USU hosts Soulful Saturdays jazz night

Christina Bennett

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Student performers crooned to jazz tunes, Saturday at the Pub Sports Grill, in a mini concert offered free of charge for CSUN students.

The University Student Union held Soulful Saturdays on Nov. 3, offering live entertainment and free food for attendees.

Host Jonnae Thompson kept the energy level up with jokes and song improvisations, and introduced the two performers Leatrice Innocent and Elisha Myers.

The singers performed various cover songs in a jazzed up style to a crowd immersed in an intimate and dimly lit setting inside the pub.

Ishmael Bracy, 22 said he came to the event because of his love for jazz.

“I think what draws me to jazz is the complexity of it and just how intricate it is…jazz allows the musician to explore himself…It’s just really fun to listen to,” Bracy said.

Leatrice Innocent, 22, a veteran of Soulful Saturdays, was the first artist to take the stage and sang songs by artists including Rihanna, Seal and Sara Bareilles.

Innocent said she has sung for as long as she can remember and was involved in the church choir growing up as well as practicing throughout middle school and high school.

Now she is studying music education at CSUN, pursuing her passion to instruct younger vocalists.

Audience members applauded Innocent’s interpretation of the various genres she performed but she said she does not have a preferred style of music.

“I really like all genres and I’m open to different styles…Not all my songs [tonight] were jazz-themed…I kind of chose an eclectic set because I like all genres, and I like singing all genres of music too,” Innocent said.

In the intermission, students were invited to eat a meal provided by the event.

Among the options for food were salad, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and fried chicken. Students commented that the free meal was a welcome addition to the event, but expressed their desire to have more vegetarian options available for future events.

The second performer, Elisha Myers, came on stage with three back-up singers and  sang a set of artist covers by John Mayer, John Legend and Michael Jackson.

Myers is a member of a Christian group on campus and spoke to the audience about how his faith intertwined with his performance that night due to the loss of family members in the past week.

Myers emotionality shone through his performance and the audience noticed.

Diontay Odom, 22 said both performers were phenomenal and his two highlights were Myers’ cover of John Legend song and Innocent’s performance of a song from a musical.