By Jiaxuan Meng
“African grooves, supple jazz singing, and compassionate social consciousness; she is both serious and seductive. ” – The New York Times
Somi, an American Jazz singer who was born in Champaign, IL, gave her appealing performance on Feb.14th 2020 at Krannert Center for Performing Arts. She has built a career of transatlantic sonics and storytelling. Her album, telling her story of being an African immigrant family won a 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. She has been recognized as “the quintessential artist citizen of the world”.
Being a team
Somi’s performance was outstanding and inspiring because it was not just a solo Jazz concert, she was actually telling her storing, giving the audience inspiration with great interaction and collaboration with her band team.
At the performance. She first introduced herself, her background and the motivations of her music career. Between the songs, she introduced her band team friends several times, showing her great appreciation of having them to be present and having their support. Each band member had opportunities to give a solo performance and the whole team showed great engagement and interaction.
Somi also expressed her heartfelt thanks to the audience of the performance. She thanked and appreciated the audiences’ participation and support of that night.
Her music and her story
Through the whole event, she was not only singing but also had a lot of conversation and deep communication with audiences to tell her story of being an immigrant kid. She shared some very touching and emotional moments of her family and her life.
Somi was in red without wearing a shoe that night, the passionate color showed her passion and enthusiasm. She used her voice, her story, her lyrics to tell us how her life of being an African American woman. Her music witnessed and expressed her struggles and emotions, inspired and encouraged a lot of people including me.
Somi brought her passion, her emotion, and her motivation to us with her powerful music with plenty of punch. I enjoyed the music she brought to us.
The song that impressed me the most is the “Holy Room“. She sang this song with her soft voice, at the same time, I was deeply touched by the lyrics and her emotion.
Our hands like prayer touching through the dark
Your love feels like a holy room.
Thank you! Somi. Thanks for your music and story.