Venue: Another go with Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center's main stage inside Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. For the first time ever, BET gave early arrivals a 40/45-minute concert involving three singers featured on their "Music Matters" programming. All three -- Steve Lovell, Kevin Ross and Elle Varner -- were outstanding. Ross is a John Legend-in-waiting, while Varner has a Carole King-modeled quality in her voice and songwriting. Not easy to be a master of ceremonies with a lot of the early crowd talking among themselves, and “The Xperiment” co-host Amberia Allen gave it a wonderful shot. Let's encourage BET (and other Upfront presenters) to fire up the live pre-presentation music. Grade: 4.5 Jacks for both Rose Hall's splendid stage and those performers on the rise.
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