OKeh Recording Artist SOMI Announces National Tour
in Support of Critically Acclaimed Album,
The Lagos Music Salon
September 16 / Blue Whale / Los Angeles, CA
September 17 / UCLA Center for Art of Performance at The W Hotel / Los Angeles, CA
September 18 / L.A.N.D. Salon / Los Angeles, CA
September 19 & 20 / Red Poppy Art House / San Francisco, CA
September 21 / Lucid Lounge / Seattle, WA
September 27 / University of Chicago Arts Incubator Panel / Chicago, IL
September 27 / The Listening House / Chicago, IL
October 4 / Southwest Arts Center / Atlanta, GA
October 12 / Bowery Arts & Science / New York, NY
October 16 / Brooklyn Public Library / Brooklyn, NY
The Salon Tour Features Collaborations with Community
Art Spaces to Recreate Original Lagos-Style Salons
Critically acclaimed OKeh recording artist Somi will perform a series of intimate shows across the U.S. in support of her new album, The Lagos Music Salon. Inspired by her time spent in Lagos, Nigeria (18 months), the album presents new African jazz and soul, and features renowned musicians Common and Angelique Kidjo. Throughout The Salon Tour, the vocalist will collaborate with community art spaces across the country to recreate the original music salons she hosted while in Lagos, Nigeria. Tour dates include performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.
The performances will feature guitarist Liberty Ellman, pianist Toru Dodo, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Otis Brown III (drummer Nate Smith will perform on September 27 at The Listening House in Chicago). The September 16 date at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles will feature special guest trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.
The Lagos Music Salon Receives Critical Acclaim:
"Drawing songs from a challenging and meaningful life experience, Somi shows herself
to be an ambitious artist. There's nothing contrived about this album. It's determined,
real - though, one has to note it's going to be a tough act to follow." - NPR
"Somi's songs gracefully fuse African-tinged grooves, supple
jazz singing and compassionate social consciousness; they're
both serious and seductive." - Jon Pareles, The New York Times
"Somi delivers vocal performances of striking tonal clarity and
expressiveness, shedding light on the lives of the people of Lagos by delving
into their struggles, pain, pride, and joys." - The Boston Globe
"It's easy to describe her stylings as 'African inspired,' this, or 'jazz leaning,' that. It's harder, however, to define what one hears as 'Somi-like,' because that would be
jumping the gun. Those days are yet to come." - The Huffington Post
"Across 18 tracks, it is a sweeping, powerful portrait of a
vibrant culture 20-million strong." - JazzTimes
"Somi's The Lagos Music Salon has the standard of writing - above all the lyrics
as well as melodies - and vocal performance that make it clear the loudening
buzz around the singer is anything but hollow." - Jazzwise Magazine
photo credit: Glynis Carpenter
The Lagos Music Salon marks Somi's major label debut for Sony's OKeh Records and features a range of originals that are sublimely melodic and percussively textured. "Last Song" has already been added into rotation at VH1 Soul and REVOLT TV, and the vocalist was recently interviewed for The Tavis Smiley Show and The Bob Edwards Show - both critically acclaimed radio programs airing nationally. Additionally, Somi was recently featured in New York Magazine's Grub Street section and continues to receive accolades from major jazz outlets including JazzTimes and DownBeat.
Born in Illinois, the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi's dramatic Salon story started ironically and sadly on the release date of her 2009 album, If the Rains Come First, when her beloved father passed away.
"I had to weather the storm of his passing," Somi says. "The loss was so sobering that I began to question my own life's legacy and path. My dearest mentor Hugh Masekela knew about my personal loss and subsequent desire for change. He also knew that, more than ever, I wished I could move 'home' to Africa. Something about the idea seemed like it might be a way to get closer to my father's spirit and my own heart. It was Uncle Hugh that reminded me that to be a musician is to be a global citizen and that I should always listen to my heart should it long to travel. 'Stop thinking about it as a move,' he said, 'Think of it as an opportunity to spend time with another part of your global audience.' That's when I decided to make the bold choice of moving to Lagos in 2011. A true Africanist, I believe my father is proud of that choice."
A TED Global Fellow and also founder of the New Africa Live nonprofit that champions African artists, Somi has for the last decade carved out a career of singing and being an activist. On The Lagos Music Salon, the best album of her young career, she magically combines the two facets of her life. As for her adopted city, she says, "It was a euphoric new place for me, an important journey. I wanted to tell honest stories in the spirit of gratitude."
Somi · The Lagos Music Salon
OKeh · Release Date: August 5, 2014
For more information on Somi, please visit: SomiMusic.com
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