Victoria Powers

LOS ANGELES (February 11, 2008) – This year’s 5th annual ROOTS JAM SESSION proved to be the best escape from traditional industry parties. The 4-hour jam packed out Sunset Boulevard’s famous Key Club with the backbone of the industry – managers, publicists, agents, celebrities and the evening’s centerpiece, the Grammy Award winning band, THE ROOTS. The annual experience, occurring each year the night before the Grammys, teamed up with ROCK THE VOTE as they celebrated their 18th anniversary and an individual’s right to choose – all with a theme displayed large on a Sunset Blvd billboard hanging above the venue: Let ur VERSE be heard…Let ur VOICE be heard…Let your VOTE be heard….Let ur ROOTS be heard.

Since January, young people have flooded the polls, proving they are the driving force behind the 2008 presidential election and this night was evidence. Many spent the evening in debate over the present political scene, while all spent the evening indulging in their passion for music as opposed to competing for celebrity. The Jam Session was highlighted with a knockout drum off between ?uestlove and Travis Barker (pictured top left), The Roots and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump’s version of “Walking on the Moon”, and impromptu performances from Seal (pictured bottom left), Corrine Bailey Rae (pictured middle left), Raheem DeVaughn, Eric Balfour’s Born as Ghosts, as well as a Doug E. Fresh and American Idol’s Blake Lewis’ beatbox session underneath MC Lyte.

High-profile attendants including his Highness Prince, Missy Elliot, Raven-Symoné, Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Bilal, Jurnee Smollett, Nia Long, Solange Knowles, Ryan Phillipe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Goapele, Sanaa Lathan, Brian Michael Cox, Chelsea Handler, and Will.I.Am, among many others, were all seen partying the night away until 4am.

Besides the amazing pairings of musical genius which this night has become known for, this year’s social action cause and presenting partner, Rock The Vote, integrated into the night with touchscreens displayed throughout the venue. The touchscreens not only allowed attendants to register to vote, but also voice their opinions on the issues most important to them (environment was number one, followed closely by the economy and then education), as well as celebrate the history of both Rock the Vote and the Roots through an interactive timeline. The entire night was once again produced by Tina Farris of Goodtime Girl Entertainment and Kevin Seldon of Keldof. Title partners also included Ciroc Vodka, Zazzle and Wrigley's Doublemint.


THE ROOTS are: Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (drums), Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter (emcee), Kamal Gray (keyboards), Kirk “Captain Kirk” Douglas (guitar) , Owen Biddle (bass), Frank Knuckles (percussion) and introducing on sousaphone – Damon “Tuba Gooding” Bryson.


For 18 years, Rock the Vote has fused celebrity and politics in an effort to inspire, engage and mobilize a generation to action. Rock the Vote gives young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives and leverage their power in the political process. Rock the Vote is creative, effective, and controlled by nobody’s agenda but their own – they tell it like it is and pride themselves on being a trusted source for information on politics.

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