A Celebration of 25 Years: A Review of the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA
In commemoration of its 25th year, the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA releases a documentary that looks back through its history with festival footage and exclusive interviews with past producers. From its humble beginnings to its acclaimed present, the JazzReggae Festival has been entertaining Southern California since 1986 with performances by Erykah Badu, The Roots, and Damien Marley. From interviews with the festival’s founder Ron Richards to a fish-eyed view of the Roots performance in 2008, the documentary explores the JazzReggae Festival’s history, tradition, and importance as a cultural institution in Los Angeles. For further information, please visit jazzreggaefest.com!
25th JazzReggae Festival UCLA May 29-30
The JazzReggae Festival at UCLA kicks off the summer for the entire Los Angeles community. Held every Memorial Day Weekend, this year’s festival marks the 25th anniversary of this historic celebration of music, culture, and community. The JazzReggae Festival is the largest, entirely student produced and run event of its kind on the West Coast. A staff of 30 UCLA undergraduates consistantly proves that today’s youth can create something as distinguished and professional as JazzReggae Fest.
The JazzReggae Festival began as a single-day Jazz Festival, but the popularity and notoriety of the show, along with the drive and passion from the student producers, enabled the concert to become a two-day Jazz and Reggae festival. Both days allow everyone in attendance to explore the rich musical lineage of these musical styles. In addition to music, the JazzReggae Festival incorporates many cultures by showcasing a variety of food and craft vendors from multifarious backgrounds and communities. With such a diverse selection of cultural food and goods, the JazzReggae Festival allows visitors to gain a new experience that they would normally never have.
As an active part of the Los Angeles community, the JazzReggae Festival works tirelessly to preserve our world and keep our community thriving. We do this in part through our multifaceted sustainability program. As one of the first festivals in the world to feature sustainability and environmental protection as a basis for all of our decisions, 2011 promises to be our greenest festival to date. In previous years, our sustainability team has worked to eliminate single-use water bottles by selling affordable aluminum JazzReggae water bottles and setting up a free water-refilling station. By setting up recycling and compost bins with every trashcan, the festival works to eliminate waste and promote recycling and multi-use utensils and packaging. Also, through the use of solar and natural gas to power our stage and vendors, the JazzReggae Festival continually limits our eco-footprint on our community.
The 2010 festival marked the first year of interactive, visual art on the grounds. The sustainability tent, set up to educate visitors on how to improve their lives and our world through sustainable acts and choices, featured sustainable UCLA student art. Across the field, four live artists, including Mear One, painted giant pallets while festival goers watched.
In short, we believe in creating a music festival that will help to build a better future. We would like to think of this as our contribution as students to the community at large. In the past, we have worked with other non-profit groups such as the UCLA Music Outreach Program, which sends UCLA Music Students to underserved public schools in Los Angeles who have lost their music programs. These students volunteer at schools in order to teach music to a generation of students who have been robbed of this educational and extracurricular opportunity. In order to help revive these programs, the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA contributes the continuation of the Music Outreach Program.
As unpaid, but extremely passionate students we understand these times are tough. By keeping ticket prices low, while providing professional quality work and maintaining core values of equality, education and passion for music, we provide people a chance to experience an event that is often a cherished life long memory. Such an idealistic desire is hard to maintain in today’s world, especially during these rocky times, but we believe that this type of endeavor will bring about a brighter future.