James Lloyd will jazz up city




It’s going to be a weekend of outdoor music festivals in downtown Youngstown.

The 2DE Music Festival will take over East Federal Street on Friday with rising national hip-hop performer K Camp.

The fest continues Saturday with jazz great James Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream, with opening acts Gayle Nevels-Stringer, Joselyn Parker, Lindsay Renea Dance Theatre, Monica Corley and Youngstown’s Total Package Band.

For advance tickets to either event, call 330-953-3340, go to 2deepevents.com or stop at the promotion company office at 7326 Southern Blvd. in Boardman.

On Sunday, the music continues with the VexFest 10 festival (see separate stories).

Lloyd, a Canfield resident, is a pioneer of contemporary jazz and a founding member of Pieces of a Dream, which has been together for four decades and has released 20 albums.

Lloyd has written and produced songs for many artists, including Najee and Nestor Torres. He has also played on albums by Grover Washington Jr., Eddie Murphy and Phyllis Hyman, and performed with many more.

His first solo album, “Here We Go,” released in March on Shanachie Entertainment, debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard jazz chart and now stands at No. 22.

The album includes the single “Play It Forward,” which is currently at No. 19 on the Smooth Jazz Billboard chart. The song has been in the Top 10, or close to it, of the chart since early May, peaking at No. 5 in mid-June.

A video for the song on YouTube has garnered 17,000 views.

A song Lloyd wrote for Nick Colionne, titled “When You Love Somebody,” is also on the chart at No. 4.

According to global radio, his album is now at No. 22.

The video from the single he co-wrote with Youngstown native Robert “Boots” Pickard titled “Stepper’s ‘D’ Lite” has reached 113,678 views on YouTube.

Lloyd is currently working on another Pieces of a Dream album, with Walter Beasley, his musical partner in the band.

Lloyd found himself living in the Youngstown area because that’s the hometown of his wife, Teresa Barron-Lloyd, who manages his career.

He pays homage to his new city in another song on “Here We Go,” titled “Y-Town, Y-Not?”

“Over the years, many have asked me why would I move to Youngstown, Ohio,” said Lloyd. “The number one reason is Teresa, my wife. But really, what’s wrong with Y-Town? Hence the title.”

The gritty and funky song calls to mind Miles Davis.

Lloyd also tips his cap to Youngstown with the R&B groove “Within Reach,” co-written by Youngstown musician Marcellus Hayes.

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