THE ROOTS JAM SESSION
services provided = Concept + ID + MultiMedia
With all of the stuffiness surrounding award season, the Grammy-Award winning band, THE ROOTS, envisioned a night where artists could come together for no other reason but their love of music – an impromptu jam session where performers could hop up on stage without rehearsal and “jam” in front of an audience of industry and music lovers. They chose to partner with KELDOF and the result is one of the most anticipated annual experiences of the season. From creating a unique brand identity for each year & securing/managing all partnerships to customized viral marketing & advertising strategies, keldof produces the annual jam while launching a new social action agenda each year. The ROOTS JAM SESSION occurs annually the night before the grammys and brings together the best in music for an impromptu jam session with musical backing from what Rolling Stone magazine called “one of the 20 greatest live acts in the world.”
In 2005, The Roots and Keldof celebrated grammy nominations for Tipping Point by partnering with Miller Genuine Draft and Malcolm Gladwell (whose book was one of the inspirations for the album) introducing his new book, BLINK to an audience of top executives and tastemakers. The jam session consisted of performances from Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mos Def and the reemergence of Fiona Apple.
In 2006, the annual jam session was taken to the next level by bringing together the premiere of an acclaimed feature documentary concert film, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, alongside Bacardi, American Apparel, Axe Body Spray and the launch of LIVE FOR DARFUR for the ultimate “everyman” experience. The bottom level, hosted by Don Cheadle, was an educational lounge on the devastating happens in a then very unknown region of the Sudan, Darfur. The “darfur messengers” announced the start of the night by arriving in a UPS truck and provided attendants with both limited edition customized “save Darfur” apparel as well as postcards urging the government to take action - all signed by high profile attendees and collected at the end of the evening to be sent in to the government. Simultaneously, the top floor hosted a premiere party for the celebrated feature while the main floor held a jam session with Block Party’s Dave Chappelle, Eyrkah Badu, Common, Big Daddy Kane, as well as Ne-Yo, Cee-Lo, and Snoop - all documented by award-winning director Michel Ghondry. The night was the launch of a campaign creating wide spread awareness for Darfur and proving the theme of the night that “EVERYman can indeed make a difference.”
In 2007, the 4th annual Roots Jam launched a nationwide environmental campaign, FEED YOUR ROOTS, to implement composting in schools across America. The night began with a green carpet and the entire bottom floor hosted an educational lounge with 5 commissioned compost bins – each uniquely decorated by a series of renowned underground artists and signed by all top performers in attendance to be sent to the winners of the corresponding nationwide contest. Filled with information from environmental leaders NRDC, all attendees received the oscar-winning INCONVENIENT TRUTH with the advise to watch and pass on. The top floor held a style lounge with partners from Tanquarey to Rayban and Puma, while the main floor hosted a jam session which peaked at 2:30am with Anita Baker, Queen Latifah, India Aire, Fall Out Boy, Matisyahu, Dave Chappelle and The Legendary Roots Crew all on stage simultaneously - celebrating their love of music and the launch of this worthwhile campaign.
In 2008, RJS celebrated its 5th anniversary by relaunching Rock The Vote, which celebrated its 18th anniversary. As always, VIP attendees from Missy Elliot & Ryan Phillipe to Prince were entertained by a non-stop jam with collaborations from Seal with Patrick Stump, MC Lite and Doug E Fresh with American Idol finalist Black Lewis introducing Corinne Bailey Rae to a drum-off between Questlove and Travis Barker. Besides RTV's downstairs educational lounge, attendees and the fans (without inside access, lining sunset blvd) had the opportunity to access touchscreens allowing users to voice their opinions on the issues that affect them most, review an interactive timeline on the history of RTV and The Roots as well as register to vote. With the help of a billboard above sunset blvd, contests run in collaboration with radio partners Kiss FM & Star, as well as press leading up to the Jam, RTV succeeded in registering over 170,000 voters - truly allowing their Voice, Verse, Vote, and Roots...to be heard.
For the 6th annual Jam, The Legendary Roots Crew teamed up with co-host John Legend and artists from Estelle & Linkin Park to MosDef in order to celebrate the theme of Renewal – first with the launch of a nationwide logo contest, then with the relaunch of the Vibe Livestyle Network and finally, the launch of GREEN MUSIC GROUP, a large-scale, environmental coalition of musicians from Dave Matthews Band and Sheryl Crow to Maroon 5 and The Roots...all using their collective power to bring about widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe. High Profile attendees - from Slash, Common & Elizabeth Banks to The Jonas Brothers - all tweeted the night away as they signed limited edition Roots Jam Concert Posters to be auctioned off with 100% of proceeds benefiting GMG. Guests were also invited downstairs to “renew” their old clothes at a screenprinting station where they could customize their old gear with finalist logos from the nationwide contest. Lastly, the night launched a campaign encouraging fans with simple action tips to ”green” their own lives.
The 7th annual Jam celebrated The Roots’ 6 Grammy Nominations while launching OpportunityNation, a new organization focusing on the revitalization of the American Dream. With the help of co-host by Jimmy Fallon, presenting partner Hennessy Artistry, and artists including Drew Barrymore, Ne-Yo, Sara Bareilles, Will.i.am & Chaka Kahn, the unforgettable night of ground-breaking musical mash-ups launched a campaign encouraging fans to voice their dreams for the future with the usage of 2011 RootsJam theme: #Opportunity.
The Roots Jam Session, occurring annually during the week leading up to the Grammys, has become an industry staple through the years and has become one of the most anticipated experiences of award season. Having been covered in everything from The Washington Post to People Magazine, the annual Jam is interwoven with themes of social awareness, partnering with top organizations dedicated to creating global change. RJS is produced by Keldof Marketing and Tina Farris Tours; The Roots are Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray(keyboards), Kirk “Captain Kirk” Douglas (guitar) , Owen Biddle (bass), Frank Knuckles (percussion), Damon “Tuba Gooding” Bryson (sousaphone), and Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter (emcee).