SUSPENDED Meshell Ndegeocello
Longworth-Anderson Series presents
MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO, a 10-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, rapper, and bassist, brings her unique blend of soul, jazz, rock, R&B, funk, and reggae to Memorial Hall’s intimate stage. Backed by her long-time band, Meshell performs in her distinctive musical style guided by her rich, warm tone and trademark sensuality and soul.
Meshell burst on the music scene in 1993 as one of the first artists signed to Madonna’s “Maverick” label. Over the course of the last 25 years, Ndegeocello has been a prolific songwriter from her first release – 1993’s Plantation Lullabies, which was Grammy-nominated for “Best R&B Album” and featured the “Best Rhythm and Blues”-nominated song, “If That Was Your Boyfriend/He Wasn’t Last Night” – through 2014’s Comet Come To Me.
In addition to collaborating with Madonna, Meshell has recorded with the likes of John Mellencamp, Herbie Hancock, and The Rolling Stones, and recorded tribute albums such as her 2012 Pour une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone. Her music has also been featured in soundtracks for How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Lost & Delirious, Batman & Robin, Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, and Soul Man.
Her career has spanned 14 albums including three Grammy nominations for “Best R&B Album” of the year, another for “Best Jazz Album,” and most recently “Best Urban Contemporary Album” for 2018’s Ventriloquism.
On Ventriloquism, Ndegeocello takes the essential elements of songs popularized by artists such as Prince, Sade, George Clinton, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, and TLC, and performs them in her own musical voice. The album features her long-time band – Chris Bruce on guitar, Abraham Rounds on drums, and Jebin Bruni on keys. Musically, the album has the hallmarks of Ndegeocello’s previous work, lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and, in these eleven covers, we hear them layered over one another. Ndegeocello filters “Tender Love” through a folky, Californian filter and brings Vaudevillian accents to “Sensitivity.” She recreates “Smooth Operator” in five, and turns “Private Dancer” into a sultry waltz. The reimagining affords not just a new musical experience but also a comment on the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music.
“Early on in my career, I was told to make the same kind of album again and again, and when I didn’t do that, I lost support. There isn’t much diversity within genres, which are ghettoizing themselves, and I liked the idea of turning hits I loved into something even just a little less familiar or formulaic. It was an opportunity to pay a new kind of tribute.”
Be part of another Longworth-Anderson Series evening of great music, food, and drink. Complimentary pre-concert reception features live local music and light bites & beverage tastings from premier local restaurants and distributors. Reception runs from 6:30-8:00 p.m. and concert begins at 8:00 p.m.