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Monday, April 16th, 2018

Somi and Special Guest Laura Mvula Make Appel Room Debuts in Concerts Honoring Miriam Makeba and 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Nina Simone

Miriam Makeba & Nina Simone:
Singing Protest & Memory with Somi,
The Appel Room, May 18–19

New York, NY (April 16, 2018) Vocalist-composer Somi, described as “the new high priestess of soul” by the Huffington Post, and special guest British superstar Laura Mvula, will honor two of the most uncompromising vocalists of the 20th century in Miriam Makeba & Nina Simone: Singing Protest & Memory with Somi, May 18–19 , in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. The concerts mark Somi’s debut performance in The Appel Room and Mvula’s first-ever Jazz at Lincoln Center appearance. Also joining Somi on stage will be pianist Toru Dodo, bassist Michael Olatuja, drummer Otis Brown III, and vocalist Vuyo Sotashe.   

“Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone are two of my greatest sources of inspiration as an artist.  Needless to say, I was thrilled by the opportunity to pay homage to these incomparable women in such a beautiful venue,” says Somi. “The show’s concept of protest and memory is a reflection on how we as women – as voices – can speak truth to power, individually and collectively.  Simone and Makeba set extraordinary examples of unapologetically using their voices to incite social consciousness and revolution.  May we never forget their power, their voices, or their sisterhood.”

A free pre-concert discussion will take place at 6pm and 8:30pm each night in the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Studio, located in the Irene Diamond Education Center at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Miriam Makeba & Nina Simone: Singing Protest & Memory with Somi will take place in The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, located at Broadway at 60th Street, New York, New York. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Somi was born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda.  She was mentored by the legendary Hugh Masekela, who himself had an extensive personal and musical relationship with both Makeba and Simone. In 2014, she performed alongside Masekela, Vusi Mahlesela, and Dave Matthews at Carnegie Hall in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of South African democracy. Somi’s latest album debuted at the top of U.S. and international jazz charts – recently receiving an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. She is a 2018 USA Doris Duke Fellow, a TED Senior Fellow, an inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, and a former Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Armory, UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Baryshnikov Arts Center.  Somi’s original modern jazz play about Makeba’s life will premiere in 2019.

Laura Mvula is a British recording artist, songwriter and composer who has also been compared to the greats and passionately championed by dedicated fans like Prince. American audiences recently heard her at the Afropunk festival, at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and as part of Angelique Kidjo’s tribute to Makeba at Carnegie Hall. Mvula also demonstrated her deep connection to Nina Simone in the BBC documentary and performance showcase, Nina Simone & Me with Laura Mvula.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2017–18 season celebrates the organization’s 30th anniversary. Since the first downbeat of its summer concert series in 1987, Jazz at Lincoln Center has been a vital part of the global cultural landscape. Jazz at Lincoln Center was established as an independent non-profit organization in 1996; opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the “House of Swing”, in 2004, making it the world’s first venue designed specifically for jazz; and launched Blue Engine Records in 2014 to share its vast archive of recordings. Over the past three decades, Jazz at Lincoln Center has become an important advocate for jazz, culture, and arts education globally, reaching an audience of nearly 2 million people of all ages and experiences through concerts, webcasting, musical instruction, and distribution of music scores—the vast majority of which is free of charge. To date, Jazz at Lincoln Center has produced more than 1,200 original concerts in the New York City area, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra having performed in over 446 cities in 41 countries on five continents.

This milestone season reflects on 30 years of celebrating the universal language of music and the influence of jazz in the present day. Throughout the 2017–18 season, Jazz at Lincoln Center will bring together a wide array of events, projects, virtuoso musicians, composers, and educators to illustrate the collaborative nature of the art form. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2017–18 season features performances by renowned artists including Joey Alexander, Chick Corea, Paquito D’Rivera, Eliane Elias, Ellis Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Marilyn Maye, Steve Miller, and Dianne Reeves; as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center debuts by the Harlem Quartet and vocalist and songwriter Somi. The milestone season will conclude with a grand finale world premiere by Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director.

Ticket prices start at $10. All single tickets for The Appel Room and Rose Theater can be purchased at jazz.org 24 hours a day or through CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, open daily from 10am–9pm. Tickets can also be purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, located on Broadway at 60th Street, ground floor.

Box Office Hours: 
Monday–Saturday: 10am–6pm (or 30 minutes past curtain)
Sunday: 12pm–6pm (or 30 minutes past curtain)

Hot Seats—$10 seats for select shows in Rose Theater—are available for purchase to the general public on the Wednesday prior to each performance, subject to availability. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Hot Seats Ticket Discount Program is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

For more information about Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary season, go to jazz.org.

Additional information may be found at jazz.org |
Facebook: facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenter |
Twitter: @jazzdotorg | Instagram: @jazzdotorg |
YouTube: youtube.com/jalc | Livestream: jazz.org/live

Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly acknowledges
its major corporate partners:
Bloomberg, Brooks Brothers, Centene Charitable Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Con Edison, Entergy, SiriusXM, Steinway & Sons,  The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center, and United Airlines.




Press Inquiries:
Rebecca Kim
Assistant Director, Public Relations
Jazz at Lincoln Center