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Somi

When Somi was growing up, her mother told her that the rain, ever unpredictable, could be as much a blessing as a challenge. The blessings might come before the rain, or they could come after—it's all in the timing, she said. That notion has stayed with the charismatic singer and songwriter all her life and now provides a metaphorical focus for her third album, If The Rains Come First. The album, which releases October 13 on ObliqSound, is a stunning collection of self-penned story-based songs, a meditation on opening ourselves up to life's blessings and challenges much in the way that we accept the rain and all that it brings. If the Rains Come First builds upon elements that first surfaced on Somi's two previous recordings: the electric soul-jazz of 2003's Eternal Motive (SanaaHouse) and the acoustic, culture-merging elegance of 2007's multilingual Red Soil in My Eyes (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)

ARTICLE: RADIO

More Holiday Releases, Grammy Nominations and a Peek into 2021

Read "More Holiday Releases, Grammy Nominations and a Peek into 2021" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This broadcast features more nods to Grammy nominees as well as new holiday releases from the 3D Jazz Trio, vocalists Amber Weekes, Jonathan Karrant, Carla Hassett and bassist Brian Bromberg, with other new recordings by Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger, Laura Fernandez, Tom Keenlyside plus a single from Yoko Miwa's upcoming 2021 release. Thanks for listening ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

John Beasley: Master of All Trades

Read "John Beasley: Master of All Trades" reviewed by Jim Worsley

In today's busy world, sometimes you just can't do it all. Apparently, John Beasley never received that memo. The pianist, composer, arranger, producer, music director, and film and TV composer is in high demand, and has an enormity of projects that would seem to belie the twenty-four hour day reality. It is perhaps the variance in ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Somi at Dazzle

Read "Somi at Dazzle" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Somi Dazzle Denver, CO January 16, 2019 A case can be made that all Western popular music can trace its origins to Africa. Even if that's a bit of an exaggeration, it's not when it comes to vocalist/songwriter Somi. She was born in Illinois, but her parents were immigrants from Rwanda ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Umbria Jazz 2018 - seconda parte

Read "Umbria Jazz 2018 - seconda parte" reviewed by Libero Farnè

Umbria Jazz Varie sedi Perugia 13-22.07.2018 Umbria Jazz 2018 ha chiuso i battenti: 1 milione 450 mila euro di incassi da biglietti e merchandising con 35.000 paganti. Numeri invidiabili, da capogiro, anche se un bilancio ragionato fra entrate e uscite richiederebbe un'analisi molto più approfondita. Come abbiamo anticipato nella ...

Petite Afrique

Label: Okeh
Released: 2017
Track listing: Disappearing Act I; Alien; Black Enough; The Wild One; They're Like Ghosts; The Gentry; Kadiatou The Beautiful; Holy Room; Disappearing Act II; Let Me; BLUE; Go Back To Your Country (Interlude); Like Dakar; Midnight Angels.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Somi: Petite Afrique

Read "Petite Afrique" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Somi's debut on the Okeh imprint--The Lagos Music Salon (Okeh, 2014)--pulled no punches. It tackled tough topics within an African framework, bringing hard truths to bear in soulful fashion. This follow-up is equally impactful, but it shifts focus stateside, eyeing the titular Harlem neighborhood that Somi calls home now. In addressing life along ...

The Lagos Music Salon

Label: Okeh
Released: 2014
Track listing: First Kiss: Eko Oni Baje; Love Juju #1; Lady Revisited; Ankara Sundays; Ginger Me Slowly; When Rivers Cry; Brown Round Things; The Story Of Monkey; Akobi: First Born S(U)N; Two-Dollar Day; Still YOur Girl; Four.One.Nine; Love Nwantinti; Four African Women; Hearts & Swag; Love Juju #2; Last Song; Shine Your Eye.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

Read "The Lagos Music Salon" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

L'attuale rinascita del soul, nella nuova connessione tra radici storiche, jazz, hip-hop e Africa non è solo europea (inglese e francese, soprattutto). Evidenziata da giovani cantanti nere con precise radici africane, trova in Somi una figura di crescente rilevanza, destinata ad ampio successo. 33 anni, nata negli Stati Uniti da genitori provenienti da ...


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