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John Tyler is a 21-year-old artist, guitarist and multi-genre producer from Baltimore. He is also the founder of Love Groove Music Festival. “Love Groove as it’s affectionately called by its founder and many of its artists and patrons is more than a festival, it’s a Movement, it’s a family,” says Ashley Yates, whose stage name is “Black Assets.” Yates is a part of the virtual line-up alongside seven other young Baltimore-based and centric artists in Love Groove’s All Women’s Artist Showcase on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 8 p.m.
In 2017, when John Tyler was merely a high-school junior, he founded Love Groove Festival to quell a frustration that there were so many young and talented artists in Baltimore but had no platform to showcase their talent on a significant level.
Tyler also noticed the music scene was segregated by genre. John himself is a talented musician whose love for music started with live music from artists like Erykah Badu; Fela Kuti; HER; Wes Montgomery; and many others. “Having great music is one thing but having a great live performance is another,” Tyler said. Because of his burning passion for music being lit by such a plethora of genres, Tyler wanted to find a way to fuse rap, jazz, rock, and soul in a real way for Baltimore artists and out of the frustrations of musical segregation, Love Groove Music Festival was born.
“Today, Love Groove is the only showcase featuring young talented artists on a major stage— produced by a young Baltimore artist,” Tyler said. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,
Love Groove would typically and preferably be hosted in person in front of an audience of John and The Groove’s peers, fans, and supporters. On Labor Day week of 2020, Love Groove Music Festival pivoted to its first virtual backdrop while celebrating its third annual festival, keeping its format of featuring a melting pot of up-and-coming artists in Baltimore’s music landscape. With a heart for giving, the 21-year-old festival founder selects a charitable organization for which part of Love Grooves proceeds will go to.
Part of the proceeds collected from the event will go towards an artist fund to help artists recoup some of their lost revenue due to the COVID pandemic and to the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer. Last year, Our Victorious City Foundation (OVCF), a Baltimore-based organization that provides resources to inner-city youth received a donation from the Love Groove Festival.
“I know, of course, I’m not a woman, but as an artist myself, I see the hard work and passion that women put into their craft and often that doesn’t get recognized,” Tyler said, alluding to the fact that this won’t be the last all-woman line-up presented by Love Groove Music Festival.
“There’s no reason why there isn’t a platform for young Baltimore women of all genres of music to express themselves. So, starting now, we’ll be having an all-female showcase regularly so others can see the true talent of Baltimore women.”
Love Groove’s All Women’s Artist Showcase will be hosted by Amber August and features Baltimore vocal powerhouses Nia June; Black Assets; Peach Face; Akilah Divine; Deetranada; Jacey Symone; and Fola.
“Even the house band for Love Groove’s All Women’s Artist Showcase, are all women— C. Jai (keys); Jasmyn Toon (percussion); Jessica Staten (bass); Rachel Winder (saxophone/flute); and Sheritta Love Harris (drums),” Tyler said.
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, The Love Groove crew saw the cancellations of shows for all artists— both men and women— and decided the show must go on in love with Baltimore and its artists. You may have seen print
advertisements on local MTA buses in the weeks leading up to The All Women’s Artist showcase.
“Growing up in Baltimore, the MTA bus was a big part of my life. So to be here today looking at my curated event has me speechless,” Tyler said.
Tickets are available for purchase online at lovegroovemusicfestival.com.
You may also support the Love Groove Festival by purchasing Love Groove merchandise such as: cotton shirts, hoodies, and stickers. Artists who are interested in performing may also get an application from the website. Follow Love Groove Music Festival on Instagram at Instagram.com/lovegroovemusicfestival.