Blue Note has outlasted the Bottom Line, the Village Gate and other revered (now shuttered) jazz venues in New York City’s bohemian Greenwich Village over the years. A factor in its success has surely been its top-flight music acts. Case in point: weeks ago, jazzy soul singer Kendra Ross heated things up in the 200-seat capacity club, selling out two sets and turning out tourists and R&B diehards alike.
Singing selections from her 2007 debut album, New Voice, Ross—decked out in a bright Christmastime red—held Blue Note patrons gently in the palm of her hand. Born in Ohio, raised in Pittsburgh, and currently reigning in Brooklyn, Kendra Ross has lent her vocals and songwriting skills to a wide swath of artists over the past decade. (Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Quincy Jones and Faith Evans can all testify.) She sprinkles in new tracks from her tentatively titled Sepia Tones—due out this spring—for the cocktail-sipping crowd before closing out her 60 minutes in style; many rise to their feet with applause, and rightfully so. — Miles Marshall Lewis
Welcome to INTRODUCING—EBONY.com’s showcase for the hottest independent artists bubbling up underneath the mainstream music industry! On a weekly basis, we'll feature video visuals and info on some of the most talented artists around the country. Some of these singers and songwriters craft albums via GarageBand, while others use home or professional studios; they are rocking local open mics, performing locally, nationally and worldwide to bring their music to the masses. What do they have in common? Hunger, talent and drive. Now, EBONY.com’s INTRODUCING helps these indie artists spread their voices internationally! Music acts: email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered! (Indie artists with major distribution also welcome!)