Elijah Rock’d the Jazz Night in Hollywood

Dear Los Angeles,

It never fails to amaze me how we can walk the streets of any city in the universe and have no idea who walks among us.  Tuesday night I had the pleasure of uncovering another of Los Angeles’ prizes amid its trove of treasures. Every Tuesday my mother and I attend KJAZZ’s Hollywood and Highland Summer Concert Series and this Tuesday we also brought my father and my cousin. We’d been hearing that, although the show doesn’t actually start until seven o’clock, people get there as early as five in order to save seats and get their glasses of wine and cheese plates provided by Project Angel Food for only $10.

So we chose to jump in our car and head down early to Hollywood and Highland thinking we may get in some shopping before the show.  As we parked and found our way toward the stage KJAZZ sets up in the middle of the shops we, along with many other fans, abandoned our idea of shopping and were drawn instead to watch the Sound Check that was happening almost two hours before the actual show would begin.

The first thing I noticed was the music this group was practicing wasn’t entirely jazz, wasn’t entirely swing, wasn’t entirely funk and wasn’t entirely R&B, rather it was a mixture of everything and the sound was enough to cause your ears to perk up in the contentment of being treated to something delectable.  As you know, I love music that is a mixture of everything, hence my love affair with Lydia Caesar and Kel Spencer and J-Harris, so I was immediately in my own private slice of Heaven.

The second thing I noticed was that the group, which I later found out was called The Downtown Project, was an array of talent.  My eyes could barely take in the scene before me as I scoped out  Paul E. Allen and DJ Jonny Boy along with the other members of their band with Elijah Rock squarely in the middle, at the mic on a square of stage that he would be able to tap on.

Yes, for the second time in my life I enjoyed  watching the lead singer not only sing but tap while he sang.

In fact, he did this incredible thing where he would tap out a rhythm and his drummer would reply by beating out the rhythms on his Congas in reply. They did this back and forth until the drummer finally relented that he couldn’t keep up with Elijah’s tapping. This man is a musical genius and talented in more ways than I can even begin to imagine and the show was only beginning.

I’m way ahead of myself so back to things I noticed.

The third thing I noticed.

Even at Sound Check Elijah Rock looked amazing and it was easy to tell he was stylish and would be easy on the eyes when it came time for him to get into his performance clothes.  During sound check Elijah led the group through getting all their keys right and the sound for each of the mics and the instruments and… Okay…you know I have no idea what I’m talking about and have no ear for music but I know enough to know that I was immediately entranced and it was only sound check. Back to that third thing and Elijah Rock. We never left our seats after sound check and when The Downtown Project came out led by Elijah Rock singing his rendition of Minnie the Moocher we immediately got to our feet and began groovin’ to the music these performers were providing for us.

The Downtown Project is truly a unique mix of talent and energy and for both sets we were singing and dancing along and Elijah Rock in his  three-piece suit and matching hat led the audience through an array of sounds as well as tapped, danced and gave reverence to his amazing horn section, his drummer and his keyboardist. It was an experience you definitely do not want to miss so I suggest you check this talented group out, find out where they’re playing next and make sure you’re there in time for Sound Check!

Love Always,

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