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For Ledisi, singing her soul over funked-out R&B tracks just comes naturally. The New Orleans native has been a neo-soul mainstay for the better part of the last decade and she is hoping that her fifth album will make her a household name. She will release "Pieces of Me" this June, 2011 and will tour in support of the album. Ledisi tour dates are currently available and tickets are on sale.
Ledisi was born into a musical family, and she drew inspiration from her soul-singer mother and the rich cultural history of Louisiana. She began performing with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra where she honed her vocal ability before moving to Oakland to enroll at the University of California - Berkley. She studied opera and piano for several years before forming the group Anibade in the late '90s. The group recorded a demo and shopped it around to all the major labels, but was unable to secure a deal.
After her stint with Anibade, Ledisi decided to go solo and she released her debut album "Soulsinger: The Revival," on her own independent label, LeSun Records. In support of the album, she re-teamed with Anibade and toured the country, however, the album didn't make an impact on the charts. She released her sophomore set, "Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue", in 2002 and was able to garner some national attention and acclaim. In 2003, the album won her the California Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Album and her songs were licensed out to commercials.
Ledisi went on a five year hiatus before signing a major-label deal with Verve Records. She released "Lost & Found" in 2007 and the album quickly made an impact on the Billboard charts. The album spawned the singles "Alright" and "Think of You", and peaked at #10 on the R&B albums survey. She gained mainstream attention when she was nominated for two awards at the 2008 Grammy's, including Best New Artist and Best R&B album for "Lost and Found". Ledisi tour dates were scheduled in support of the album and in light of the critical attention that she was receiving.
She went on to release her fourth and most recent album, "Turn Me Loose", in 2008. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts and featured production by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as Raphael Saddiq. The album was nominated for Best R&B album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the single "Goin' Thru Changes", at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Ledisi will release "Pieces of Me" this June, 2011 and will tour in support of the album. Ledisi concert dates are currently scheduled nationally with R&B crooner, Kem, this 2011. She is redefining neo-soul with her jazz infused melodies and silky smooth vocals. Use Eventful as your source for Ledisi tour dates and concert schedule information.
Born and reared in Milwaukee as Eric Benét Jordan, Benét is the youngest of five from a very musical household. His father, a police detective, loved classical music. Whereas, his mother would sing around the house, even singing the duties to the kids. In addition, Eric's older siblings gave him a big dose of Stevie Wonder, who is one of his top musical influences. Eric was also influenced by Al Green, Sly Stone, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, the Beatles, Queen and gospel music among others. He started showcasing his musical talent in church in the gospel choir. Eventually, he expanded to school plays and musicals. Eric soon realized at a young age that he wanted to pursue music professionally. Eric's first professional break came when he joined a local group, Gerard, in the late 80's. They toured various night clubs and small venues covering top 40 tunes. It was during this time that Eric learned through experience. He experimented and performed all types of music from rock to pop to soul to hip hop.
Let the celebrating begin, because real music is back. The multi-talented, Minnesota based band Mint Condition is roaring back from a six year hiatus with the release of their newest creation, Livin the Luxury Brown. This time, on their own terms, the band has released a set of fourteen songs along with some very adventurous musical interludes and other very special bonus material. The new CD will be released on their very own label, Cagedbird Records, in a joint venture with Image Entertainment, a major distributor of home entertainment products. The independent release is most definitely a luxe experience, as the talented Twin Cities brotherhood proves that not only have their musical chops survived intact, theyve deepened with time.
Livin the Luxury Brown is Mints first release since their 1999 album Life's Aquarium. The title of the new CD has a specific meaning for the group, which has spent the last six years playing spot dates, woodshedding with new songs and side projects and just living life. Lead singer Stokley says, "Livin' the Luxury Brown is a kind of metaphor that celebrates our experience, culture, tradition and peoplehood. We're just givin' you somethin' honest, creative, fun, deep and real."
Amazingly enough, the original lineup of the influential band remains essentially the same since its 1991 debut recording Meant to Be Mint. Mint Condition once again sports the prodigious talents of Stokley on vocals and drums, Ricky Kinchen on bass and lead guitar, Lawrence El on piano and keyboards, O'Dell on lead and rhythm guitar and Jeffrey on saxophone and keyboards. Beginning as a sextet, the group now stands at five after the amicable departure of keyboardist Keri Lewis. Mint Condition's classic soul-meets-rock sound is still in full effect as a product of being a self contained unit by writing and producing their own material. Mint Condition also gets support on the new CD from drummer Chris Dave, as well as a contribution from A Tribe Called Quest and former Lucy Pearl sound architect Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
Happily for longtime fans, Livin' the Luxury Brown incorporates the back-to-basics ethos of a hardworking garage band, while fully embracing the smooth melodies of contemporary R&B with welcome touches from the hip-hip, jazz and latin genres. Saxophonist and songwriter Jeffrey notes that the new album does have some interesting twists, "Musically we have more guitar on this record than we've ever had in the past. In addition to Odell, we have Rick playin' guitar, Stokley playin' guitar, and Larry strums a little bit. So, we've established more of an organic sound on this record. The first single from the set is the mid-tempo tune "I'm Ready." With Stokely's signature skill at infusing a lyric with maximum significance, he professes a new willingness for long-lasting romance. "I'm Ready" acknowledges when you've been in a relationship for a long time and have finally crossed that bridge saying 'let's rise on' and take our relationship to that next level."
Mint Condition definitely knows how to send it swingin' on the up-tempo party tip. but it wouldn't be a Mint thang without the bands' trademark, temperature-raisin' love song like the classic ballad promise of "Love Your Tears Away," "a dreamy surprise". Adoration is also the subject of regret on the mid-tempo scorcher "What Happened", while the Mint machine rocks out on the blazing protest "Doormat.
Livin' the Luxury Brown, the band's first release of the new millennium, clearly represents a new era for Mint Condition. Their music itself stands alone and that independence feels right for the group. With their unique sound and musical expertise, Mint Condition has long stood apart from cookie-cutter groups and studio-honed boy bands. After all, this is the group that launched such indelible hits as "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)", "Someone to Love", "You Send Me Swinging", "What Kind of Man Would I Be" and "Pain or Pleasure". This is also the same group whose awesome stage presence and songwriting skills so impressed production bigwigs Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, that they immediately signed Mint Condition to their own Perspective Record label in the mid-nineties. Now, in 2005, comes the next step in the evolution of the band Mint Condition.
The year 2005 and beyond will include a national tour in support of the new CD Livin' The Luxury Brown released nationally on April 26th, an exclusive BET television special on the band to air on April 24th and the long anticipated release of Mint Condition's first live concert DVD/CD combo package in July 2005. The group also has plans for their new label Cagedbird Records, which includes signing new talent and the exciting prospect of releasing Mint's highly coveted side project, the experimental Latin Jazz group JOTO which features Jeffrey, Stokley and Lawrence El.
It's an ambitious slate for the band, but Mint Condition is just fulfilling their destiny of Livin' the Luxury Brown.