Born: July 11 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Jazz vocalist and DC-native Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer and teacher, has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the nation’s capital with sold-out performances.
With the launch of her independently produced album, A Peace of Mine, in 2010, the young artist’s music and concerts are creating a significant buzz with critics and music-lovers alike. Said Franz Matzner of All About Jazz, “Akua Allrich’s music flows with a free, natural energy as engaging as her equally ingenuous personality.”
Allrich’s style is fluid and ever evolving. Her musical roots run deeply into blues, soul and rhythm and blues, with a clear grounding in jazz and pan-African music. She sings in many languages including Portuguese, French, Spanish, English, Xhosa, and Twi. Given her ability to capture the essence of a broad range of musical genres, Allrich is often likened to legendary artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone. She has developed popular tribute programs involving the latter two women and other great African American women of jazz.
Akua Allrich was educated at Howard University, where she obtained her BM in jazz vocals and a master’s degree in social work. She was taught, coached and mentored by talented musicians such as world-renowned singer Kehembe V. Eichelberger, singer/drummer Grady Tate, and pianist Charles Covington.
She is the child of a musical family (her father, Agyei Akoto, was a founding member of the jazz group, Nation, and recorded two albums during Allrich’s youth). Her home held a wealth of cherished recordings that she and her siblings were invited to explore. In fact, she did not buy any albums until her second year in college because her parents had such an amazing collection of jazz records. One of the first jazz albums she bought was John Coltrane’s Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes.
Allrich has already proven her abilities as a performer and bandleader by producing and performing many successful solo and group programs. In addition to focusing on her own engaging compositions, she keeps an ear to the rest of the world and to other eras and artists. She has inspired music lovers from all walks who enjoy her exceptional artistry and eagerly await her next offering.
Akua Allrich’s music flows with a free, natural energy as engaging as her equally ingenuous personality… She has developed a compelling musical style fusing jazz, R&B, and African influences… She has grown a loyal local audience and established herself in the increasingly vibrant Washington scene as a performer capable of not only packing the house, but bringing it to its feet. —Franz A. Matzner, All About Jazz
Singer Akua Allrich is defining the title fusion artist with her debut disc A Peace of Mine. Those who need some pop- flavored R&B thrown into their music mix won't be disappointed either with two of her tunes Just Wait and Too Hard that quickly remind us of Alicia Keys on a good day. —Soulbounce.com
“It is very rare that you find someone who has the style of grace of Nina Simone, the tenacity of Eartha Kitt, and just a little bit of the “oomph” of Billie Holiday.” —thisisrealmusic.com
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