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Somi: Petite Afrique (OKeh/Sony Masterworks)

The section of Harlem along and around West 116th Street is known as Little Africa—or, in French, Petite Afrique—a vibrant jumble of African immigrants, their cuisine, their craftsmanship, their struggles, their joys. Though not African by birth—she was born to African parents in Illinois—vocalist-composer Somi was raised from ages 3 to 9 in Zambia before … Read More “Somi: Petite Afrique (OKeh/Sony Masterworks)”

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Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

Born in Illinois to parents from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi has always felt the pull of Africa. She has visited much of the continent, and in 2008 founded New Africa Live, dedicated to promoting global recognition of multidisciplinary African artists. The following year, spurred by her father’s death, she journeyed “home,” spending 18 months in … Read More “Somi: The Lagos Music Salon”

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Somi: Live At Jazz Standard

If you’re familiar with the phenomenal TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) program and its annual conferences in support of “ideas worth spreading,” then you’ll appreciate how tremendous it is for Somi to be named as one of only 20 2011 TED Global Fellows. The Illinois-born vocalist, who draws most of her musical inspiration from her … Read More “Somi: Live At Jazz Standard”

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Somi: If The Rains Come First

She floats and flutters like a swatch of chiffon caught in soft cross-breezes, her cream ‘n’ sugar, Sade-meets-Astrud Gilberto voice riding gentle waves of guitar, bass and pan-cultural percussion. But don’t let Somi’s mellow style fool you. Whether exploring hope or heartache, personal lesson or universal truth, each of the original compositions that fill her … Read More “Somi: If The Rains Come First”

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