imani uzuri and Jarvis McInnis at Lincoln Center

Venue: Stanley Kaplan Penthouse of the Lincoln Center, New York.

Host: Lincoln Center's American Songbook

Performers: Jarvis McInnis (guest vocalist, scholar and assistant professor at Princeton and Norte Dame) for imani uzuri in her American Songbook debut.

Called a “post-modernist Bessie Smith” with “a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco 12-inch” (Village Voice), the composer and vocalist imani uzuri has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists including Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Vijay Iyer, and Robert Ashley. Her breakthrough album The Gypsy Diaries, influenced by Sufi and southern music, was recently released to overwhelming critical praise. For this concert, she spins a powerful evening of music inspired by black American vernacular traditions, accessed through her own rural North Carolina origins, where she grew up singing spirituals and line-singing hymns with her family in their small country church. Here, uzuri uses her “gorgeously chesty ruminations” (New York Times) to channel Odetta, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Elizabeth Cotten, Marian Anderson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, and other transformative voices of the past. Her original songs bloom out of this tradition, embodying the sacred and secular, protest and passion, and folding in myriad influences from her travels that bring a universal resonance to her deeply rooted American music.

For tickets and more information see event site here.