For 27 years as a celebration of culture and music, once again the students of UCLA take over the campus to bring us the Jazz and Reggae Fest as it has become a tradition on Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, day one of the festival (Jam Day) — the festivities kicked off with a shy crowd, however, by the time the lovely Jhene Aiko jumped on stage encouraging the audience to “fuck it” and smoke some weed, you could clearly see that everyone was ready to get loose — including security …
The Grouch and Eligh put on an awesome performance spittin’ away lyrics to keep the crowd jumping. When Common came out you could hear screams of frantic fans filling the air with excitement as they waited to see the admired hip hop artist bust some flows. By the time Common hit the stage, the festival grounds were packed. Festival-goers were now basking in the sun and enjoying the food vendors that had opened a tad little bit later than expected. All those early afternoon weed tokes must have incited some munchies!
Santigold also put on a really vibrant show to close day one of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae festival. The woman is an absolute doll. Don’t let that petite body fool you, Santigold has a very strong and powerful voice that can be heard for days. Her stage presence was infectious and the crowd just relished in her good energy.
Day two of the festival, known as Reggae Day, had a touch of post modern Jamaica manifested in fabrics with tons of different fashion statements and multiple remixes from the performers reminding us of the big hits that drew us to them. Mr. Vegas was great! You could feel all his Kingston passion on stage when he started singing “Heads High.” The blistering sun gave us a break when Barrington Levy jumped on stage holding the heat with every lyric. The day ended with the multi-talented, Ziggy Marley, son of a legend manifested in flesh giving us some reggae lovin’.
Aside from some organizational issues, the UCLA Jazz and Reggae festival was a wonderful way to spend Memorial Day in Los Angeles. The weather was exceptional and so were the the live performances.
Check out our photos of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival!
Photography: Farah Sosa
THE GROUCH AND ELIGH
Want to see more photos of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival, click through our photo gallery below for more photos of the live performances and people!