Keya Maeesha‘s Date Night series is quickly becoming the preeminent showcase for up and coming R&B acts in New York City. As a warning shot for what she’s got planned in 2014 she hit us with an semi-acoustic themed Just A Taste featuring the same exemplary and forward thinking lineup she normally has.
I last saw Jaime Woods she was helping out her friend soul singer Nick Hakim during his own set a few months back. She stood out then and her solo set cashed in on what promise she showed last time. She’s an unselfish performer (later in the show she assisted Jennah Bell on background vocals) and it shows; there is an honesty in her voice that you rarely here nowadays where even accomplished singers find themselves singing like their influences but not like themselves.
Jennah Bell, who performed at The Couchsessions CMJ showcase, is just a gem. As strong as her voice is she deals in soft tones, playing with dynamics that makes an audience involuntarily silent following where she’s going vocally until she wops them with a hook. She’s a very nuanced and smart singer singer-songwriter.
Gwen Bunn closed out the night killing the crowd with strong soul vocals. Her hair obscured her face most of the time but she had solid stage presence and kept the crowd entertained through her songs and through stage banter. She shouted out her father and brother in the crowd, cracked jokes, and played an effortlessly un-flawed set.