JammJam ATL Trap Jazz

Noteworthy attendees:
Zeytoven – German pianist who worked with Future on Beast Mode mixtape
Jhonni Blaze – was on Love & Hip Hop New York, Instagram influencer, known as Twerk Queen, stripper, singer
Trouble – rapper from Atlanta
Pastor Troy –  From College Park, GA, worked with Ludacris
Daffini Evans – Hip Hop model and singer

Performed:
Cassius Jay (producer – Migos, Future, Cardi B, Young Thug)
Devon “Stixx” Taylor (drummer – Justin Bieber, Post Malone)
Chris Moten (keys/music director – Bebe Rexha, D.R.A.M.)
Justin Gilbert (keys – Justin Timberlake)
Julezthewulf (guitar – Justin Bieber)
CJ Thompson (drums – Migos, Chris Brown)
Omar Phillips (percussion – Outkast)
Jordan Hemby (drums – Jidenna), and many more.

The improv set featured:
Elmo Lovano (drums – Founder of Jammcard)
Zac Brunson (keys – Justin Bieber)
Neil Garrard (guitarist – Future)
Tasha DeNae (vocals – Tyler Perry)
Mike Burton (saxophone – Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott)
Troy (bass – Musiq Soulchild)
Amber Bullock (Winner of BET Sunday Best)
Jerome Flood III (Drum Off Champion)
and dozens more!

Not only did Zaytoven show up (he’s known as the “Trap God” or the “God of Atlanta music”) but so did the band members from Migos, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Bebe Rexha, and many more.

photo courtesy: Big Hassle

Atlanta, Georgia (June 26, 2018) – Atlanta’s first JammJam, a musical collaboration effort that started in Los Angeles, is an exciting and unique experience to witness firsthand. This event is truly unlike any other concert or music event I’ve ever been to – because it isn’t a typical concert at all, and is instead more of a group effort to make music together. Artists such as Elmo Lovano, drummer and known for starting JammJam, Zac Brunson, who is keyboardist for Justin Bieber, and Devon “Stixx” Taylor, drummer for Justin Bieber and Post Malone, among many others, performed in a warehouse setup where the crowd gathered around in a circle, rather than in front of a stage tonight. Many people in attendance also brought instruments to jump in whenever they felt the beat.

photo courtesy: Big Hassle

This warehouse was situated in an Atlanta, GA borough on the south side but still inside the perimeter, inside of a park. The exact location and lineup was kept a secret leading up to the event and the show is invitation only. Upon walking in, I noticed first that there were children’s toys and old TV sets situated around the room as well as a broken-down BMX skating rink set up in the background. The only seating was a mishmash of thrift store furniture, seemingly reserved for the family of the main acts. This, combined with the graffiti and overall haziness of the room created a very unique energy that matched that of the musicians performing. There was no air conditioning, but it didn’t seem to temper the collaborative spirit of the room.

JammJam is best described as a massive meet-up of musical talent across genres. It is hosted by the private music Social Media app Jammcard, which boasts memberships of numerous Top 40 artists across genres. The genre played at this session was primarily rap and trap music. I also talked to someone in a Southern rock group and an up-and-coming young rapper who was there for inspiration, or as he put it, “to take it all in and learn as much as possible”. Both told me that the only way to get invited was to know someone or to strategically reach out on social media. This event was wall-to-wall people, ranging from famous Atlanta strippers like Jhonni Blaze who was also on Love & Hip-Hop: New York to College Park’s Pastor Troy, and Zeytoven, who worked with Future on Beast Mode. The entire event was broadcast by Jammcard online, which further broadened its reach.

photo courtesy: Big Hassle

The music itself played continuously from the time we got there until the time that we left. Given the structure of the event, it was challenging to take in everything all at once. There were two keyboards, multiple amps, microphones, and two sets of drums set up in the circle and everyone gathered as close as they could. Looking around the room, everyone was vibing along to their own beat, smoking, drinking the free punch, and, most importantly, smiling. I also noticed that when the power flickered briefly, the people in the crowd immediately got their phones out to illuminate the musicians and support the effort. I noticed that only a handful of people had their phones out for social media – everyone was completely in the moment, laughing or headbanging with their eyes closed and taking it all in.

The musicians themselves were members of noteworthy bands or performers such as Justin Bieber or Future. Cassius Jay, a producer who has worked with Cardi B and Future, among others, worked on the sound and Devon “Stixx” Taylor, drummer for Post Malone and Justin Bieber played one of the drum sets. Justin Gilbert played the keyboard and has toured with Justin Timberlake. These are just a handful of the many talented musicians that participated in this jam session.

photo courtesy: Big Hassle

This event is an incredible glimpse into what JammJam could do for the music scene here in Atlanta, especially given Atlanta’s standing in the rap and hip-hop landscape. Atlanta has birthed groups such as OutKast and Big Boi and I truly believe the power in this event is in its ability to help artists connect with the right people to see their names in lights. Networking and collaboration are powerful tools for professional musicians and there are undoubtedly many profoundly talented individuals across this city just waiting to find their way.

Cassius Jay (producer – Migos, Future, Cardi B, Young Thug):
    

Devon “Stixx” Taylor (drummer – Justin Bieber, Post Malone):
    

Justin Gilbert (keys – Justin Timberlake):
     

 

Author: Lauren Noble

Photojournalist— Portfolio

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