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Chillin with “L.E.S. Artistes” at UCLA’s 2013 JazzReggae Fest Jam Day

posted May 28, 2013, 12:39 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, General Interest, Interviews, Live Show Reviews | comment Leave a Comment


Summer festival season jumped off in Southern California as UCLA held their 27th annual JazzReggae Fest (JRF) this past Memorial Day weekend. Becoming a fan of JRF as a grad student at UCLA, the fest has seen a mix of dope rising and established artists like Jill Scott, India Arie, Little Dragon and The Roots come through in previous years. This year proved no different. Kicking Day One off with two UCLA student bands, country folk Street Hearts and the Gluck Jazz Ensemble, it’s always nice to see the next generation of talent in the pipeline.

Ryan McDermott

Ryan McDermott

Ryan McDermott, a new R&B artist on Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label, took the stage around 1:30PM. Listening to some acoustic tracks and his latest single, “Joy” featuring labelmate Hit Boy prior to arriving at the show, I knew I’d like him live. Over the years, the organizers seem to have their pulse on the next big artist and he shows this type of potential. Doing songs which I assume will be on his debut album as well as Stevie Wonder covers like “That Girl”, I happily chatted with him on the blue press carpet after his set. Peep the interview clip way below!

Grouch and Eligh

Grouch and Eligh

Living Legends duo The Grouch, with his smooth bass voice and Eligh, with his lightning fast delivery next rocked the stage with their trademark ying/yang style doing fan favs like “All In”, “Say G&E!” and “Artsy” that got the crowd hype. LA always reps when these two come to town and have come out in droves to see them here and recently at the Paid Dues festival in March. Also checking with them at the blue press pit, I was happy to discover they will be announcing their next project soon. Hear more about their musical legacy in the soundclip down below!

Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko

LA local Jhené Aiko went next, performing songs like weed-inspired “Higher” and asked the crowd to throw their dubs up when she did Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” cover. Have seen her live all over in the past year as she’s opened for Miguel, Nas and Lauryn Hill and has just been added to Rock The Bells’ festival lineup later this year. Although Jhené didn’t grace the blue carpet, several of us got to say hi to her (she was very friendly) in the photo pit during Common’s set.


Chitown artist/author/actor Common got the crowd hype again, jumping around to begin his set that included songs like “Go!”, “Be”, “The Light”, “Universal Mind Control” and “The People”. Capping the show, alt-pop headliner Santigold wrapped up the day with a set featuring hits like “Go!” and “Disparate Youth”, complete with band members wearing plastic wigs and dancers that had mallets as props. Arrived home tan, tired and excited for Day Two!



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