready or Not” and the surprise appearance of John Newman to perform their hit “Feel The Love”) I can honestly say that I was definitely impressed with their live performance, and would no doubt purchase tickets whenever they are performing in Los Angeles in the future.

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT BLOG ENTRIES OF OTHER BANDS I SAW AT COACHELLA!