A generous portion of The Taste of Inglewood Jazz Festival | PICTURES

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Inglewood Jazz Festival flyer, courtesy photo

*Inglewood – The spotlight continues to shine on the town of Inglewood, the town of champions! People came from near and far to have fun with the taste of Inglewood, gifts Inglewood Jazz FestivalSaturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, 2022.

Organizers could not have picked a better venue than the well maintained, manicured, tree-lined Edward Vincent Jr. Park to host this wonderful celebration, on a beautiful, sunny and enjoyable weekend in southern La California. A large crowd of revelers gathered inside the park to dance and move. The crowd was estimated at around 3,500 people.

Hilarious comedian Screwroy Rice was the perfect host for the two-day festival. He was excellent as a master of ceremonies and he made the crowd laugh with his jokes, his humorous take on everyday life. His jokes were smooth, to the point and timely, which resonated with the crowd. I’m sure you’ve heard your family members, friends, or co-workers talk about her routine before. You can watch his hour-long online comedy special titled “Someone Call the Cops,” available on Amazon Prime, Tubi, and Comcast Network. The show is produced by Butterflywerks.

DJ LaLa Land and DJ Brad Rush bumped into each other throughout the first day of the festivals. They rounded out the festival with some classic old-school tunes between acts, much to the delight of the house dancers on the main stage.

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Malik Rice: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Malik Rice: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

As is: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
As is: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Malik Rice kicked off the show with several classic R&B songs. Local Los Angeles band As Is were next to entertain the crowd on the main stage. They opened their set with “Rock With You”, “Stay”, “Keep Working on It” and “Feel Like Making Love to You”.

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Councilman Alex Padilla, George Dotson and Eloy Morales Jr. greeted the crowd with welcoming remarks.

Mayor of Inglewood, James T. Butts Jr., Alex Padilla, George Dotson and Eloy Morales Jr: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Mayor of Inglewood, James T. Butts Jr., Alex Padilla, George Dotson and Eloy Morales Jr: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Herman Jackson Band were fantastic during their time in the spotlight. They opened their set with “Water Sign”, “Sun Goddess”, followed by “All I Do Is Think About You” with Lyric Roche making their West Coast festival debut. They concluded their set with “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”.

Herman Jackson Band: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Herman Jackson Band: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Vocalist/keyboardist Frank McComb has done his thing! He dedicated his set to his mentor, the late great George Duke. Their tight set featured songs “It’s So Easy To Love Someone Like You, Cupid Arrow,” followed by “Superstition” with a magical keyboard introduction of imagery from Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. set with “Do You Remember Love” Frank McComb on keyboards, was superbly assisted by David McKenzie on bass and Joe Tate on drums.

Frank McComb: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Frank McComb: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Frank McComb Trio: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Frank McComb Trio: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

L. Young got the party rolling and moving beginning with “I Want You”, “Before I Let Go”, “Oh, My Love”, followed by an original song called “Fairytales”, on a person staying/stuck in friendly zone. He continued with “Can We Talk for a Minute” and ended his set with “Love is a Verb”.

L. Young: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
L. Young: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Smooth jazz saxophonist sensation Phil Dennis delighted the crowd with material from his latest CD Urban troubadour to close the show on the opening day of the main stage.

Phil Denny: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Phil Denny: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Phil Denny: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Phil Denny: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

The VIP stage was smoky with performances by Jacques Lesure, Amina Buddafly, Larry Nash and Eric Robertson on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s performers on the VIP stage included Chevonne Shapine, Lao Tizer, Sy Smith, Jose Rizo’s Mongorama and a headliner by Chrisette Michele.

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Inglewood Jazz Festival flyer, courtesy photo

DJ Twin and DJ Brad Rush were on one and both. The main stage got off to a good start with the vocal style of Derek Bordeaux. His band opened the show with “Breezin.” They continued with Derek Bordeaux joining them on stage to sing “Women Got to Have It”, “Treat Her Like a Lady”, “Lovely Day”, “I’ll be Around” and finished with “We Are One”.

Derek Bordeaux: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Derek Bordeaux: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Saxophonist Rastine Calhoun came down and took care of business so the revelers could groove. They entertained the crowd with “Equinox”, “Peg”, “Knucklehead” and “Allure” from an upcoming CD. The grooves continued to flow on “Pass the Peas” and ended with “Hollywood Swingin”, aka “Inglewood Swingin”, very fitting for the occasion.

Rastine Calhoun: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Rastine Calhoun: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Councilman George Dotson and Dionne Faulk were on hand to offer welcoming remarks on the final day of the festival.

Erin Stevenson had partygoers buzzing with her throughout her engaging and entertaining set. She opened with “Oh, My Love”, “Take Me Away”, “You Are Everything to Me”, Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love”, followed by “I Like It” and ended with “Double Touch”.

Erin Stevenson: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Erin Stevenson: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Erin Stevenson: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Erin Stevenson: Photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Biscuit and Gravy Live, David Broussard, Kindred The Family Soul and Eric Benet were the additional artists with outstanding sets on the main stage that contributed to the success of Taste of Inglewood presents Inglewood Jazz Festival.

David Broussard: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
David Broussard: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Kindred The soul of the family: photo credit, Ricky Richardson
Kindred The soul of the family: photo credit, Ricky Richardson

Inglewood Jazz Festival flyer, courtesy photo
Inglewood Jazz Festival flyer, courtesy photo

We’ve just rounded third base as we approach the home stretch for the rest of the summer. There are many exciting outdoor events in the coming weeks for you to enjoy before you have to go back to school or return to your physical workplace if you’ve worked remotely in the past.

Ricky Richardson is a writer, music critic and photographer based in Southern California. Contact him via: [email protected]

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Willie J. Johnson