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Somi Leads Weeklong Residency

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Monday January 30, 2017

From Mshale

In advance of concert, Mshale and Ordway welcome Somi to Minnesota
By: Bethel Gessesse

Jazz vocalist and songwriter, Somi, paid homage to the many places and people she draws inspiration from during a welcome gathering in her honor at the Brooklyn Park community center hosted by Mshale and the Ordway.

She shared her insights on the intersection of anthropology and music, the great influence of musicians like Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, and Nina Simone on her music, and how the improvisational spirit of jazz has allowed her to be all that she is and share the stories of the African diaspora. She was born in Illinois to parents from Uganda and Rwanda.

She is in the Twin Cities for a weeklong residency at the Ordway which culminates in a Friday evening concert on January 27 at 7:30pm.

At the welcoming ceremony, emceed by Abdullah Kiatamba of African Immigrant Services, she performed two of her songs, “Two Dollar Day,” and “Ingele.”

During a question and answer session, she shared her insights on the intersection of anthropology and music, the great influence of musicians like Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, and Nina Simone on her music, and how the improvisational spirit of jazz has allowed her to be all that she is and share the stories of the African diaspora.

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