Rwandan West Harlem based jazz vocalist Somi Kakoma is set to stage an intimate live jazz solo performance, accompanied by an acoustic guitarist, on September 11, 5p.m, at Shokola, in Kiyovu.
The ticketed event is to grace her new album “If The Rains Come First’, scheduled for international release on the ObliqSound label, on October 13.
The album is a stunning collection of self-penned story-based songs; a meditation on opening ourselves up to life’s blessings and challenges much in the way that we accept the rain and all that it brings.
As active as she is, Somi’s new album proves that she always takes the time necessary to finesse each song she crafts. “If the Rains Come First” reveals the careful attention she pays to getting the details right.
“I never force a song out,” Somi said in a statement, adding that, “Usually having quiet space for introspection and meditation inspires me deeply.”
Somi’s new work showcases her whimsically clever songwriting and pure vocal beauty against electro-acoustic sounds capes that offer a modern look at classic soul and Africa’s future.
The singer, who is jetting in from South Africa has performed in several venues, including at Amohoro Stadium (Kigali), Lincoln Center (NYC), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), and La Cigale (Paris).
Having performed to audiences across four continents, Somi has since worked with or performed alongside big names in the music industry, the likes of Paul Simon, John Legend, Hugh Masekela, Amel Larrieux, Roy Hargrove, Idan Raichel, and Mos Def.
The songbird wants to support the further development of Rwanda’s cultural presence of a global stage while introducing local audiences to jazz and its relationship to Rwanda’s musical heritage.
Also, Somi is eager to align Rwanda’s high-end corporate brands with a Rwandese artist of sophistication and international presence for a relatively low cost, as well as encouraging the development of an annual Kigali Jazz Festival.