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Divinely Layered Soul and Jazz
- Thursday, Apr 20, 2017
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
About Lizz Wright
Lizz Wright has been charming music fans worldwide ever since she appeared on the late pianist and composer Joe Sample’s 2002 disc, The Pecan Tree. The following year, she gained even wider recognition for her critically acclaimed debut record, Salt. Produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma – best known for his award-winning work with George Benson, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole – the album helped introduce one of the most captivating female vocalists of her generation as it raced to number two on Billboard’s “Top Contemporary Jazz” chart.
Wright was born in the small town of Hahira, Georgia. A preacher’s kid, she sang during most services, and it is there, deep in the joy of ministry, that one can find the roots of the voice and spirit that so captivates listeners. With peculiar focus, she seamlessly weaves through the genres of gospel, jazz, folk, pop, and blues, handling them like colors on a palette. Ultimately, it is the voice, the stories told and the call to connect that transcend categorization and stir her audiences.
Wright’s next two records, Dreaming Wide Awake (2005) and The Orchard (2008), saw her continue to grow artistically, as she delved deeper into songwriting. The tune “Hit The Ground” was an indication of Wright’s evolution as a storyteller, and it helped propel Dreaming Wide Awake to number one on Billboard’s “Top Contemporary Jazz” chart.
Wright’s 2010 disc, Fellowship, found her drawing deeply from the wellspring of her years singing in church. She delivered poignant readings of gospel classics such as “God Specializes,” “Sweeping Through the City,” and “Amazing Grace.” Still, Wright didn’t stick too rigidly to traditional gospel material. Her broad perspective and a desire to tell her story allowed her to find the spiritual in comparatively secular material like Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg’s “(I’ve Got to Use My) Imagination” – a big hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips – Jimi Hendrix’s “In From the Storm,” and Meshell Ndegeocello and Bob Marley’s “Fellowship.”
In the years after Fellowship, Wright continued to tour extensively, and branched out musically with her studies of hand percussion, adding it into the live set to the rapturous approval of her fans.
The impressionable journey of making records and touring to support them ensures that no artist is the same for their fifth record as they were for their first. Wright’s soaring arc of growth and expanding expression has been the public weaving of an intricate and colorful tapestry. For her fifth project, supported by the brilliance, wisdom, and friendship of Larry Klein, Wright’s own fulfillment and enjoyment from the process are evident. She is gifted with an extraordinary instrument, and Freedom & Surrender allows Wright to illuminate her dynamic soul through the layers of passion and playfulness found within the songs.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Lizz Wright’s voice is a national treasure.” -Upscale Magazine
“It would not be hyperbolic to describe Lizz Wright as an awesome [Wright] stands in a direct line of descent from Odetta through Tracy Chapman, singers whose source of sustenance is the African-American spiritual tradition.” -New York Times