An Evening of Sound & Word in NYC: Somi's Debut Live Album Release August 9

From a media release:

An Evening of Sound and Word Celebrating The Release of Somi's Debut Live Album
with Somi (voice) , Morley , Teju Cole , Michael Olatuja (bass) , Dave Eggar (cello/piano) , Jeff Haynes (percussion) , Liberty Ellman (guitar) and Jaleel Shaw (saxophone)
August 9, 2011 at (le) poisson rouge, New York City

In August 2011, acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Somi will celebrate the release of her first live album, Live at Jazz Standard (SanaaHouse/Palmetto Records). Recorded over two sold-out nights at the legendary Jazz Standard in New York City, the ten track collection captures the brilliance, intensity, and transcendence of Somi’s live set.

When Somi was growing up, her mother told her that the rain, ever unpredictable, could be as much a blessing as a challenge. That notion has stayed with the charismatic singer and songwriter all her life and provided a metaphorical focus for her third studio album, If The Rains Come First. (ObliqSound), a stunning collection of self- penned story-based songs, a meditation on opening ourselves up to life’s blessings and challenges much in the way that we accept the rain and all that it brings.

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, If the Rains Come First debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Chart and #1 on the iTunes World Chart. A true cosmopolitan, Somi is also a 2011 TED Global Fellow. Live at Jazz Standard draws from a catalogue of music that spans across two acclaimed studio albums as well as covers such as Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” and legendary songwriter and vocalist Abbey Lincoln’s “Should’ve Been.”

“This live recording is a way for me to welcome listeners into my home that I try and recreate on stage at each show – a place full of memory, inspiration, vulnerability, imperfection, and truth,” says Somi.

As her career has taken off, Somi’s talents have been called upon for collaborations and live performances alongside Bobby McFerrin, Baaba Maal, John Legend, Cassandra Wilson, Mos Def, Paul Simon, Idan Raichel, Randy Weston, Jennifer Hudson, Nicholas Payton, and many more.

While Somi and her band continue to perform at venues in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the globetrotting chanteuse says, “At the end of the day, I still know who I am and where home is before, during, and after the rain—it’s in the music.” Somi is also a 2011 TED Global Fellow, an inaugural 2011 Association for the Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, and the founder of New Africa Live, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the very best of contemporary African artists working in the performance, visual, and literary arts.

Somi has not only invited an intimate jazz chamber ensemble to explore new arrangements of her original music, but she has also woven in spoken literary excerpts on living and love.

Composer and singer MORLEY from New York City breathes sensuality into activism with her worldly lyrical stance. Her warm and soulful voice is often compared to India Arie, Annie Lennox, Roberta Flack and Joni Mitchell. Her music shares their political and social relevance with a vocal sound that is all her own.

Morley has had the distinct honor to present at TEDWomen and TEDxEast. She has performed for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson, Ela Gandhi, Sonia Sanchez, Ravi Shankar as well as numerous events at the United Nations, and The Auburn Theological Seminary. Morley has written, collaborated, and toured nationally and internationally with renowned artists such as Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Toshi Reagon, Joan Wasser, Dave Matthews, Raul Midon, Amadou et Mariam, Sheryl Crow, Queen Latifah, Angelique Kidjo, Sarah McLachlan, Larry Campbell, Yuri Buenaventura, Leni Stern and Richard Bona. She has released CDs independently as well as through Sony and Universal Records. Her new CD, “Undivided” will be available September 3rd, 2011.

Morley considers social and global activism an integral element of her music and uses its medicine as a tool for dialogue facilitation when she works with teenagers from domestic and international conflict zones.

Teju Cole
"I was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. my mother taught French. My father was a business executive who exported chocolate. The first book I read (I was six) was an abridgement of Tom Sawyer. At fifteen I published cartoons regularly in Prime People, Nigeria;s version of Vanity Fair. Two years later I moved to the United States. Since then, I've spent most of my time studying art history, except for an unhappy year in medical school. I currently live in Brooklyn."

• Photo of Morley by Pascal Perich

An Evening of Sound and Word Celebrating The Release of Somi's Debut Live Album

with Somi (voice) , Morley , Teju Cole , Michael Olatuja (bass) , Dave Eggar (cello/piano) , Jeff Haynes (percussion) , Liberty Ellman (guitar) and Jaleel Shaw (saxophone)
August 9, 2011 / 7:00 PM
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 7:00 PM
Show Time: 8:00 PM
This is a general admission event. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first seated basis. There is a two item minimum per person at all tables. Standing room is also available. We recommend arriving early.