The UCLA Jazz & Reggae Festival was a success once again this past Memorial Day weekend, as Angelinos filled the UCLA field for two days of awesome music.
Sunday, Jazz Day:
A number of eclectic performances took place on this day including Sonnymoon, Selah Sue, Thundercat, Gary Clark Jr, Booker T. Jones and The Roots.
The Roots once again lived up to their “Most Legendary Hard Working” status as they gave a high-energy, multi-dimensional performance that started off with their classic “The Next Movement” and included not only their own “You Got Me” and “The Seed Pt 2” but dove into other pop monsters such as GNR’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
A couple of decades and thousands of live shows into their careers, The Roots deliver at every single performance, thus proving their status as hip hop legends.
Monday, Reggae Day:
“Sun is shining, weather is sweet. Make you want to move your dancing feet.” Bob Marley sang the soundtrack while the colorful crowd filled into the Intramural Field for the 26th Annual JazzReggae Festival.
Sundresses, booty shorts, shades, tank tops, and sandals made up most of the fashion of those in attendance. The weather was more than sweet; it was merely perfect. The sky was blue, and the air thick with the aroma of fried fish and jerk chicken.
The Reggae line-up consisted of new artists such as the 19-year old guitarist Cris Cab and Reggae Legends like Black Uhuru’s original lead singer Don Carlos and Dean Frasier who played saxophone for Tarrus Riley.
Alison Hinds definitely hyped up all the Caribbean ladies in the crowd whose hips were gyrating as she sang her hit “Roll It Gyal”. Then came Mr. Ganja Tune himself, Collie Buddz. The audience proved they were fans of his as they all sang along word for word to “Come Around” and “Blind To You.”
In between each artist, the good vibes continued with selectahs from our local Krossfyah Sound and Stone Jam Sound out of Belize. From classic roots, lover’s rock, to dancehall, they made sure to please the diverse, all ages crowd.
What seemed to please the crowd most was when Grammy Award Winner Artist Shaggy entered the stage. Everyone paused their picnics and stood up on their blankets to party alongside him. During his well- known hit “It Wasn’t Me,” he took the time to dialogue with the audience. He asked all the men of America what they’d say if and when they got caught cheating. After the men responded with “It wasn’t me,” he shook his head and in his best Bill Clinton impression said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Shaggy was the headliner that kept everyone fully entertained until the very end of his set.
The lovely day ended with those who were captivated by the stage show all day attempting to find the best deals amongst the many vendors surrounding the field and the food vendors selling off what delicious entrees they had left. Another successful Reggae day leaving us ready to participate in the 27th Annual UCLA JazzReggae Festival next Memorial Day Weekend.
Photos by: Ani Yapundzhyan & Yassi Amini
Words by: Yassi Amini