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CMJ 2015: 4 Must-See LA Acts

cmj round up 2015 la acts


Hopped a red eye from LA to NYC. The eagle lands with a parka, winter boots, vitamin D pills, guidance from Siri, and a checklist of must-see Angeleno acts to catch this year at CMJ Music Marathon.

With over 1000 acts showcasing across 75 venues throughout New York City, the festival has been connecting fans and industry professionals with the best new music via interactive media, panels, and live shows for 35 years –which is older than many people who be attending.

As standard, CMJ’s 2015 lineup proves to be another amazing array of international and US talent. Of the lot, here are our picks of LA-based artists to keep your eyes and ears out for:



It’s only been year and a half since Bryan Sammis parted ways with his band of indie-R&B bad boys, The Neighbourhood, to embark on a solo project as Olivver The Kid. Big backbeats paired with smooth and soulful vocals, his sound will have you catching all the feels.

In this short amount of time, the drummer turned singer-songwriter has been winning over fans and critics with his compelling performances, and the release of 2 amazing EPs: Freak, and the newest, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. You, too, can share a night of intimate vibes with the kid, cruise by the Malin Room (Webster Hall) at 9:30pm.

Performance: Wednesday Oct 14, 9:30pm @ The Marlin Room (Webster Hall).



You’ve heard her voice everywhere, from features with Miami Horror and Mayer Hawthorne to her latest collab with TokiMonsta. Their joint EP, You’re Invited, was released this summer and has been on regular rotation around here since.

This fall, the disco-pop darling takes off on tour with tropical house guru Goldroom, they head across Canada and the East Coast. She stops by NYC, making her CMJ debut, at the CAA showcase on Friday, October 16th. Rally to The Studio (Webster Hall) at 8pm to catch her new tunes, as well as the sassiest dance moves and best hair at the entire festival this year!

Performance: Friday Oct 16, 8pm @ Studio (Webster Hall)



Think of CMJ and you likely think bands—indie pop bands, punk bands, grunge— but what about Jazz bands? Look up the credits of many of your favorite Jazz, R&B and Hip Hop records over the last decade and you’re likely to find Kamasi Washington listed.

The composer, bandleader, and saxophonist hails from Inglewood and has earned a name for himself with his groundbreaking solo works, his newest album is a 173 minute masterpiece called The Epic that landed #1 across international charts and is already resonating as the Best Jazz Record Of The Year.

He’s also earned acclaim for recording with and playing alongside the likes of Chaka Kahn, Herbie Hancock, Mos Def, Flying Lotus, Lauryn Hill, and Kendrick Lamar. Kamasi & Co are set for 2 performances this year at CMJ, a show at BRIC House on October 15th and another at Le Poisson Rouge on October 16th.

Performances: Thursday, October 15, 10:45pm @ Bric House +  Friday October 16, 8:30pm @ Le Poisson Rouge.



A stroll through Echo Park, a drink in Silverlake—you’re likely to run into one of the fellas of Avid Dancer. These days though, the quintet of LA Eastsiders have been on the road with indie-glam newcomer BØRNS. They’re rockin’ across the good ol’ U S of A with their bright brand of West Coast psychedelia, and will pass through New York during CMJ week for an unofficial showcase on Saturday, October 17th.

Expect swoony guitars, swirly synths, steady drumbeats, and avid dancing (obviously) at The Music Hall Of Williamsburg for this show, shuffle over at 9:30pm.

Performance: Saturday Oct 17, 9:30pm @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg.


Panels and show passes are still available, and will run ya pretty penny. Badge-less or broke? Word on the street is that some of the official CMJ venues, and many of the unofficial ones, may let you in if you show up early and/or for a reasonable individual show fee.

You can catch the full list of artists performing this year at CMJ here.



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