Going on its 27th year this weekend, the UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest returns with another amazing lineup, including Santigold, Common, Jhene Aiko, Ziggy Marley, and Barrington Levy.
For those not yet familiar, the festival also hosts some really killer food vendors and artisans selling clothing, jewelry, and other unique goods. Various art installations will round out the atmosphere for what promises to be a great event.
For you foodies: make sure you go to the cobbler dude if he's there this year. Not a joke.
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The Brand New Heavies today release their first studio album in seven years! While a long time coming, Forward shows the British acid jazz pioneers losing no steam and hitting hard with funky and soulful music that's easy to love.
The potent vocals of N’Dea Davenport make a celebrated return with debuting British singer Dawn Joseph adding her talent to the mix as well.
For those aching for a preview, listen to and download the smooth and swingy "Addicted" below!
Be sure not to miss our exclusive interview with some more background from founding member, Jan Kincaid.
Need some more? Watch the video for "Sunlight" after the jump and bounce around to the Brand New Heavies as they kill it like they never left.
Enter our contest to win Forward.
Brand New Heavies - "Addicted" [MP3]
by Jennifer Parker
Famed London acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies are set to make heads turn with their latest studio record in almost seven years, Forward, which drops tomorrow. Jan Kincaid, Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy, as well as original vocal contributor N’Dea Davenport and Dawn Joseph, a new vocalist, create a high energy funk and soul groove with a twist of disco. If anything, BNH is indefatigable – they’re constantly touring and always on the road. Check out what Jan Kincaid had to say:
On getting back in the recording game after an almost seven-year hiatus:
We were really motivated by a sense of frustration. We had been on the road for a long time and were reinventing our business, changing management, and many of us were starting families. So we were extremely productive. We have a live album but a studio record was long, long overdue. We were more than ready to go forward, but our frustration was the motivating factor. The title of the album is a reflection on moving forward into the new millennium. We’re the same band, but this album is a fresh outlook. And it’s uplifting.
On people's different reactions to funk music:
You can see a lot of new people coming into funk, especially a lot of young people. It seems there’s a lot of interest in NY, especially in the Afrobeat scene. But it’s mainly young people interested in the music – it’s accessible, dynamic, exciting, and people can feel it. If you look at today’s pop music and alternative, funk is the antithesis of that. As much as people want to plug into the matrix and be a part of the machine, there’s a lot of people who want something more real.
UK group Sweat Box debuts their first single, "That Ride." The sound displays a 90s R&B lighthearted breeziness combined with hints of new age soul. The female vocalist evokes a little Jesse Boykins III when she sings "concrete" in that first verse, too.
Look for their album, Surrounded By Vinyl, out on June 4. Now we want a drop top.