Java With Javelyn At The Unurban CafeEntertainment — By Bernard Samms on December 14, 2012 at 9:45 am
By Bernard Samms
Indie Music, largely ignored by major labels, was on display October 20th, 2012 at the Unurban Cafe in Santa Monica. Hosted by mega-talented singer/songwriter Javelyn, the evening represented a spicy mix of some very talented artists, musicians and a dancer as well.
Opening the show was Bobby Waters, a talented singer and guitarist, whose mellow playing and singing started out the night on a great note. Waters’ songs were thoughtful and inspiring. Taking the stage next was dancer Vincent “Master Jam” Cash, who danced to Michael Jackson’s perenial tune, “Working Day And Night.” Cash entertained the audience with deft dance moves that electrified the audience. He was a joy to watch.
Smirnoff, from Israel, next took the stage and his vocals were strong. He was joined by a percussionist, whose name, unfortunately we don’t have at press time. But his act was crisp and enjoyable. Gracing the stage next was Grace London. London’s set was magic. Her folk stylings were reminiscent of a mix between Joan Baez and Joan Armatrading. She sang, played the guitar and played a drum with her foot- all at the same time. She was brilliant.
Next, Imaginary Friends took the stage. They were the most polished act of the night. With several CD’s under their belt, this was a seasoned ensemble with perfect vocal harmonies. Fronted by singer and percussionist Stacy Robin, who played congas, another vocalist and two guitarists, one that played violin, this was a sensational band. With pleasing vocals and wonderful harmonies, this was a terrific group. Their best song was “On The Way To Nowhere,” which was simply beautiful. Look for wonderful things to come from this amazing ensemble.
But the prize for the most energetic and innovative set on stage this night was Javelyn’s. Throughout the night, the stunning host gifted prizes that were awarded by raffle. However, her vocals and performance was the real prize of the night. Joined by bassist Buddy Sampson, who is also known as the Publisher of The Scoop LA, and later by rapper hip hop artist Tony B. Conscious, Javelyn’s songs were very strong and innovative. She deftly commanded the stage, with funny banter in between songs. Her keyboard playing seemed effortless and she showed a strong command of the instrument on a song called “Baby.”
The prettiest song on her set, a song called “Fly With Me,” was a ballad that had the audience transfixed. She donned the ukelele later in her set and had the audience laughing when she debuted the ukelele with a wah wah pedal. But the best song of her set was a song called “Superstar,” the most innovative song of the set. Javelyn recruited a percussionist from the audience. The percussionist turned out to be Stacy Robin, the lead singer and percussionist from Imaginary Friends. She kept a solid groove.
Rapper Tony B. Conscious displayed his reputation of being one of the best beat poets in the city with an improvisation rap that went from talking about his birth sign to rapping about Trader Joes, located across the street from the Unurban. He had the audience in the palm of his hand. Javelyn sang with power and she did a rap of her own. She introduced bassist Sampson to the audience and he followed with a solo that received an enthusiatic response from the audience. She closed her set with a reggae song of hers, “Crazy Kava,” which had the audience singing the lyric. Her set was fantastic. Closing the show was Will Robbins, who had a folksy but accessible set.
Javelyn will be performing at the Unurban Cafe, 3301 Pico in Santa Monica, Saturday December 15, 2012. The show starts at 8PM. Visit her website at www.javawithjavelyn.com.