[SXSW 2016] The Roots Inaugural SXSW Jam Session

SXSW‘s 30th edition wrapped up this weekend with a bang. For those privileged with special access badges and wristbands, the legendary Roots Crew put on a Jam Session Saturday night that still has people talking. In collaboration with Bud Light Music, at the Bud Light Factory, the inaugural Roots SXSW Jam Session was brought together. In an event originally advertised as “The Roots with Big Grams and Special Guests“, event goers had no idea what was in store.

Even with limited information on the lineup, the entry line stretched around the building, but was well worth the wait. When I finally got in, Phantogram was playing their hit song, “Fall in Love“, with the Roots backing them, a sweet set to walk in to. As I made my way towards the front, Big Boi came out playing new tracks from their collaboration, Big Grams. Once Phantogram left the stage, Big Boi continued to perform some of his Outkast favorites with a Roots flare. Then the surprise guests began to roll in one after another, bringing on Talib Kweli, Yo Gotti, Ashanti, and Naughty by Nature. Before I arrived other artists included X Ambassadors, Emily King, Tish Hyman, and Marc E. Bassy. The night ended with more classic Roots tracks, and Black Thought announcing their first of many more jam sessions to come to SXSW. All in all, the event didn’t disappoint and with the free beer, I guarantee I’ll be at the next one.

In case you missed it, definitely check out some of the photos I managed to capture inside a very hyped crowd.


Angela E. Mejia

Angela is a photographer/photojournalist/visionary raised in the mean streets of Chicago. Since 2008, she's covered everything from concerts for underground and mainstream artists, to food editorial, to just about every type of photography you can think of. Other interests include traveling, anything artsy, Chicago sports, and eating tacos.