Saskatoon’s Bessborough Gardens were packed as legendary hip hop act The Roots took the stage for the Jazz Festival.
Forest fire smoke lingering from northern Saskatchewan didn’t seem to put a damper on the crowd.
Opening duties were handled by even more rap royalty, with Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 fame performing. 2na led the crowd through a lively set combining several old school favorites with pounding beats provided by DJ duo the Funk Hunters.
The Roots may be known these days for their contributions to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but on Wednesday, they showed the full range of skills they’ve developed since forming in Philadelphia in the late 80s.
While rapper Black Thought was usually front-and-centre through most of the songs, the show featured lengthy solo sessions by the instrumentalists, including bassist Mark Kelley and a lively session between drummer Questlove and additional percussionist Frank Knuckles.
The maple leaf could be seen everywhere in the gardens as people kept the Canada Day party going.
The Roots last played Saskatoon for Jazzfest in 2013.
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