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Luciano
Friday 08/21
Luciano @ The Howard Theatre
$25 / $30
With the release of his landmark CD "Where There Is Life" in 1995, Luciano emerged as one of the most important reggae singers in decades and the greatest hope for roots reggae's survival in the digital dancehall era. Since that much acclaimed release, Luciano's music has been consistently praised for imparting sentiments of spiritual salvation, edification and humanitarian upliftment. In these troubled times, Luciano's engaging baritone voice resonates like a divinely ordained instrument possessing the power to comfort souls from all walks of life. While many of his so called "conscious" contemporaries have faltered by recording songs that glorify wanton sex and random violence as a means of topping the charts, Luciano has held steadfast to enriching principles; these positive lyrical themes have justifiably earned him the title of The Messenger. However, the humble singer also refers to himself as the child of a king which was the title of his penultimate CD for VP Records. "We are all children of the Most High God and as a Rasta man, I acknowledge that I am a child of Emperor Haile Selassie I because all of his teachings are in my songs," he explains. "I am a child of a king and I just want my family and my fans to receive the blessings that God has given through me as a messenger and an instrument of peace." Luciano estimates to have done at least 40th album; the prolific artist releases three (full length) CDs per year. "I have so much music and messages, that I cannot be holding it inside of me," he declares. "From a management point of view, they would like to see me cooling out for a while but if a bird doesn't sing, tell me if that bird is happy?” Music has run deeply throughout Luciano's life. Born Jepther Washington McClymont on October 20, 1964 in Davey Town, a small community located atop a hilly region on the road to Mandeville in the central Jamaican parish of Manchester. Luciano was raised in the Adventist church and sang in the church choir. His father Arthur passed away when Luciano was just 11 years old. He left behind a guitar he had built and as Luciano recalls, "through those early years, I fell in love with the guitar and started to learn to play, which I realised was showing love and respect to my father." His beloved mother Sophie, who struggled to raise Luciano and his eight siblings, is also a gifted singer.
Lalah Hathaway
Saturday 09/26
Lalah Hathaway @ The Howard Theatre
$52.50 / $60
An instrument embodied, timbre unmatched with words that call our most internal emotion… Lalah Hathaway’s presence is never mistaken nor forgotten. Skilled to the highest order, Hathaway’s voice possesses both power and vulnerability with a quiet resonance that fills spaces of grandeur and the hearts of many. “Lalah Hathaway is, quite simply put, the truth.” (Diriye Osman, Huffington Post) Born into musical legacy, the offspring of musicians Donny Hathaway and Eulaulah Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway’s career was never a choice: “I was always a musician” Hathaway clarifies, “there was never a moment of maybe I’ll be…” Preparations for the release of Hathaway’s debut self-titled album were firmly in motion during her final semester at Berklee College of Music, where the Chicago-native nurtured her multi-instrumental and songwriting talents. Since inception, Hathaway’s musical journey has remained devoted to education and musicianship. “I never wanted to be known as just a singer. I always wanted to be a well-rounded musician, with my voice as my primary instrument.” Proof of Hathaway’s musical prowess is evident in her work, operating as performer, musician, writer and producer. Revered by some of the greatest musicians of the last century, a myriad of collaborations and international performances signpost Hathaway’s 25-year success. A true bridge between masters of the Jazz and Soul traditions and new generations of Popular Music innovators, Lalah Hathaway has performed with greats such as Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Metropole Orkest, Esperanza Spalding, David Foster, Snoop Dogg, Natalie Cole, Robert Glasper Experiment, Terri Lyne Carrington, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Dizzy Gillespie, David Sanborn, Rachelle Ferrell, Take 6, The Winans, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Kirk Whalum, Donald Lawrence, Snarky Puppy, Christian McBride and many more. Enamoured with colour, space and the evolution of music, Hathaway’s six studio albums chronicle an emotive journey through R&B, Jazz, and Soul. The inflections of Blues, Funk, Gospel, Classical, Country, Rock and Folk cited in her work, are a reflection of this virtuoso’s versatility. With the 2014 Grammy win for Best R&B Performance fresh in mind, Hathaway describes how her career continues to rejuvenate with new beginnings and possibilities. “Throughout my career there have been points where new recognition or opportunity has emerged that inspires me in new ways.” Underscored by singing three notes at one time (a chord), the Grammy-winning performance of Hathaway’s 1991 single “Something,” recreated with Jazz collective Snarky Puppy, affirms Hathaway’s timeless relevance and documents the vast breadth of her vocal capabilities. Lalah Hathaway is, in every sense, a live performer. 2015 will bring the release of Lalah Hathaway LIVE, Hathaway’s first ever live album. Supported by her international fans and peers, Lalah Hathaway LIVE is a result of a successful internet-based crowd-funding campaign. “I wanted to make an album for the fans and with the fans. My fans constantly relay to me how the music they love on my records is taken to a whole new level when they experience it live.” Evident in her online presence and strong interaction with social media, Hathaway’s engaging, comedic personality is embraced by her fans, both new and longstanding. “The listeners are a huge part of my live performance and I want their presence to be captured and acknowledged on this album.” Whether live, recorded, televised or online, Lalah Hathaway’s incomparable skill, talent, musicianship and presence are recognised by artists and fans the world over. Like her father before her, Lalah Hathaway stands as music quality personified, optimum in every way.
Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit
Friday 08/14
Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit @ The Howard Theatre
$27.50 / $35
Referred to in a recent Relix feature as “The Jamband Velvet Underground,” the influential dada-jam trailblazers Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit will return to rattle the landscape this summer with a series of live performances – than band’s first since a much-talked-about 2011 reunion at the Georgia Theatre in Athens. With the daring, iconoclastic Hampton at the helm, the Aquarium Rescue Unit played a seminal role in fostering today’s vital, thriving improvisational music community. And their presence is still felt: Since Hampton and the band parted ways in 1993, the band’s members have gone on to both inspire and enliven the music of the genre’s most revered practitioners: Herring (guitar) with Widespread Panic,The Dead, Jazz is Dead, the Ringers, and his own solo project. Burbridge (bass) with his band the Peacemakers and with the Allman Brothers and the Tedeschi Trucks Band; and Sipe (aka Apt. Q-258, drums) with his own trio and collaborations with Phil Lesh, Béla Fleck, Susan Tedeschi, Trey Anastasio, Jazz is Dead, Alex Machacek, Debashish Bhattacharya, and many more. For these dates, the ARU will also be joined by keyboardist Matt Slocum, who performed with them at the 2011 Georgia Theatre show. Which leaves the good Colonel (retired)...a seismic catalyst of the first order, Hampton’s presence was first felt as a member of the cult Georgia ensemble the Hampton Grease Band. From there, Hampton – a mesmerizing blues-inflected vocalist, freewheeling guitarist, and caustic ringmaster – applied his boundless energy, cosmic wit, and fearless exploratory zeal to pursuits as varied as standup comedy, wrestling, and music ranging from free jazz to hillbilly blues. The Aquarium Rescue Unit coalesced during a weekly jam session in Atlanta before taking their act on the road, signing with Capricorn Records, and helping to found the first H.O.R.D.E. tour. “Bruce is a visionary that has enriched the life of anyone that's worked with him,” says Jimmy Herring. “He gives you an outlet that encourages finding your own voice, but he's quick to point out that freedom can be a prison…” “Being a part of Bruce's musical world is a liberating experience in that he entices the players to discover their true and full expression,” explains Jeff Sipe. “With Col. Bruce there's always the threat that something radically different is going to happen midstream,” Oteil Burbridge adds. Periodic Aquarium Rescue Unit reunions, both with and without Hampton, have taken place over the past two decades, but these shows represent the band’s first sustained run of dates since 2007. The sets will feature a mix of new and old material. Most crucially, every performance will be recorded for a possible live album release on the Abstract Logix imprint. While listeners and musicians are already salivating at the potential of this reunion, no one is more excited than the ARU members themselves. “While the youthful ARU was exciting live, I think the more experienced ARU can have more of an impact,” Burbridge reflects. Sipe concludes, “After 26 years, we’re all friends and are still inspired. Getting together again is for me a rare privilege and one that's filled with magic, because each of my friends are so brilliant and truly awesome.” When asked for his thoughts on the upcoming reunion, Hampton simply responded, “Activate.”