*Los Angeles – Bakewell Media has brought it on once again. I’m speaking of the 13th Annual Taste of Soul. This huuuuge festival, the largest street festival in Los Angeles, and perhaps, in the nation for that matter, was held on Saturday, October 20th.
The Taste of Soul is a family-friendly event, as was held on “The Shaw” as Crenshaw is affectionately known as, between Stocker Boulevard to the South, and Rodeo Road on the North.
Bakewell Media loaded up all the bases with some heavy hitters, whose performances are known for knocking it out the park.
The first based featured the KJLH Choir, Nick Grant, Pullman Porters, Gemaine, En Vogue, Jussie Smollett, Vivian Green, Ready for the World and Macy Gray on the 102.3 KJLH Stage sponsored by Toyota.
The second base line-up consisted of The StarQuest Singing Competition, Crenshaw Drumline, Teddy Riley, Ginuwine, Chante Moore, Kurtis Blow and Melanie Fiona.
Third base brought The Spirit of the Lord to the forefront. The Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage sponsored by McDonald’s hosted the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour with Ricky Dillard, Centron Jones, Todd Dulaney, Donald Lawrence, JJ Hairston and Deitrick Haddon.
Bringing it all home were talent on The 94.7 The Wave Stage sponsored by Budweiser. I was posted up in the batters cage, as usual at the latter stage.
The day got underway with DJ Shell mixing it up on the ones and twos with a plethora of old and new school jams that kept the crowd moving and grooving in between acts. If you are fan of baseball, you will recognize this as “The 7th Inning Stretch.”
Radio personalities from 94.7 The Wave Deborah Howell, Frankie Ross, Greg Mack, Pat Prescott were in attendance to introduce and announce upcoming acts.
Chosen Recovery Gospel Group/Chosen Recovery Gospel Singers made a return engagement to open the show. If memory serves me right, this inspirational group have performed every year at The Taste of Soul since it’s inception. That’s reason enough to Give God the Glory.
Chosen Recovery Gospel Group used their Angelic voices to Lift up the name of God, in so doing, inspired many in the audience.
Sean Michael is a singer and songwriter, known as being an “emotional artist.” He laid it all out on “She Still Belongs to Someone Else,” Picture You, Picture Me Loving You,” “Let’s Get Personal,” and concluded his set with an original tune “Girl You Are” from his upcoming project Falling In Love With Sean Michael.
Cultural Soul is another local group returning to perform on the 94.7 The Wave Stage sponsored by Budweiser. They entertained the crowd with some soulful tunes mixed with infectious reggae rhythms, and Afrobeats in a shout out to the late great Fela Kuti.
On Tour was invited back with open arms and open hearts. It is hard to believe that this group only unites each year to perform at The Taste of Soul. They have enough talent and potential to perform at various functions throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and throughout the State of California. On Tour superbly performed a diverse selections of cover tunes to delight the audience. They opened their set with “Lovely Day,” and continued with “Just Friends,” “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “This is How We Do It” this song can show the world how the party hearty people get down in Los Angeles.
Danny Bakewell Sr., was joined on stage by local, state and federal elective officials to thank everyone for coming out to The Taste of Soul, one of the main signature events for the City of Los Angeles.
Marcio Donaldson was the 2018 Adult StarQuest Winner for the 7th Annual Star Quest Singing Competition. He had a rousing debut performance on the 94.7 The Wave Stage sponsored by Budweiser as he sang “If You Really Love Me” by Stevie Wonder.
Head Krack Dish Nation was a surprise standout performer who hit it out the park with the bases loaded while in the spotlight. He wowed the crowd free-styling to opened his set. He then performed two original tunes “Abracadabra,” and “All the Way Lit” the latter tune could serve as the final analysis/summary for the 13th Annual Taste of Soul.
Jody Watley is a singer/songwriter who attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. Jody Watley’s set was another highlight of the day. Her captivating performance included the tunes “Don’t You Want Me,” “I Want Your Love,” “Your Love Keep Working on Me,” “Waiting in Vain” by Bob Marley with two beautiful Brazilian Dancers-Clarissa and Liz. She took the crowd and I down memory lane with the tunes “Take That to The Bank,” and “Night to Remember,” from her days as part of the trio Shalamar. She finished her set with a timeless hit “Looking for a New Love.”
Good Day LA, FOX TV Special Guests Elex Michaelson, Rita Garcia, Marcia Quban and Megan Colarossi came onstage to say hello the crowd.
Erin Stevenson is a popular singer/songwriter who has performed as a backup vocalist for a who’s who of the music industry. She heeded the word of God and stepped out on Faith to sang her truth. She opened her set with a fabulous rendering of “Square Business” by Teena Marie and “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross. She concluded her set with two original tunes “Hangin” and “Juicy.”
Sister Sledge, one of the most iconic female groups of the late 70’s cleared the bases with some of their greatest hits “He’s Is the Greatest Dancer,” “We Are Family,” “Got to Love Somebody” to name a few.
Visit tasteofsoul.org Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page to view photos and videos of this amazing event. Google search Taste of Soul click on the Images/Videos link to view respective media.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]