JAYDA JEON DOESN’T CALL HERSELF A ROCKSTAR, YET SHE FINDS HERSELF ONSTAGE PERFORMING WITH THEM QUITE OFTEN
How do you know when you have crossed over the line from being good to actually being great? For a musician, it might be when you have a loyal fan base, are well compensated for your performances, or even an internal belief in your own talent. Singer/arranger Jayda Jeon has accumulated all of these variables. Still, for a musician…probably the most confirming moment is when the legends of the industry share the stage with you. As music fans, we all love seeing the moments when our favorite artists join each other onstage; they seem to get as much enjoyment from it as we do. Jeon has had this experience a number of times but concedes that the night she and her band Liquid Blue shared the stage with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sammy Hagar (known for his solo career, as the frontman of Van Halen, and most recently the band Chickenfoot) was the most exciting and rewarding of this type of experience. Even more important than the excitement of this situation is the fact that it is a vetting process for all of Jeon’s future career. Once a musician as successful and respected as Sammy Hagar trusts you to play and sing his music with him onstage, there is no question to the exceptional level of your abilities. Jayda has performed with Steve Augeri (former Journey singer), Joe Chiccarelli (Known for his work with Elton John, Counting Crows, U2, The Killers, and others), Taylor Hicks (American Idol 5 winner), but notes that for a number of reasons the experience with Hagar was her favorite.
Jeon has performed for some time with the band Liquid Blue as a singer for the internationally acclaimed band. The band has a considerable history with Hagar. In June of 2011, Liquid Blue played at Sammy’s Cabo Wabo night club in Baja CA and the band also opened a show for Hagar at the MGM Grand Arena in November of the same year. For the La Jolla concert, Jayda and her bandmates had the added enjoyment and prestige of watching Hagar’s latest band Chickenfoot perform for the crowd before their set. Chickenfoot is a rock “supergroup” whose members include: bassist Michael Anthony (ex–Van Halen), guitarist Joe Satriani, and drummer Chad Smith(Red Hot Chili Peppers).
When it came time for Jayda to hit the stage alongside Hagar, she states that there was no time for nerves. “I think that when you are actually at the moment of sharing the stage with such a legendary artist like him in the modern music history, you don’t think about anything but having fun and enjoying the moment. That’s exactly how I felt sharing the stage with him. I was busy making that moment the best of my life; enjoying, feeling the music, I was literally just lost in the music as I performed with him rather than thinking ‘This guy is a legendary rock star. I need to get myself together and impress him!”. What I remember from the performance is not a scenario in which I was thinking that there was a legendary rock artist on stage, but rather that it was just us musicians, enjoying the musical moment together with thrills, excitement, and energy. To Sammy’s credit, he could have made myself and the other band members feel like we were separate from him but he didn’t. He seems to enjoy being a ‘band guy’ and the interaction with the other musicians rather than being a ‘star’ and being separate from the other players onstage.”
Part of that may be the nature of Hagar but it’s also due to the incredible talent of Jeon and her band members in Liquid Blue. Liquid Blue is a multi-award-winning international band. The San Diego based ensemble is known at The World’s Most Traveled Band and has performed in more than 100 countries and received a Guinness World Record. The band scored a Billboard Top-10 Hit and has released sixteen (16) studio albums. The group has fans worldwide and has been
featured on eight Magazine Covers. Honored as “America’s Best Dance Band” by the National Music Awards, Liquid Blue was also named “Entertainment Act of the Year” at the 2012 Bizbash Readers’ Choice Awards as well as “Entertainer of the Year” at the 2011 Event Solutions Spotlight Awards. Locally they’ve been recognized as “Best Cover Band” at the San Diego Music Awards.
In recalling the night, Jayda states that in addition to Hagar’s solo hit “I can’t drive 55”, the highlight for her was performing one of Van Halen’s biggest hits “Jump” with Sammy. She tells, “The crowd went crazy as soon we played “the” synth-piano sound intro of the song “Jump”. He killed every guitar solo moment accompanied by our guitar player, Aiden Spencer. They teamed up and made the guitar solo amazing. It was definitely the moment of the night.”
Jayda’s awareness of the gravitas in the situation may have eluded her during the show but she was struck by it once the post show green room praise was distributed. She admits to being relieved and elated as Sammy made note of his enjoyment and the band’s impeccable performance. The experience also taught her an important lesson about life as an artist. Jayda admits, “The fact that I can watch and learn from a legend on the same stage and the opportunity that I was able to share that moment with such person; it was the best thing I have ever experienced. As an artist, you dream big. You look up to someone whose experiences and legacy has been around longer than you have been alive; someone who can inspire you as musician. Watching Sammy’s stage presence, showmanship, charisma, and musical talent…you know what people say, watching a legend is the greatest education. I thank God for giving these precious memories and opportunities to me that have made me step forward to become a better artist.”