Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque at Jazz Alley

On May 12 and May 13, Jazz Alley, in Seattle, welcomed Jane Bunnett and Maqueque to the stage. Band members the Canadian bandleader Jane Bunnett (sax/flute), Dayme (percussion), Yissey (drums), Danae (piano), Celia (guitar/bass) and Magdelys (batas/congos). Except for Bunnett all members of the band are from Cuba.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Ester Rada at the Stroum Jewish Community Center

On May 3, 2015, Israeli-Ethiopian vocalist Ester Rada led her band into the Stroum Jewish Community Center Arts Stage, on Mercer Island. 

Earlier this year, BBC News described her as follows:

“Ester Rada is an arresting young singer-songwriter with a rich musical heritage. Her Ethiopian roots are clearly audible in her music. But so is the influence of Israel where she grew up and now lives.

“Her EP, Life Happens, released in 2013, was a confident debut showcasing her powerful, soulful voice and seductive combination of Ethiopian Jazz, funk and R&B.”

After experiencing her performance, I'm buying the BBC News description, only adding that African American female vocalists, perhaps especially Nina Simone, also strongly inform her approach.