Artists Jazmine Sullivan, MAJOR. and many more to rock Radio FREE 102.3 KJLH music stage


LAWT News Report 


The 11th annual Taste of Soul (TOS) is officially two days away and the lineups for the stages are well underway.


Since 2008, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, which is sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings this year, has been a media partner with the Taste of Soul Festival providing some of Hollywood’s hottest talent.


Danny Bakewell Sr., creator and founder of Taste of Soul and chairman of Bakewell Media, believes it’s empowering to have a great partnership with the station. “We are very excited about the artists performing at this year’s Taste of Soul. KJLH’s history is just like the Sentinel’s history—it’s one about serving the community and always making African Americans the priority. So, we are excited to have KJLH as a part of Bakewell Media’s eleventh annual Taste of Soul,” he said.


Stevie Wonder, legendary musician and owner of KJLH, has participated in the Taste of Soul for several years now. Who knows, you may see him pop up at the KJLH music stage during the artist’s performances.


This year, the radio station is celebrating TOS’s eleventh anniversary by bringing back some local talent and artists such as MAJOR., Guordan Banks, Mike Phillips, and Jazmine Sullivan.




Major Johnson Finley aka Major. made his debut this year but he’s been working behind the scenes with music credits in box office hit movies such as “Think Like a Man 2.” On May 6, Major. released two singles: “Keep On” featuring Kevin McCall and “Why I Love You.” Both songs can be found on iTunes. Producer and friend Harmony Samuels compares Major.’s sound to the great Frank Sinatra. Major. has a distinct voice that fuses the charm of yesteryear with the high power impact of today. His live show is incredible as he has the infectious ability to bring us all to the table for one epic exchange of greatness. On July 22, Major. release his album “I Am MAJOR.”


Guordan Banks


Philadelphia native Guordan Banks is a songwriter and contemporary R&B singer with a smooth, mildly raspy delivery. His mood-diverse debut EP/mixtape “A Song for Everyone” appeared in 2014 and offered featured performances by Ayo and rappers Meek Mill, Omelly, and Wale. It was released on Mill's Dream Chasers Records. Guordan’s music is steeped in conversation, rich with textured melodies and velvety harmonies. His subjects range from the big moments to the small ones—the need for world unity and healing, the ins and outs of romance lost and found, the intricacies of incarceration.


Mike Phillips


Mike Phillips hails from Mount Vernon, NY. He became interested in music at a young age eventually settling on the saxophone. By the age of 16, he decided to play professionally. Phillips and his soulful yet funky grooves have wowed fans across the globe and earned standing ovations from audiences at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and the inaugural balls for President’s Clinton and Obama. His television credits include performances on the Grammys, BET Awards, BET Honors and the Soul Train Awards. Phillips also served as musical director and host of the popular BET program “Lyric Café”.


Jazmine Sullivan


Contemporary R&B sing Jazmine Sullivan spent several years learning the ropes of the recording industry before signing to J Records and making her solo recording debut in 2008 with the number one R&B single "Need U Bad." The Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter began her career at a young age, making her national television debut on Showtime at the Apollo at age 11 and signing to Jive Records at age 15. Her stint at Jive lasted only a couple years, however, and she was dropped by the label before any recordings were released. Afterwards, she began working behind the scenes with artists like Missy Elliott on productions for Fantasia’s debut album, “Free Yourself” (2004), and writing a couple songs for Christina Milian's third album, “So Amazin’” (2006), including the hit single “Say I.” Sullivan was then offered a solo recording contract with J, which released her debut single, “Need U Bad,” featuring and co-produced by Missy Elliott, in 2008. “Fearless”, her debut album, featuring productions by Salaam Remi and Stargate, among others, was issued that September. It topped the R&B chart and crossed over to reach number six on the Billboard 200, aided by “Bust Your Windows” and “Lions, Tigers & Bears” — both of which went to the Top Ten of the R&B chart. Sullivan followed it up with November 2010’s “Love Me Back”, which was previewed with the July single “Holding You Down (Goin’ in Circles).” After her success and an impressive total of 11 Grammy nominations, Sullivan took a break. She returned in 2014 with “Dumb” (featuring Meek Mill), “Forever Don’t Last,” and “Mascara” were released as the first singles from her third album, “Reality Show”.


Download the Taste of Soul app, for the latest TOS alerts including food, vendors, stages, parking and much more!







94.7 the WAVE music stage returns to Taste of Soul 

LAWT News Report 


Let the Taste of Soul Family Festival countdown begin! TOS is two days away from the eleventh anniversary. TOS goers get to experience another year filled with infinite food choices, celebrity sightings and endless sounds of music.


Danny Bakewell Sr., creator and founder of Taste of Soul and chairman of Bakewell Media, is grateful for the partnership he has with the station. “Over the years 94.7 The Wave has continued to play a major role in the success of the Taste of Soul festival. My good friend Pat Prescott is one of our community’s icons,” he said. “Pat and the WAVE are a demonstration of what community partnerships and community empowerment is all about. We look forward to continuing this partnership through this year and into the future.”


94.7 The WAVE, whose music stage is sponsored by Budweiser this year, has been a media partner and radio sponsor with the Taste of Soul Festival since 2008. Providing some of music’s most legendary acts, now they are back to bring us some more!


This year, the radio station is taking music lovers back to some of the greatest hits from artists including Chosen Recovery Gospel Group, On Tour, Tom Browne, Troop and War.


Tom Browne


R&B artist Tom Browne was on the charts from 1979-1989 when he was recording pop-oriented material for GRP and Arista.  His major hits in 1980 and 1981: the No. 1 US Billboard R&B single “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)” and the No. 4 US R&B single, “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move)”. Later in 1982 he released a minor hit called, “Fungi Mama (bebopafunkadiscolypso)” which was also recorded on the Arista record label. It reached number 58 in the UK chart. Browne studied piano for a year when he was 11 and then switched to trumpet, attending New York City’s High School of Music and Art. Originally interested in classical music, Browne discovered jazz while in college in the mid-’70s. He worked with Sonny Fortune, recorded with Lonnie Smith, and then signed with GRP. Although influenced by Freddie Hubbard and occasionally recording a hard bop number, most of Browne's output during that era was clearly geared toward the marketplace. A commercial pilot, Browne largely dropped out of music by the late ’80s, but came back in 1994 with a recording for Hip Bop in several settings that included the credible jazz date “Another Shade of Browne.”


Chosen Recovery Gospel Group


The Chosen Recovery Gospel Group is a local trio composed of Bryant A.M.E. members Reverends Darlene Watley, Carolyn Cookie-Brown and Tony Jones. Some of their popular songs include “Holy,” “Emmanuel,” “Roller Coaster,” “What’s On Your Mind” and “Heaven.” The trio music is about delivering a message of salvation and engaging the crowd. The gospel group has performed at past Taste of Soul festivals giving the everyone hope in the Lord.





Troop began as a teen group that won $1000 on “Puttin’ on the Hits”, a nationally televised contest, by dancing and lip-synching to New Edition’s “Cool It Now.” The Pasadena, California quintet — Rodney Benford, John Harreld, Allen McNeil, Steve Russell, and Reggie Warren — were then signed to Atlantic, and their 1988 debut single, the LeVert-produced “Mamacita,” taken from their self-titled album, reached number two on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart. Their second album, 1989’s “Attitude”, featured two number one Hot Soul singles — including the Chuckii Booker collaboration “Spread My Wings” — and earned an RIAA gold certification. “Deepa”, released in 1992, was a creative step forward and contained yet another Hot Soul chart topper in “Sweet November,” a Deele cover, but the group subsequently went independent with two more full-lengths released later in the decade. Troop went inactive for several years but occasionally recorded and toured. In 2013, they released a single titled “Forever”.





One of the most popular funk groups of the ’70s, War was an eclectic group, freely melding soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock influences into their music. Although War's lyrics were sometimes political in nature (in keeping with their racially integrated lineup), their music almost always had a sunny, laid-back vibe emblematic of their Southern California roots. Even if the jams sometimes got indulgent, they demonstrated War's truly group-minded approach: no one soloist or vocalist really stood above the others (even though all were clearly talented), and their grooving interplay placed War in the top echelon of funk ensembles. They’re known for their hit songs “Spill the Wine”, “The World Is a Ghetto”, “The Cisco Kid”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, “Low Rider”, and “Summer”.


Don’t miss out on the fun, download the Taste of Soul app to get the latest TOS alerts delivered straight to your mobile device. See you there!





Category: Cover Stories