Jan. 27
7:30 p.m.
Pop, Singer-Songwriter, World

Somi is an exquisite, sophisticated, and sultry singer. She can dice nuance with sly imagination as well as shoot flames of passion, etching emotional highs and lows with rare finesse. Born and raised in Illinois, daughter of parents from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi calls her music New African Jazz, a distinctive fusion of jazz, soul, R&B, and a wide swath of African music, mostly Afro-pop. She upped the ante on that already powerful formula when she moved to Lagos, Nigeria, for 18 months before recording her last album, The Lagos Music Salon. It’s extraordinarily conceived and accomplished, telling vivid stories of pain, anguish, love, and empowerment with riveting intensity and beguiling charm. Angélique Kidjo shares vocals on “Lady Revisited,” which taps Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat. “Love Juju” evokes King Sunny Ade’s scintillating guitar. Rapper Common guests on “When Rivers Cry,” a tale of environmental degradation with neo-classical strings. “Four Women” picks up Nina Simone’s tale of African women’s travails. Expect Somi to preview material from her next album, Petite Afrique.