Wow. 10 years.
10 years of memories.
10 years of singing off-key to once-in-a-lifetime performances.
10 years of the Richmond Jazz and Music Festival.
But the best is yet to come.
In our tenth festival, virtually every genre will grace our stages — jazz, soul, funk, blues, hip-hop, R&B, fusion, and much, much more.
Check out who’s coming to Richmond in August:
This multi-Grammy-winning Philly songstress is one of neo-soul’s most important voices. Her sultry, soprano registry sounds like a spoonful of candied yams and baked mac-and-cheese — nice, warm, and sweet.
Her catalogue is the soundtrack for moms and aunties. On good days, you’ll likely hear “Golden” blasting through her car speakers. But on the days her last nerve is worked, you better believe “Fool’s Gold” will be on repeat.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
*dah dah dah dah dah dah*
Hopefully, you can guess which song that’s from.
If not, I apologize for your cookout’s playlist.
It’s Maze featuring Frankie Beverly’s beloved “Before I Let Go”.
This big band, led the vocally gifted Frankie Beverly, is beloved by young and old. And its music always brings happy feelings in the midst of life’s trials and tribulations.
“The South got something to say…”
André 3000 — Big Boi’s partner-in-rhyme — said this to a crowd of deafening boos at the 1995 Source Awards after the duo was awarded Best Rap Group.
Millions of records sold and countless accolades later, the rest of the world eventually recognized OutKast’s prowess.
The duo’s success diverted the nation’s attention from the coasts to Atlanta’s hotbed of unique, talented MCs.
Big Boi is a rugged, slick-rhyming, incredibly gifted storyteller.
His diction and flow resemble that of a lead in a ‘70s Blaxploitation film — cool, suave, and well-versed.
Today, he continues to deliver his signature rhymes over trunk-rattling anthems.
He is dancehall reggae’s biggest crossover artist.
And in the early 2000s, he had the world wrapped around his finger with his incredibly catchy anthems.
How many of us have said “wasn’t me” unwarrantedly at the expense of our loved ones thanks to the Jamaican Sensation?
As the king of the reggae and pop charts for most of the late ‘90s through the early 2000s, Shaggy blurred the lines and provided a lane for future dancehall and reggae artists to pair reggae’s vibey foundation with pop’s up-tempo rhythms.
This critically-acclaimed crooner is heralded as one of modern jazz’s greatest talents. A former Division I lineman, his imposing 6’3 frame contrasts his milky baritone vocals, which effortlessly cut through his easy-listening soundscapes.
In addition to his voice, his unique hat — reminiscent of a deerstalker hat — makes him instantly recognizable worldwide.
He singlehandedly revolutionized the role of the bassist, emerging from the shadows to front and center. He went on to be the first jazz-fusion bassist to sell over 500,000 records, headline tours, and sell out shows worldwide.
The four-time Grammy winner is also an accomplished composer who is the mind behind many of the Spike Lee joint soundtracks, the late John Singleton’s cult classics Boyz ‘N The Hood and Poetic Justice, and more than 70 other film and television scores.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony burst onto the scene in ’91 during a largely machismo era of hip-hop. As the group’s name eludes to, it flawlessly paired fast rhymes with weary soul harmonies.
And no one dared to question the group’s street cred (don’t forget the “thug” part in its name.)
They made it cool to sing over drums and 808s, which paved the lane for more unique, diverse voices in hip-hop. Because of them, you get your Mos Defs, your Kanye Wests, your Drakes, to name a few.
When you think of Cameo, think of a cookout in the middle of July.
Your wide-brimmed-hat-and-Bluetooth-earpiece-wearing-white-towel-on-the-shoulder uncles are two-stepping and yelling “Word Up” along with Larry Blackmon.
Then when the sun sets, the rest of the family joins in and electric slides to the synth-heavy classic “Candy”.
Cameo just knows how to get you up and dancing — bad knees or not.
Critics often label Cameo as a child of Parliament Funkadelic. But the band isn’t strictly funk — its discography ranges from up-tempo, synth-heavy records to slower, R&B ballads.
The Englishman’s bright, youthful chords break through smooth jazz’s largely predictable soundscape. As an award-winning guitarist and keyboardist, Peter rose to fame after a storied career with fellow Englishman Al Stewart, a prominent folk-rock singer during Britain’s folk revival in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
A 12-time Grammy-nominated songstress with room-filling soul, Ledisi has been a mainstay in neo-soul for more than two decades. The New Orleans native came from a musical family, which explains the gumbo of soul, R&B, jazz, and blues in her discography.
Lizz Wright’s gospel roots are heard in her lofty, yet full vocals and seen in her album titles, which are largely biblical themes. Now throw jazz and blues into the mix and you have Lizz Wright’s singular sound.
Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective
If you’ve seen Spike Lee joints, you’ve heard Terence.
As recently as last year, he received his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for Spike’s Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman film.
Outside of Spike’s films, Terence is an accomplished jazz trumpeter. As a solo artist, he tallied several award-winning albums and Grammy nominations.
In 2005, he teamed up with McCoy Turner, Gary Bartz and Cassandra Wilson on McCoy’s Illuminations, which won a Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album”.
Black Violin is the intersection of classical music and hip-hop. The duo, violinist Kev Marcus and violaist Wil B, are aware they defy what classically-trained string instrumentalists look like.
The incredibly talented duo has often shared the stage — often times stealing the show — with music’s elite, including Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Tom Petty, and Aerosmith.
In his youth, Ro rebelled against his father’s attempt to force gospel music in his ears. Instead, he sought out Prince, David Bowie, 2Pac, and Sly and the Family Stone, which served as the foundation for his unique, alternative R&B sound.
For more than 50 years, Bobby has dropped jaws after listeners discovered what he looked like — namely after listening to his timeless record, “What You Won’t Do For Love”.
Bobby reaffirms that soul doesn’t have color.
He was inspired by Miami’s hotbed of musical genres to include Latin, reggae and R&B. And his music later inspired future generations of R&B and hip-hop artists, who have sampled his discography several times over.
Stephen Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley, didn’t stray far from his father’s roots. But he has his own authentic sound — infusing hip-hop and dancehall. Eight Grammys and several chart-topping albums later, Stephen is a mainstay in reggae for the foreseeable future.
Growing up, gospel music was the only thing playing in Anderson’s household because of his family’s close ties to church. However, once he matured he was exposed to pop and rock, which translated to his music.
His raspy chops seem to find a pocket in virtually every popular genre of music — soul, R&B, gospel, rock, and country.
Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers
Art inspires art.
Handpicked by Bill Withers himself, José James brings a contemporary approach to the legendary crooner’s classic records. Although José’s sound is modern and fresher, Bill’s hearty essence is still felt.
Many will recognize PJ as Maroon 5’s keyboardist, but the New Orleanian has the chops and producing skills to match. Gumbo (2017), his first album released independently on his homegrown label, Morton Records, received two Grammy nods and won “Best Traditional R&B Performance”.
The BB King Blues Band featuring Michael Lee
What would blues be without BB King?
That’s like peanut butter without jelly.
Unfortunately, the godfather of blues was called home in 2015, but the original members of his band have continued rocking for more than 30 years. However, now the band’s frontman is Michael Lee, a storied Texan blues artist.
BB King will never be replicated, but his band continues to propel his legacy forward.
Cautious Clay’s world consists of pop and soulful electronica — two intricately distinctive sounds, but Cautious merges them perfectly. He’s one of alternative R&B’s new unique voices and he wants your ear.
This Frenchman is best known for his iconic on-stage performance with the late legend Prince. He’s also been in electrifying harmonica duels with another great — Stevie Wonder.
Frédéric has also shared the stage with a prestigious roster, including RJMFest alumni Erykah Badu and Bob James, as well as John Legend and Patti Austin.
The Yuko Mabuchi Trio
Yuko — a pianist dynamo — brings a fresh contemporary approach to jazz. And she isn’t afraid to show her showmanship as she passionately, yet fastidiously, hammers away on the keys.
Sherry, a multi-Grammy-winning flautist, has been a mainstay in modern jazz for more than 30 years. She’s had a hand in building greats such as Miles Davis, George Michael, Hubert Laws, and the Marsalis Brothers. Her steady, balanced sound is instantly recognizable on many of modern jazz’s popular records.
The Jack Wilkins Quartet
Jack Wilkins is a master — yet underrated — improviser, despite playing the jazz guitar for more than 60 years. The New Yorker has performed alongside many of jazz’s greats — Sonny Fortune, Kenny Barron, and Frank Foster, among many others.