Erykah Badu

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The re-rebirth of soul

Electric Lady Janelle Monáe delivers
By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
Janelle Monáe’s concert on Tuesday, October 22 at the Skyway Theater, like her music, referenced a legacy of soul that young audiences were eager to witness. The music from her latest contribution, The Electric Lady, like her past works, is thought-provoking and critical, yet funky and cutting edge. Monáe’s music is bringing Afro-futurism to modern-day realities with cleverness, freshness and fun in a musical climate that is in desperate need of her fearless, funky soul. The show was a dynamic unforgettable experience that made it clear she has all of the makings of a musical icon. Monáe is a genius at making music that is complex and entertaining – an impressive pairing in a musical era in which mainstream content is often saturated with lyrics that seem allergic to any real depth or social reflection. Continue Reading →

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Part one: Singer/songwriter explores love, personal experiences on debut solo project



Have you heard Lia Renee Dior sing? If you’ve listened to KMOJ 89.9 lately, chances are you’ve heard the beautiful voice of the Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter singing her songs “Beautiful,” or “Good Morning,” that speak to self-love and self-awareness. Dior has performed at a number of community events around the Twin Cities — including Sister Spokesman, and the Midwest Black History Expo — and you may have even caught her music video featured on the Black Music America (BMA) Network. If this sort of exposure continues, she could be well on her way to becoming an international artist in no time. At 23, she describes herself as a neo-soul/R&B artist, who’s inspired by artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, India Arie, and Lauryn Hill. Continue Reading →

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Is Janelle Monáe the next big thing?




Janelle Monáe was a recent hit at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California. According to critics and concert goers she was all the rave. Monàe has been setting the music world on fire for several years with the commercial success of her ArchAndroid CD and the popular release “Tightrope.”

In her short career, music people in the know have recognized her potential and unique talent, as evidenced by her Grammy nominations and collaborations with such notables as Big Boi, Sean Combs, and Bruno Mars (ArchAndroid was nominated in 2010 for Best Contemporary R&B Album). Some may recognize her as one of the driving voices behind “We are Young” by the popular group FUN, which topped music charts, last year. Janelle is hoping for a bit more notoriety with the release this week of her new single Q.U.E.E.N. Erykah Badu accompanies her on the song. Continue Reading →

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SFJAZZ’s new home, Bobby Z’s 2nd benefit, D’Angelo’s new music


Congrats to SFJAZZ. After presenting its first concerts in San Francisco 30 years ago, today the nonprofit organization SFJAZZ has built a home and performance venue of its own. Its grand opening occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, 2013. According to a press release about the SFJAZZ opening, “The SFJAZZ Center can now efficiently integrate itself under one roof to present world-class artists in concert throughout the year, nurture young musicians’ development and promote music education.”

“After 30 years of presenting music in a variety of rented venues throughout the Bay, it is with great joy we announce our first season in our new home, the SFJAZZ Center,” said Randall Kline, the founder and executive artistic director of SFJAZZ. He also noted in the press release, “The center is the first free-standing building for jazz in the country — designed, from concept to concert hall, to create an enhanced setting for creating and experiencing what the esteemed jazz writer Whitney Balliett calls ‘the sound of surprise.’”

McCoy Tyner’s January 24 concert at SFJAZZ is already sold out. Continue Reading →

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