The Downtown Long Beach Associates’ (DLBA) Live After 5 will take over the landmark Breakers Building on March 10 from 5:00PM to 11:00PM with their upcoming monthly free music installment, entitled Neo Soulstice, an ode to the impact jazz has made on contemporary music and artists.
”There is a misconception that jazz is dead but it is alive and well,” stated Menchie Caliboso, co-curator for this month’s Live After 5. “It's just being manifested in so many different new and exciting sounds of today and I like to think we have the full spectrum in this lineup.”
Joining headliners Tiffany Gouche and Jungle Fire, are The Black Noise, Katalyst, Bootleg Orchestra, Eusebio Akasa and NiceGuyxVinny. Spoken word artists Shy but Flyy, The Loneliest Casanova, Jragonfly Jon, Nerd and Micah Bournes will also take the stage.
The first time a Live After 5 event has ever been guest curated, Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays Events Coordinator Tokotah Ashcraft and local music aficionado and activist Caliboso are a dynamic duo to be admired.
”Look at this spread,” said Caliboso in a statement. “Jungle Fire reflects jazz in funk and afro-beat, Tiffany Gouche in neo-soul/R&B, Black Noise in rock/R&B, and Bootleg Orchestra in soul/pop.”
Caliboso said that Katalyst, an Inglewood-based group of young jazz musicians, “is the epitome of jazz and hip hop.” The group has played with the acclaimed likes of Roy Hargrove, Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar, according to the jazz-savvy guest curator.
“The same goes for DJs NiceGuyxVinny and Eusebio Akasha, who often spin jazz-inspired hip hop and funk,” she added. “We also have a separate room for spoken word artists, a movement that parallels the foundations of jazz.”
Long Beach history is infused with jazz and blues icons, harkening back to when Jazz Safari, Vault 350 and the Arena were regularly bringing famed artists to the city, including Chuck Berry, James Brown, Buddy Guy, the Blues Brothers Band, Gladys Knight and The O’Jays.
Even Cal State Long Beach became the first four-year university nationwide to offer a B.M. in Jazz Studies in 1978 followed by an M.M. in the 90s, according to the release. Not to mention CSULB is studio home to the renowned K-Jazz radio station, formerly known as KLON, the outfit that hosted the Blues and Gospel Festival before it was dubbed the Long Beach Blues Festival.
”We wanted to bring this to Long Beach, as Long Beach continues to be a cultural hub for so many musicians and music listeners,” Caliboso stated. “Jazz in Long Beach goes as far back as Nat King Cole—maybe earlier—before he met mainstream success, and today, many of our homebred musicians continue to make a career out of jazz. We are a diverse city and we are not shy of celebrating the diverse sounds of music.”
Alongside organizing rad events for the Bixby Knolls area, Ashcraft has a wealth of experience working with record labels and music festivals, including Coachella, and is the founder of Falling Mirrors Collective, an event production company focused on bringing pioneering artists to Long Beach.
Caliboso founded the local music group Bootleg Orchestra, as well as the music and culture collective Society for Long Beach Music. She received her BM from Berklee College of Music and her MA from Cal State Long Beach.
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