By Kevin C. Johnson
POST-DISPATCH POP MUSIC CRITIC
Taste of St. Louis isn’t the only big outdoor event downtown stuffed with music this weekend. ShowMe Sunsplash sets up shop at Kiener Plaza on Friday and Saturday with a huge mix of varied ethnic music. And organizers say they’re not letting the bigger Taste take a bite out of what they’re doing.
The two weekend events actually bump heads on Saturday, sharing the date and nearby locales. ShowMe Sunsplash will, at least, have Friday to itself.
“We’re not too worried about (Taste of St. Louis),” says one of the event’s organizers, Marla Galloway of the Miles Davis Arts Festival. Other presenters are AC Faces and the Langston Hughes World Poetry Festival.
“There’s a real distinction with the music,” Galloway says. “And we have Kiener Plaza. That’s a beautiful place with built-in seating, so we think people will gravitate toward us for that mere fact. We feel we’re better suited for people to be comfortable.”
But it’s more than the built-in steps that’ll get people down to the ShowMe Sunsplash.
Reggae, African and Caribbean music will be the focus at ShowMe Sunsplash, but Latin, jazz, R&B, neo-soul, hip-hop, house and reggaeton – a hybrid of Latin rhythms, reggae and hip-hop – all will make appearances. Babajide Kolawole, founder of AC Faces (African and Caribbean Faces), says St. Louis is open to such a mix of music.
“I think we have the clientele for an event like this,” says Kolawole, who’ll be spinning African and Caribbean tunes on Saturday. “People love this culture. They just don’t get to hear about it because the word’s not out there. And there’s lots of Caribbeans and Africans out there. Our attendance has been growing as we broaden our horizons, so blacks, Africans, Caribbeans and whites can come together and celebrate culture.”
He promises the event will offer “something you’re not used to hearing.”
Galloway says, “You’ll get a full range of music from around the globe, but you’ll also get music from around the States.”
While Saturday’s lineup will be more exotic, Friday’s is more rooted in American-based sounds, with DJ Applejac from Atlanta and St. Louis’ own great, under-recognized DJ Enoch. Singers Tanka and DeAndrae Perryman, seen on last season’s “American Idol,” also will perform.
“We want to make this event something that consistently showcases different genres of music and stretch it out over a couple of days,” Galloway says. “This weekend is the launch pad to more things we’re going to do next year.”
The event will also feature a Taste of Caribbean Marketplace with food, drink and vendors.
ShowMe Sunsplash Lineup
- 5 p.m.: DJ Enoch
- 5:30 p.m.: B. Train Music Co.
- 6:30 p.m.: DJ Applejac
- 7 p.m.: DeAndrae Perryman
- 7:30 p.m.: Tanka with Level Ground
- 8 p.m.: Isis Jones with Level Ground
- 8:30 p.m.: One Sound with Level Ground
- 9 p.m.: Spoken-word artists Chill and Teke
- 9:30 p.m.: DJ Enoch
- Noon: Non Stop Reggae
- 1:30 p.m.: Murder City Players
- 2:30 p.m.: Creole Boys
- 4 p.m.: Yard Squad
- 5:30 p.m.: Jah Roots
- 6 p.m.: West African dance
- 6:30 p.m.: Bunny Jackson
- 7:30 p.m.: Capoeira Brasil
- 8:30 p.m.: Junior U-Roy
- 9:30 p.m.: Indika