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UCLA Jam/Reggae Weekend!

June 4, 2009

Reported by Jason Sugars of CDR/w for Fusicology.com

Photos by Jay Three Photography

Originally, I was going to ‘Live-Blog’ the event as each day went by. Overwhelmed by the people, the place, the sun and the sounds, I decided to instead write out an end-of-day report and put that up… Didn’t manage that either… But I couldn’t just let it go!

I’ll start with this, ‘I had a great time’! I always enjoy the event(s) – Fusicology.com is a sponsor and media partner each year and this year, we did it again! I ran into a great number of friends new and old, ate ‘til I felt fat and really, REALLY enjoyed a lot of the performances!

Without getting all philosophical and sounding semi-crazy, suffice to say that both days were full of smiles and good energy! Saturday was brought on with a couple of stand-out performances earlier by soulful sound-smiths, LOUDER THAN WORDS and The NIKHIL KORULA BAND, whom I’d heard of locally but hadn’t seen before.

This year, the Festival’s Student-Organizers did away with the pretense of a ‘Jazz’ Day (when are we ever going to get that back?) and we heard plenty of Jam, Soul and Hip Hop leading up to another strong showing from Hip-Hop Legends DE LA SOUL and a bright and blowing (while sadly abbreviated) performance from Ms. ERYKAH BADU!!!

Apparently the people of neighboring Bel-Air needed to get to bed rather early on Saturday night and – as a result – the headliner of the show was unable to present her full set… Still, what we got was nice-ness and as the day became a chilly evening, I’m guessing that many of us were OK with things the way they turned out! Although I could have done with a little more of her vibe, both new and old.

Sunday was ablaze as well, not too crowded though the people started pouring in the second half of the day… I’m sure that a lot of us were still recuperating from ‘Jam’ day… except I did M recuperation with the help of some Goat, Patties, Honest Tea and some of the best Peach Cobbler (ala mode) I’ve EVER had since Gram’ma passed!

THE JAMAICAN GOLD soundbwoys had me grooving from the very start (Big’ups, to that whole crew!) and I really enjoyed some of the opening acts… NOLA DARLING were pretty cool, I’d never heard of them before being introduced the day before and I wonder how many others really got the Spike Lee reference (or De La Soul for that matter), still I liked them… I have to track them down and check them out again.

The rest of the acts were perfect for the day (how come I never get to hear “I’ll Do Anything For You whenever I see Morgan Heritage or any of their Family…? I LOVE THAT SONG!) and MOVADO gave us exactly what we needed as we wound the day out… I could have done with a few less expletives coming from the stage, and I hope that little boy got back to his folks before he set into a panic…!

OVERALL: There was a grand time to be had by all… Congrats and thanks to UCLA and especially to the students that put it together, put it on and put it down!

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