Spotlight: Cross Culture and Jules & The Jinks at Joe’s Pub

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On Friday, June 26th, the famous Joe’s Pub in NYC hosted two very talented, upcoming bands: Cross Culture, and Jules & The Jinks. You might recall my previous Spotlight features on Jules & The Jinks, but Cross Culture was new to me, and new to EST. 1997! It was an energetic and eclectic night thanks to both unique bands.

Jules & The Jinks opened the show with a set of several of their original cuts, penned by lead vocalist Julissa Lopez and guitarist Erik Rosenberg. The rest of the band is comprised of Ilan Harel on drums, Jeff Richardi on saxophone, and Jason C. Smith on bass. They come together for an unmistakably funky sound, highlighting Julissa’s gritty, soulful vocal stylings. By far, this set was the band’s best yet – Jules never sounded fiercer, and the band never tighter. Perhaps the prestigious venue pulled an extra special performance out of the group. The lead rapper of Cross Culture, Saidu, even joined Jules & The Jinks for a special collaborative performance before his own band took the stage.

Cross Culture is a one-of-a-kind melding of cultures and musical styles; it’s comprised of hip-hop emcee Saidu Ezike who provides thought-provoking lyrical flows with Ruby Gorcey-Biblowitz and Kara Stone,  vocal powerhouses, singing on top of a band featuring Scott Sugarman on guitar, Enrique Mancía on bass, Mina Yu on keys, and Ben Charnley on drums. Together, they have the dynamic of, say, The Fugees, but replace Wyclef and Lauryn Hill for Jay-Z and Beyoncé and have them performing alongside The Roots; perhaps on MTV Unplugged. They performed a set of originals as well, featuring lots of dancing (by Becca Fox) and a ton of energy. It was an interactive set indeed; Saidu took the audience on more than one occasion, even sitting at my table to perform one of his raps.

While it was definitely a treat to see these two bands together on the same night, they are most certainly worth seeing individually. In fact, Jules & The Jinks will be performing again at Rockwood Music Hall on July 25th, with another show a few weeks later at Pianos, on August 8th. Check out both artists’ websites and Facebook pages for videos and to stay up to date on upcoming shows and releases. Also be sure to watch videos from the show below!

Jules & The Jinks

Cross Culture

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