(Photo by Ricky Richardson)
Special to the Sentinel
94.7 The Wave and the Los Angeles Sentinel teamed up once again to bring on The Taste of Soul Family Festival presented by Bakewell Media. This is by far, the largest street festival in Southern California.
The event was held on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00am – 7pm on Crenshaw Blvd., between Stocker on the south and Rodeo Road on the north.
Bakewell Media and his team have been putting on an amazing bumping and jumping Soul Music Festival for the past 10 years. The 11th Annual Taste of Soul Music Festival lived up to the hype generated by various Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), Radio and Television Public Service Announcements (PSA’s), as well as the old school reach of print media.
The theme was “It’s a Family Affair,” viewed another way, “It’s a Family Reunion.” Several hundred thousand people, family, friends, neighbors and high school classmates gathered on “The Shaw” for this extremely festive occasion and it’s all encompassing camaraderie.
The Taste of Soul Family Festival served up an abundance of good food, good music for the great people of Southern California. People from various ethnic groups were in attendance to experience our amazing culture, and share in our love of soul food and extra helpings of Soul music. The sounds of R&B, Soul, Neo-Soul, Gospel, Hip-Hop and Jazz permeated the air up and down “The Shaw.”
Let’s get this party started! The 94.7 The Wave Stage (Crenshaw and Stocker) was packed with music lovers for the city of Los Angeles’ most highly anticipated Soul Music Festival. DJ Chuck (The Old Soul) rocked the house with an eclectic mix of old and new skool jams. He programmed his DJ set list with the audience dancing pleasure in mind that had the crowd grooving and moving in between live musical acts.
Various Program/Show Hosts from 94.7 The Wave were present to introduce the bands all afternoon. Frankie Ross, Greg Mack, Pat Prescott, Pat Harvey-KCBS Channel 2, and Deborah Howell alternated as Masters of Ceremony. Special celebrity guests in attendance were Byron Scott, Los Angeles Lakers and Greg Jennings NFL Wide Receiver (Green Bay 2006-2012, Minnesota Vikings 2013-2014 and Miami Dolphins 2015).
It has become a tradition to open the 94.7 The Wave Stage with the powerful, encouraging, inspiring, uplifting songs of Praise and Thanks delivered superbly by Chosen Gospel Recovery. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we had CHURCH on “The Shaw.” These outstanding vocalists performed “I’m Living a Blessed Life,” “Jesus Will,” “Blessed and Highly Favored,” “Every Time He Shows Up; He Shows Out,” and “Holy.” Can we get a resounding AMEN!
Cultural Soul played a spirited set of Soul music tinged with the worldly beats of Africa and Jamaica on the tunes “All Night Long,” “What You Won’t Do For Love,” “Loving You Every Day,” roots, rock, reggae version of “Johnny B. Good” and closed out their set with an original tune by WADADA, “Black Man, Black Women” that caused the crowd to sit up and take notice of the tune with historical lyrics.
Our Soulful musical journey through the Taste of Soul Family Festival commence with On Tour. All Aboard! As they thoroughly entertained the crowd with their distinctly soulful cover tunes that took the crowd down memory lane. Their set list consisted of the tunes “Lovely Day,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “My Girl,” “Joy and Pain” and a tribute to Prince. They continued with “Sweet Thang,” “Fire” and “This is How We Do It” with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti throwing down on bongos.
The program took a pause for the cause as Danny Bakewell Sr., and invited elected officials from the county, city, state and national level came on stage to welcome and greet the audience. This was also an opportunity to thank the sponsors as well as the 2016 Taste of Soul Committee members.
J Laconn is the 2016 Starquest Adult Winner. He showcased his dazzling vocal stylings on the 94.7 The Wave Stage. He spoke and sang power to the truth on the tune “You Get On My Nerve; All The Dam Time!”
Saxophonist/vocalist Rick Parma opened up for Tom Browne with the tunes “Before I Let You Go,” and “It’s a Man’s World.” Musical legend, trumpeter Tom Browne was the next performer. Tom Browne came out to perform “Sweetest Taboo” before launching into his catalog to perform two original tunes “Thighs High,” and the classic “Funkin’ For Jamaica” to thrill the crowd of music aficionados.
The popular group TROOP from Pasadena was also outstanding during their time in the spotlight. The group was tight with their synchronized, choreographed dance moves, and on point with the tunes “Mamacita,” “Sweet November,” “Girlfriend,” “Not in a Million Years,” and “Spread My Wings.”
WAR was the closing headliner to conclude another successful Taste of Soul Family Festival. They took the crowd down memory lane with their timeless hits that are still relevant and resonated with the crowd, both young and old, across all ethnic groups. They opened their set with “Me and Baby Brother,” “Slipping Into Darkness” interspersed with “We Need Love” to enlighten our life. They continued with “Cisco Kid,” “Spill the Wine,” slowed the tempo down with “All Day Music,” followed by “On Broadway,” “Summer,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Lowrider” and a standout version of “The National Anthem” performed brilliantly by Stanley Behrens on harmonica. The current line-up for WAR features Lonny Jordan-vocals/keyboards, Sal Rodriguez-drums, Marcos J. Reyes-percussions, Stuart Ziff-guitar, David Urquidi-saxophone/flute, Stanley Behrens-harmonica and J.V. Collier on bass.
Check out 2016 Taste of Soul Family Festival trending on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets to see more photos and other recaps.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]