Tammi Mac Host of the T Room (Courtesy Photo)

For fourteen-years, with an almost three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 regulations, KJLH Radio, the adult contemporary radio station owned by musical genius Stevie Wonder has been a pillar of the Los Angeles Sentinel Taste of Soul Family Festival.

On Saturday, October 15th, KJLH and the Taste of Soul were reunited live and in the flesh on the Taste of Soul KJLH Stage.  Featured were musical performances by Erica Campbell, Noel Gourdin, Elijah Blake, Ruff Endz, and Kenny Lattimore.

The stage was hosted by some of the station’s most electrifying on-air personalities like Tammi Mac, host of the T Room, gospel-programming Spread the Word host Aundre Russell, Adai Lamar of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Kevin Nash of After-Dark, and KJLH icon Lon McQ.

The joy could be felt in the air at an event that was beyond a “family reunion.”  It was a family celebration!  Folks in the audience at the KJLH stage held delectable delights and libations in their hands while line-dancing to the glorious sounds exploding from the stage act after act.

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Erica Campbell, Kenny Lattimore, and Ruff Endz Backstage at the Taste of Soul KJLH Stage

KJLH personalities set it off on stage for each performance and carried that energy backstage where they met each other, the performers, and other familiar faces with hugs and heart-felt expressions of love.

Tammi Mac, who arrived at the stage early Saturday morning to “make sure everything was alright and ready to run smooth,” says she enjoyed watching Elijah Blake because he’s a new artist, and it is always good to give new artists an opportunity.

Mac, who is also an actor currently appearing as “Shay,” MC Lyte’s character’s sister in the rap-inspired sitcom, Partners in Rhyme, truly understands the importance of fostering new talent because she is also an acting coach.

Additionally, Mac also will be making an appearance on the second season of the hit Peacock television series Bel-Air, in a yet to be specified role.

On right, Aundre Russell Host of Spread the Word (Courtesy Photo)

On the Saturday morning of the festival, light showers scattered across Southwest Los Angeles.  Staff and crew were concerned that the weather might affect the Taste’s turnout.  Those concerns were eased once the clouds spread, the sun began to peak through, and excited attendees began to arrive.

“It’s amazing to be back.  The rain scared us a little bit this morning, but after three-years away it’s an honor and a privilege for us to be doing Taste of Soul again,” said Aundre Russell.

Russell also expressed how great it was to serve the community and see all ages and ethnicities coming out and having a good time.  Russell introduced his good friend, gospel-singer Erica Campbell who he insisted “was a must-have at the Taste of Soul,” and rightfully so.

Russell also lauded the other performing acts and reflected on his long-standing participation with the Taste.

“KJLH has been a part of every Taste of Soul, and it has been my pleasure to have been a part of every Taste of Soul since the beginning,” said Russell.

“Oh my gosh, to see everybody’s faces at this Black-family reunion, something for our community,” said Adai Lamar, as she smiled brightly.  “It’s everything we thought it would be.”

Lamar also says it was good to see everybody [KJLH hosts] working together to make sure everything was perfect.

“It’s not just about my listeners or their listeners — it’s our community, said Lamar, a familiar Los Angeles voice of the Steve Harvey show.  “I love the unity that I see that I recognize hasn’t gone anywhere.  It’s all still love.”

Adai Lamar of the Steve Harvey Morning Show (Courtesy Photo)

Lamar was excited to see all the performers because they “took the time to share their time with us, showing their love for the people and KJLH.”

Kenny Lattimore, she added, is family because he is always “just a phone call away” for the station.  “He’s always here for us, and we’re so excited for him and his growing family.”

Meanwhile, multi-award winning and nominated radio personality Kevin Nash addressed the audience with a sentiment that truly framed the moment:  “I miss you so, so, so very much.”

Nash says that when the country went on quarantine, he “really went on quarantine.”  During the lockdown, he said, “I worked from home.  I did my show from the house for two and a half years.  I stayed in.  It feels great to be out!”

In addition to his KJLH Stage hosting duties, Nash was also a part of the KJLH Sony booth.  He says one of the best parts of the Taste for him was a karaoke booth tribute to the late-great Whitney Houston and the new upcoming biopic based on her life, I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

“The highlight for me was watching twin, ten-year old sisters singing I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” said Nash.  “That energy they were bringing, that did it for me.  And seeing the audience behind them, supporting them almost brought a tear to my eye.”

The KJLH Family with gospel-great Erica Campbell (Courtesy photo)

Lon McQ, the thirty-eight-year veteran of KJLH, notes that the Taste of Soul is one of the standout yearly community events, along with the Juneteenth Celebration and the King Day Parade.

According to the official KJLH website, McQ is not only a veteran of KJLH but also a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran who started his radio career with Armed Forces Radio.  He was named one of the “30 Top DJs” in the nation by Upscale Magazine in 1998.

McQ says it was great seeing Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass, Los Angeles Sentinel owner Danny Bakewell, and all the city representatives who came out to greet the people.

McQ best sums up the event when he said, “Thank God for KJLH, Stevie Wonder, and the Taste of Soul.  They are all mainstays of our community.”