KBCS 91.3 and the Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcome singer/songwriter, rapper, bassist and all-around creative genius Meshell Ndegeocello for four nights and six shows, touring in support of her new release Ventriloquism. Band members are: Meshell Ndegeocello (bass & vocals), Christopher Bruce (guitar), Justin Hicks (vocals), Jebin Bruni (keyboards) and Abraham Bruce (drums). Show times Thursday and Sunday at
Earle Dutton (ED): How did you get started in music?
Meshell Ndegeocello (MD): (Laughter) My father played. I guess it was decided for me. It is probably genetic.
ED: What inspires you?
MD: Lately? I am really inspired by people who continue to believe in the democratic process. I have to stay inspired by that because it seems so foolish. That is what inspires me right now.
ED: You have worked with some amazing people. Is there someone you are just yearning to collaborate with?
MD: Wow that is an interesting question. There is this French duo, The Blaze, that I have been really into lately. I would love to collaborate with them. I love this other band Khruangbin that I would love to work with. I
ED: The music industry has really changed and evolved in our lifetimes. What do you think of its current incarnation?
MD: I think it is much better for people being brought up in it now. There are many more opportunities for you to be that flash in the pan. I think it is just something new to maneuver for people from our generation. You gotta let go of the old paradigm. I don’t think we are ever going to see one of these massive stars like Michael Jackson again. It’s like anything. It has both good and bad. If you are really just about getting your music out and finding your own audience, then we are in a great time. If you are out to make money, then not so much (laughter). The revenue streams are really changing. I think it is much more about licensing than selling music.
ED: I adore your song Beautiful. Who inspired that song?
MD: (Laughter) It is about someone I loved at that time.
ED: Could you tell me a bit about the show you are bringing to Jazz Alley?
MD: (Laughter) Yes, let’s just cut to the chase now (laughter). Of course, I will do some catalog songs. I will add in some old and new material. I would really like to highlight a multimedia piece based on the work of James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time.” I am going to
Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday. Get tickets and more info here.