Feather boas, crystal jewelry and the distinct sound only a brass section can deliver are reminiscent of a time in entertainment when big band music led by the likes of Count Basie and Duke Ellington dominated the scene and Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Washington were singing the blues. But R&B/Soul singer, Liv Warfield, seems to have stepped right out of big band time machine from the 1940s and 50s into the 21st century, delivering her own rendition of Rhythm & Blues with an accompaniment 11-piece band. She has garnered over 100,000 YouTube views from her appearance earlier this year on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and over 26,000 views from last month’s appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. Wikipedia describes big ban as:
A type of musical ensemble that originated in the United States and is associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately 12 to 25 musicians.
R&B and Pop have somehow blurred there once distinctive lines leaving us all confused about which is which exactly. Cross-over success is no longer something to aspire to for urban acts, rather it’s the formula used during pre-production. While there isn’t much struggle in finding someone to sing or someone to entertain, there is however an issue in finding the total package musically. Popular acts of today are capturing audiences and holding them captive with more stunts and scandal the US government– using Instagram and other social media platforms as a smoke screen for their lack of substantial talent. “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, but look at how sexy I am. Don’t you want this tattoo under your boobs too? Hehe” Sadly, there is an entire generation developing before our eyes, that likely can’t hear when a song has been mixed, mastered and engineered from trash to treasure using auto-tune and other layered vocal techniques. (These terms equate to Photoshop for the voice.)
There a large sect of serial iTune downloaders, physical copy coppers and concert-goers dying for a music and live show that touches them on a deeper level. Not to worry, victory is here. The culprit: R&B soul singer Liv Warfield. Warfield is satisfying the taste buds of insatiable music lovers discontent with mainstream music of today, with the release of her second studio album The Unexpected. The project’s title track was writing by legendary artist Prince. She’s challenging the listeners ear by throwing several elements at you at once. Each factor sends that very real chill down your spine and make the hairs on your arm stand on end. The influence of Warfield’s idols like Nina Simone, Etta James, Tina Turner and Mary J. Blige are apparent not only in her runs and riffs, but also her use of a large, 15-piece band ensemble. This mash-up makes absolutely sense, considering she needs a large band to match and keep up to her power vocals.
Washington, D.C. is in for a treat this Spring as Liv Warfield and The NPG Hornz, best known for working with the iconic musician Prince, take to the Howard Theatre stage on April 13th. Showtime is at 8pm, but doors will open at 6 so that you can come in, grab a great seat and take advantage of the theatre’s full dinner menu. Tickers are available through Ticketmaster, where there are group rates and parking tickets available as well.
Stay tuned to TheBobbyPen.com for the official recap of her show, as well as other upcoming cultural events in and around DC. Follow my social media platforms, and be sure to join my mailing list to be the first notified new posts, giveaways and event announcements.