Eleven artists to swing by in between Festival of Books speaker panels

The Festival of Books is back and so is live music. Of the immense Trojan talent available, 11 student and alumni acts were chosen to perform on the USC Stage across both days of festivities.


Greta Pasqua

Sway along to the music of folk-rock singer/songwriter and Thornton School of Music alumna Greta Pasqua  to kick off the day. Led by strong vocal melodies and guitar riffs, Pasqua’s music brings the nostalgia of classic rock into the modern age. Get a glimpse of her sound with the live performance of her original song, “Just Like You,” on SoundCloud.

Jordyn Simone

Groove to the original R&B tracks of popular music major Jordyn Simone. Led by mesmerizing riffs and a soulful tone, Simone’s songs work through the pain of heartbreak with a stoic confidence that everything will be alright. Catch up on her discography by listening to her performances from her time on “The Voice” and by streaming her new single, “Burn.”

Sophia Rae

Watch popular music major Sophia Rae perform a set of original music, accompanied by just her guitar. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Phoebe Bridgers, this New York native navigates deeply confessional lyrics with an angelic tone. Before you see her live, you can watch her strum out originals on her Instagram @sophiarae.music.

Sir, please

Boasting nearly 85,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, this indie-rock band of USC alumni is ready to have you dancing — no matter how hot it is. Their energy is sure to be a sweet escape from finals or pre-graduation stress. You can stream their discography on Spotify and, if you want to see them again, stay up to date with the band on Instagram @sirpleaseband.

SoCal VoCals

Hear the oldest a cappella group on campus: The SoCal Vocals. The group boasts five wins at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (the most of all time) and notable alumni such as Scott Hoying of Pentatonix and Kaylah Sharve and Nina Nelson of Citizen Queen. Stream one of their eight studio albums to get a true taste of their talent.


You might want to learn how to salsa dance before catching Saturday’s final act. Composed of Thornton students in the Jazz program, USC’s Afro Latin American Jazz Ensemble performs popular Afro-Cuban music with a big band and fleet of incredible singers. After two years of coronavirus restrictions, the ensemble can finally perform its full range of music


Latimer & Osborn

Don’t miss this bluegrass folk duo composed of USC alumni and “old time country musicians” Laura Osborn and Cliff Latimer. Guided by an acoustic guitar and mandolin, the pair’s harmonized vocals will send you back to simpler times. If you want to know where they’ve performed or to catch them again, follow them on Facebook under their band name.

Sophia Dion

See popular music major Sophia Dion perform a set of original country pop music. Hailing from Park City, Utah, this singer’s got a set of pipes and a knack for writing hooky choruses. She’s performed across the United States, such as at the Sundance film festival and local summer concert series. Even before graduating Dion is already prolific on Spotify. 

Hannah Abrahim

Check out this Thornton senior’s set of original pop tracks. Inspired in equal parts by her R&B idols and her Egyptian heritage, Hannah Abrahim writes confessional, moving songs guided by precise vocal riffs. She is currently working on releasing a debut EP, but for now, you can stream her 2019 single “Afterparty” on Spotify.

Jack Romero

Groove to the original music of indie-rock artist and USC student Jack Romero. If you’re a fan of American Idol, you might have seen him appear on season 18, and if you enjoy going to musical festivals, such as Austin City Limits or Summerfest, you might have already seen him perform. If not, check out his latest song, “Two Boys in Love.”

Asli Baat

Closing out the student performances, this South Asian a capella group is prepared to perform an exciting blend of popular Western and South Asian tunes. Composed entirely of South Asian USC students, this ensemble is known for its community engagement and frequent performances across campus venues, including Tommy’s Place.