The Jazzcat

UCLA LIVE presents Omar Sosa and Will Power at Royce Hall

by on Oct.29, 2005, under News


Solo reverberating echoes of bass spreads a blanket wave of

sound over the audience at Royce Hall. One by one, the musicians come on stage

and delicately blend in their instruments until they are one. Omar Sosa enters

stage left with a cranberry colored candle that he places on his piano to add

to the ambiance that he is about to musically immerse into. Will Power, the

hip-hop jazz rhyme sayer, grabs the mic and starts straight free stylin’. Now

for those of you who are not privy to the dynamics of “free styling” let me

explain. Free styling involves an artist mentally linking up with a bed of high

energy groove that is layed down, jumping in like a double-ducher and using his

environment as the vehicle for his spoken poetry. You have be mentally ten

steps ahead in order to logistically rap about the person in the front row with

the red shirt and then proceed to choose any and all subjects and subject

matter pertinent to the situation around you and do it all in whatever time

signature that the groove is in.


Will exercises the “Power” to blend hip-hop, be-bop and

Latin rhythms into an eclectic electrifying fusion of urbanized jazz music. No

matter whose gig it is, whoever controls the mic verbally is the dominating

force that drives the ship. Will feeds off of the mystic essence of the music

as he is hangs behind the band dancing freely on stage when he is not trying to

rock the crowd with his rhymes.


The message is universal love; a mixture of black, white,

red, green and all the global colors of the world coming together and making

peace not war. Will tells child hood stories that describe who he is and where

he came from, political structures, the essence of jazz, music, hip-hop,

culture and then he checks in with you to see “How you feelin’”






We are one, so let’s have fun, under the sun, on/this/earth

one race one birth. Jazz is playin’, hip-hop sayin’, chillin’ in the house

U-C-L-Ain’. People in their chairs and their movin’ their heads, forget about

the ones who say jazz is dead. Tonight I’m writin’, it’s excitin’, movin’ to

the sounds Omar’s delightin’! Cuban, “Power”, Funk in time, this is my attempt

to bust a rhyme. Is it weak, I must say yes but, these are the words that I

manifest (Sorry 🙂)


Forgive me, I got a little carried away, but urban sounds

are intoxicating. They grab you with the Captain Hook and then you are a

prisoner of the loop. Rap, spoken word, hip-hop or what ever word you use to

describe this music is intriguing and the forms of expression used can range

from brilliant to down right despicable. The words are manifested in such a way

as to have you leave with that message branded in your cortex.




image image

Chants, the sounds of children and other worldly sounds are

used to evoke the emotions of worlds far and near. As we imagine other parts of

the world, their struggles, their happiness, their wars, their hunger. We fuse

that together with our own humanity and realize that we are one people, one

life, one color, one word and we have to love and take care of our brothers and






Omar creates a fantastic wall of sound that acts as the

canvas that the colors are splashed, splattered and stroked on. The tones range

from cool to bright with rich chunky burst of Latin melodic expression coupled

with jazzy funk rap fusion.


Everyone at Royce seemed to have a great time. Let’s hope

the message is utilized!


LeRoy Downs



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