Alana Davis w/ Be Steadwell In The Wine Garden - 10/15/18Monday, October 15 2018 6:00pm Doors / 7:30pm Start
Alana Davis w/ Be Steadwell In The Wine Garden - 10/15/18
at The Wine Garden
$15 In Advanced and $18 At the Door
There are many interpretations of the notion that Alana Davis has a unique composition.
The first refers to that of her heritage and environmental background. Her Black father, Walter Davis, Jr., was an acclaimed jazz pianist who, in addition to releasing the Blue Note classic LP Davis Cup, played alongside luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Donald Byrd and as part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Alana’s White mother, Anna Schofield, was a noted jazz vocalist whose 1963 Atlantic Records release Anamari was produced by the legendary Nesuhi Ertegun (John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Ray Charles). She was raised in the West Village in Manhattan where she was influenced by an eclectic assortment of musicians like Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. This enriched musical upbringing put Alana on the path to attend the famed LaGuardia School of Performing Arts in New York City on a scholarship.
The second interpretation alludes to her style sui generis of singer-songwriter artistry. Her song lyrics are notably personal, mature, and distinctive while her sound synthesizes rock, pop, folk, jazz, soul and reggae, the latter acting as a thematic backdrop to her new full-length album, Love Again (Cleopatra Records). Perhaps her most recognizable characteristic is her voice, which has been described by TIME Magazine as “sensuous, sliding alto, young and vibrant, but infused with old, smoky blues”. It is for these reasons that Alana, like her father, has been able to share stages with a number of critically acclaimed contemporary performers like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Blues Traveler, and Ziggy Marley while also receiving invitations to open for veteran artists like Jethro Tull, Bonnie Raitt, and Steel Pulse.
Alana’s tenure in modern music dates back to the late 90’s, when she released her debut album Blame it On Me (Elektra Records). The first single from the album, “32 Flavors” became a Top 40 hit and earned her TV appearances on The Tonight Show, The Late Show, and other TV programs. She was also the only female main stage act for the 1998 H.O.R.D.E. Festival. Proving that her sound transcends genres, Jay-Z prominently sampled Alana’s voice and song “Murder” on his triple-platinum album Vol. 3…Life & Time of S. Carter which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Albums Chart. Her collaboration with hip-hop artists would continue with Pharrell Williams, who produced tracks for Alana’s sophomore album, Fortune Cookies (Elektra Records).
In the early 2000’s, Alana’s voice was heard by over 100 million people during a Superbowl commercial for Sony Electronics, where she covered the Crosby, Stills & Nash classic “Carry On”. Subsequently, Gloria Steinem invited Alana to perform at the Ms. Foundation Awards prior to releasing her third record, Surrender Dorothy, in partnership with the TelArc record label. Alana became a mother in 2008 and took some time off from recording to focus on raising her daughter, but would continue to perform live in the US and the Caribbean from time to time, including performances with Thievery Corporation. During this period, she also wrote and placed songs for major television and film projects.
In May 2018, Alana dropped her new LP, “Love Again”, and released the title track as the first single along with a counterpart music video. The album features collaborations with the Eurhythmics’ Dave Stewart, Native’s Brian Jobson, Hit Reggae Producers Sly & Robbie (No Doubt, Sinead O’Connor) and neo-soul drumming legend Gene Lake (Maxwell, D’Angelo, Meshell Ndegeocello). Reggae is a notable influence in the new record’s sound and has been supported by Alana’s shows at Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and during opening slots for Steel Pulse. Alana said about the record “ “I built around the acoustic song, but I tried not to fill in all the blanks. I tried to leave it still kind of acoustic at the core, so that you’d feel my heart.”
Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. A blend of soul, acapella and folk-Be calls her music QUEER POP. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism, and Affirming LGBTQ content.
As she pursued her career in music, she began a career in film. Shooting and editing her own music videos, Be combined her love of music with narrative film. Her film Vow of Silence received awards at film festivals around the world, including Black Star, QWOCMAP, and Fringe Fest UK. This year, Issa Rae Featured vow of Silence in her Short Film sundays Series. After receiving a BA at Oberlin College, Be completed her MFA in film at Howard University in 2014.
Be has shared stages with fellow artist Activists Big Freedia, Nona Hendryx, Nikky Finney and Gina Yashere. In 2017 Be sang at The Women's March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon's Big Lovely Band. In may 2018 Be released her newest album "Queer Love Songs"