*Los Angeles – Bakewell Media presented the 8th Annual Taste of Soul, Saturday, October 19, 2013.
The festival returned to historic Leimert Park Village on “The Shaw” as Crenshaw Boulevard is affectionately named.
Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, don’t let the calendar fool you. The outdoor festival season continues in high gear with our summer like weather two weeks into the Autumn/Fall season.
There was something for everyone during this eagerly anticipated annual celebration of all things soulful of the African American community. This was a fun-filled day for the entire family during the nine hour soulful extravaganza. There were lots of informative booths, a wide array of dance, music and other activities geared for the 350,000 people in attendance.
Over 70 food booths and food trucks served up some savory treats for people to chow down while strolling up and down “The Shaw.” I will mention a few so that you know what you missed. Big Kahuna, Boones Fablous Fried Fish, CJ’s Wings the Broaster Kings, Delicious Southern Cuisine, Fresh & Meaty Burger, Harold & Belle’s, Heavenly Delights, Kobbler King, Mable’s Praline, Mel’s Fish, Mommie Helen’s Bakery, New Orleans Bill Wholesale Salads, Perkin’s Cajun Sausage, Shabazz 1, Uncle Darrows and WoWo’s Smokin Hot BBQ & Catering. This short list of food vendors should whet your appetite for a minute while you decide what’s for lunch or dinner.
It wasn’t easy to find people breaking out with some old school dance moves and some current dance steps while grooving to all of the music blaring up and down “The Shaw.”
94.7 The Wave Stage catered a smorgasbord of gospel, R&B, soul, jazz and Latin jazz on Crenshaw and Stocker.
My enjoyment of live performance kicked off with some gospel music. There’s no better way to began The Taste of Soul Music Festival. Chosen Recovery returned to joyfully interject the Glory of God into the festivities. They performed “I’m Living a Blessed Life,” “Roller Coaster,” “You Oughta Been There (with elements of jazz) and “I’m Healed.”
VI Degreez is a popular local group to perform next on The Wave Stage. They were fortunate to be featured during a live news feed on CBS 2/KCAl 9. They opened with “Irreplaceable,” and continued with “Used Me,” “Boogie, Oogie, Woogie,” by Taste of Honey, “Footsteps in the Dark,” and “No Ordinary Love” to name a few.
I made my way to the north end of the festival for the action on the KJLH Radio Stage on Crenshaw and Rodeo. I wanted to groove to the sensational sounds of R&B and soul served up buffet style. Sledge Grits Band is an energetic quartet of females who rocked the crowd to kick off entertainment for the afternoon. The crowd was swaying to the following tunes “I Got the Eye of a Tiger,” “Stay” by Rihanna, and “So What If We Are Young.” No one questioned their abilities after their set.
The KJLH Radio Stage added a new feature to their always wonderful line-up. The inaugural Taste of Fashion featured the creative apparels of several designers with a bevy of beautiful models of all shapes and sizes.
Mario came up next to sing several original tunes “This is the Music of Love,” “You Should Let Me Love You,” “Why Would You Want to Break Up,” “and a new track “Fatal Distraction.
L Young was also featured in the spotlight as he came onstage to perform two tunes “Got to Give it Up,” and “Love is a Verb.”
The tempo on the stage continued to flow smoothly for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Additional performances on the KJLH Stage consisted of Treasure Davis, Mateo, Ravaughn, Mindless Behavior, Glen Lewis, Kenny Latimore, Marques Houston and Johnny Gill with a special guest.
My enjoyment of The 8th Annual Taste of Soul continued at 94.7 The Wave Stage. Nathan Davis Jr., is the 2013 Starquest Winner in the Singing Competition. He knocked everyone’s socks off during his version of “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. What made this version remarkable was the fact that Nathan performed the tune A-capella to the delight of the crowd and me.
Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancler kept the crowd dancing in the streets with the tunes “#1,” “Con Mio,” “When You Are Alone,” “Remind Me,” and concluded their set with a rollicking “Forget Me Nots” with the two battling it out on the timbales.
Singer, songwriter Avant brought forth his romantic and soulful nature as he delved into his treasure trove of previous CD’s My Thought, Private Room, Avant, The Letter, Ecstasy, Director and his latest CD Face the Music to close out another “MAHVELOUS” Taste of Soul. Avant performed “Separated,” “Read Your Mind,” “Can’t Wait,” and “Don’t Take Your Love Away” for his adoring fans who sang along with him during his set.
Other artist on the line-up for 94.7 The Wave Stage featured On Tour, DW3 and Poncho Sanchez.
We’re Great Together was the theme for the 8th Annual Taste of Soul. This wonderful event proved once again that we all can come together to explore “The Shaw” and enjoy the sights, sounds and taste of local soul food restaurants. You had to be there to feel the excitement and energy produced by The Taste of Soul.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]