ARROYO SECO WEEKEND
When: Noon to 11 p.m. June 24 and noon to 10 p.m. June 25
Where: Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
Information: 855-273-4481, www.arroyo secoweekend.com
Music festivals can be a great way to discover new bands and a great way for lesser-known independent bands to gain fans. With a pace designed for attendees to see more of the music, five artists are worth a big look and listen at Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena June 24 and 25.
“There’s something about a band that opens,” said Nikhil Korula, leader of the Nikhil Korula Band, which plays the inaugural festival Sunday afternoon. “There’s an energy with that which is new, and you’re really trying to prove yourself, and I feel that every time I perform in general, but I really feel it more when I have to convince an audience and that’s my favorite audience because I know how tight the band is and I believe in it so much.”
“Having this festival right in my backyard right where I grew up, I’m just really excited to share all the adventures that we’ve experienced in music with my hometown crowd and my hometown neighborhood,” Korula said.
NKB is a world-influenced jam rock band that stretches into the genres of jazz, reggae, funk and blues with a good helping of African soukuos and other elements thrown in.
“This band is really high energy dance music with a lot of jazz influence, so they’re going to see a show like we’ve never played in Los Angeles,” Korula said. “We’re having special guests and a lineup that nobody’s ever going to see coming, especially the people who have seen us for so many years. It’s going to be an exciting new show for all of us and we’re pumped about it.”
The Nikhil Korula Band will perform on the Willow Stage at 1:50 p.m. Sunday. For a preview of their music, tune in to the Frosty, Heidi and Frank Show on KLOS (95.5 FM) 9 a.m. Friday.
The must-see indie 5
1 Avery Sunshine: R&B and soul artist from Chester, Pennsylvania. Having no qualms about singing the truth has paid off for her in the form of a love affair with the press and music critics alike. In April, she released “Twenty Sixty Four” (BigShine Records). 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Willow Stage.
2 Broken Social Scene: Experimental rock/noise pop band from Toronto, Canada. This group is also a musical collective, as it boasts 6 to 19 members at any given time and its sound is blended from each of the player’s other projects. BSS is the subject of Stuart Berman’s 2009 book, “This Book Is Broken,” and Bruce McDonald’s 2010 documentary, “This Movie Is Broken.” The band’s fifth album, “Hug of Thunder” (Arts & Crafts) will be released July 7. 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Sycamore Stage.
3 Lettuce: Funk band from New York. This group has been paying its dues for two decades, and only in the past few years have they finally been given the opportunity to perform on bigger stages, resulting in a rapidly growing fan base. “Crush” (Lettuce Records), released November 2015, is their fourth studio album. 6:40 p.m. Sunday, Willow Stage.
4 Madison McFerrin: R&B, soul and future soul artist from San Francisco. She was the co-founder of the band Cosmodrome and a member of SpiritYouAll. She released her first EP and the first installment of her a cappella series, “Finding Foundations,” in December 2016. This will be her first festival performance as a solo artist. 1 p.m. Sunday, Sycamore Stage.
5 Nikhil Korula Band: Jazz/rock/world music jam band from Los Angeles. They have been gigging consistently since they formed in 2002 and have played everywhere from tiny clubs to big festivals delighting both critics and fans. They still do their own booking and management. Their most recent effort is 2014’s “A Decade in the Sun” (Groove Infinity Records). 1:50 p.m. Sunday, Willow Stage.