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Jazz Reggae Festival 2010 at UCLA

Sunday’s concert at UCLA was ultra hype. From The Fernando Pullum High School All-Stars, with their Erykah Badu tributes, to Q-Tip, and his unique sounds, the crowd was pumped. Excitement filled the entire stadium with a distinguishing aura that you can only feel at a jazz and reggae festival. I had the honor of covering day one of this historical event.    
Opening up Sunday’s event was The Fernando Pullum High School All-Stars. They sang (along with their own bass player) many classic Erykah Badu songs that seemed to uplift the crowd, a great way to start off the show.
The second performance was by a group called Tha Boogie. This group from Rancho Cucamonga, CA came on dressed to kill, with sounds set to stun.  I really liked their song “Running,” and their piece “I’m Peter Parker” really got the crowd moving. Their fashion sense was very abstract and not something you would see daily. After they finished their performance, they changed their attire, which showed their attention to and understanding of fashion. I look forward to seeing this group more.    
Slowing down the show was Quadron, a group out of Denmark who had some really dope beats and awesome rhythms. Starting off with the very funky “Average Fruit” and ending with a summer groove type song called “Slippin,” made Quadron an unforgettable group.    
Fourth up to bat was my personal favorite, artists Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime aka Dudley Perkins. They had some of the most hard-knocking, raw, jazzy and soulful at the same time beats you will ever hear. And in the middle of one of their songs they brought on MED aka Medaphor The Great and blew the whole crowd out of the water.    
The Foreign Exchange made the point that it was a jazz and reggae festival so they took it deep with some jazz and reggae songs they wrote.  
The sixth performance was by jazz, funk, and soul artist Bilal. He had all of the women in the stadium screaming at the top of their lungs. He was very enthusiastic and into his music, this could be seen easily while he was performing.    
The seventh performance that everyone seemed to be waiting for was the legendary Q-Tip. At the beginning of the show, some people were standing up, and the stadium was not quite that full. But when Q-Tip went on, everyone around me was standing up getting hype, and the stadium was packed. Q started off with some songs from his most recent album “Renaissance” and then took it back to his days with A Tribe Called Quest with songs like “Bonita Applebum” and “Electric Relaxation.” After some of those, he got into one of my favorite songs he ever did called “Let’s Ride” which was produced by J Dilla [RIP]. He got to his song “We Love, We Fight” featuring Raphael Saadiq, but Mr. Saadiq was nowhere to be found at the beginning of the song. On the chorus he comes in and stormed the stage sending the crowd into a loud and exciting roar. After Q-Tip closed his piece, half of the stadium dispersed and the last act, I believe was the Latin & Jazz Band had a tough act to follow.