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Fest Review and Interviews: UCLA’s JazzReggae Fest

posted May 27, 2014, 11:26 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


Now that Memorial Day is over and folks emerge from food comas like bears from hibernation, it’s time to recap the wonderful musical festivities taking place this weekend. Returning for my third year to UCLA’s JazzReggae Fest, I spent my time this weekend listening to some R&B, jazz, reggae and hip-hop on Jam Day at UCLA Intramural Field. With the perfect weather (sunny with light breezes), students and families came to sample the wares and listen to dope music all Sunday.

Arriving as the Sarah Reich Tap Music Project took the stage, which blends a jazz band that specifically writes music for tap dance with professional dancers, I settled in for a great day of music. Sarah, joined by her troupe of hoofing ladies and gentlemen, lit up the stage as the percussive tap rhythms could be heard for miles. Chatting with Sarah after her set, she discussed her love for tap since she was a little girl and couldn’t contain her excitement for her upcoming appearance on tomorrow’s “So You Think You Can Dance” season premiere.


Georgia Anne Muldrow next emerged, performing with her mother (sharing some special moments sitting next to her) and uncles, bringing a chill family vibe to the stage. Since e-interviewing her back in 2012, I had yet to see her live and enjoyed her in this lineup. Peep the soundclip below as I later spoke with Georgia (who I’d e-interviewed back in 2012) about receiving advice from her musical parents, the possibility of working with Madlib in the future, her new rap EP and album coming soon.

The Internet, a future R&B/experimental jazz standout duo from LA’s talented squad Odd Future, soon followed. Super hyped (geeking out, actually) to see these two as their latest album “Feel Good” stayed on repeat last year, putting them on my list of top artists of 2013, they mixed in songs from their dope albums with Gap Band and Stevie Wonder covers. Check out the soundclip below as I chatted with Syd and Matt after their set about WTF moments at Coachella and their touring and recording plans for 2014.

Up next, Aloe Blacc, impeccably suited, hit the stage, performing songs off “Good Things” and “Lift Your Spirit”. Bringing out his wife, rapper Maya Jupiter, his set featured some 90’s dance moves, clapping and good mood vibes. Wrapping up the day, Snoop Dogg, who did drop a few Snoop Lion songs in there, got the entire crowd up on its feet and dancing as they sang along and roared the words to classics like “Gin and Juice”, “What’s My Name?”, “Lodi Dodi”, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “The Next Episode”. Doing his trademark bounce while ripping through the set, he ended the day with Bob Marley’s “We Jammin”.



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