Tim van Berkestijn, also known as Benny Sings, hails from the Netherlands and makes some of the funkiest, laid back music on either side of the Atlantic.
"Oh, I'm different, I'm a cup of mild sauce" isn't just Jamila Woods's opening line on LEGACY! LEGACY! or how she began her sold-out show at Union Stage Tuesday night, but it's indicative of what she has to offer through her music and stage presence. LEGACY! LEGACY! , her latest album is unapologetically black, an embodies black excellence by plucking inspiration from African-American greats as seen in her track listing.
Grammy Award and Tiny Desk NPR winner Fantastic Negrito (Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz) performed in Union Stage touring behind 2018's Please Do Not Be Dead, delivering an energetic and passionate set that exposed his life through songs. Leaning heavily on the sounds of modern blues, Negrito's stories both entertain and inspire people from all walks of life. Songs like "A Cold November Street," "An Honest Man," and the very personal "Dark Windows" all performed at his set in D.C. illustrate why he is one of the most moving-soul artists of the moment.
Two albums deep into her career, Jamila Woods has helped carve out a small niche in today’s R&B climate serves a balance with introspection and political commentary. With her second album titled LEGACY! LEGACY!, the Chicagoan looks to inspiration from legendary artists of color from the past to lay a foundation for people of color to live life to the fullest.
The day after the conclusion of SXSW (and hot off some rave reviews), Japanese dance-punk band CHAI once again hopped on a plane to officially kick off their US tour at Union Stage in DC.
A Fender Telecaster isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of jazz guitar. Jazz, after all, is a woman, better suited to the elegant lines of a Gibson ES or an Ibanez AF95 than the brutal “squareness” of a Tele. Indeed, Julian Lage’s arsenal includes several varieties of archtops and hollow bodies, but the Telecaster is his axe of choice, and with it, he is creating one hell of a legacy.
Lawrence has some “New Stuff” to unleash upon the world.
The brother and sister duo of Clyde and Gracie Lawrence (alongside seven of their best friends) have performed all over the country and overseas - even the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (We covered them twice in 2016, at Songbyrd and U Street Music Hall in DC - both shows were in support of their debut album Breakfast.) Now, the tremendously upbeat band is prepping for the release of their sophomore album, Living Room. Though it won’t be released until September, the Union Stage crowd in DC were the first on this tour to hear a few of the songs from the upcoming album.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Canadian art rock collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been busy. After touring ended for their 2013 Polaris Music Prize-shortlisted album Uzu, the band holed up for a different kind of project, writing the score for the video game Severed in collaboration with another Canadian band, Pantayo. Only after that was it time to work on the next album. Dirt was finally released last Friday, and the band stopped in DC at Union Stage a few nights before to present it to a small crowd of people who braved the threat of bad weather to see the band play.
One of the summer highlights in the DC area is the National Symphony Orchestra's live scoring of movies like Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings. No matter what movie is playing behind them, the NSO is sure to faithfully recreate the music that made the movie so memorable. But for those with more adventurous tastes, College Park, MD-based label VoidLife Records has another take on live scoring. Three groups, all comprised of musicians from the DC area, were tasked with creating their own live score for three different cult favorites: Doctor Who, The Twilight Zone, and Twin Peaks. There were no faithful adaptations here: the results were as far out as the musicians' own output.