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Akua Allrich / Press

“Possessing one of the world's most beautiful smiles, Akua Allrich is even better equipped with one of the world's most formidable musical talents. She is a deeply schooled vocalist, with a sound that's rooted primarily in jazz but crosses genres and international boundaries—even languages—in its breadth. African, Afro-Caribbean, European, and all kinds of American sounds all sweep into her palette.”

“The vocalist Akua Allrich has been attracting attention over the past few years for her emotionally and spiritually charged performances, and a voice imbued with the sensitivity to coax and soar in equal measure.”

“Local star Akua Allrich continued her rapid rise this month performing music from her latest album Uniquely Standard (Self Produced, 2012) at the historic Howard Theater on Washington, DC's U Street. An accomplished vocalist whose vibrant performances and inviting stage presence have built a loyal following and propelled her to the forefront of Washington, DC's main jazz venues, Allrich's rise in many ways parallels the resurgence of Washington, DC as a major jazz city, making her debut at the recently reopened Howard Theater both a fitting and symbolically resonant accomplishment...”

“Uniquely Standard treats jazz as it should be: recorded as live sets in a club where the audience's reaction is as integral to the songs as their musical accompaniment. I recently chatted with Allrich about the new album, her take on the local jazz scene in which it’s rooted, and why the classic songs she chose still resonate today...”

“Akua Allrich's smile alone could light up any room, but add to that a rich and soulful voice with impeccable taste in material, and you get one of D.C.'s most dynamic vocalists. Her considerable talents are on full display with her latest album, Uniquely Standard ...”

"Akua Allrich has a warm and sassy delivery, not unlike a young Aretha Franklin, and uses her voice in a flexible way that includes drops, falls and growls almost like an old school trumpet player..."

"Akua Allrich I've said it before—if you hear (as you often do) that contemporary jazz seems to be missing soul, it's because all of the soul of a generation has been concentrated into Akua Allrich."

"... Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" is beautifully elegant and a sharp Juxtaposition to the carnal "Afro Blue." The contrast is as dizzying as it is brilliant. Allrich has the chops to sing whatever she wants, and further proves it on a bonfire "Black Coffee." ..."

“AKUA ALLRICH/Uniquely Standard: Ok, here's why we're impressed. Allrich opens up with some Nina Simone and her and the band have the vibe right. It's not homage, tribute or copy cat, she just has the right feel...”

“... vocalist Akua (pronounced Ah-kwee-ya) Allrich made her way to the Embassy stage like a queen approaching her throne. Her megawatt smile served as an unspoken introduction; it was clear that joy radiated from deep inside her and her voice journeyed from that space ... she, and all that she embodied, was standing in the music room of the Turkish Embassy Residence as an ambassador of jazz. Beautiful.”

"The clear, soulful voice of Akua Allrich is the primary reason to go hear her, of course. She's a warm, powerful presence whose singing talents are too vast to be constrained to jazz. (I've suggested neo-soul was a major part of her repertoire in the past, but the global elements in her music aren't to be underrated either.) But you could hear that on a recording. What's harder to quantify is her charisma in person."

“Quickly garnering attention on adult contemporary radio stations for her first CD A Peace of Mine (2010) and the single “Hard to Get”, Akua (pronounced Ah-kwee-ah) is moving forward with redefining what soul music is in America.”

“Dubbed “the next big thing” by Charles Fishman, who founded the DC Jazz Festival, the jazz vocalist isn’t just a rising star. She’s a skyrocket.”

“Allrich possess a stage presence and vocal range rivaling many of today's jazz divas, but it is her natural ease, contagious sense of joy, and blending of traditional jazz, modern influences, and African heritages that distinguishes her from even many of today's more established performers.”

"That journey toward allowing many influences to inform her work is represented in Allrich’s 2010 album, “A Peace of Mine.” It’s an eclectic collection, including such standards as “All the Things You Are” and “Black Orpheus” as well as such groove-heavy originals as “Gypsy Lover” and “Hard to Get.” The tunes are unabashedly joyful. At times, Allrich’s voice reveals hints of India.Arie; at others, it recalls Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday."

“Composer and singer Akua Allrich hails from Hyattsville but her musical influences come from all over the world. Tom Hall talks with her about her first album Piece of Mine.”

“Our guest of honor today is D.C. independent artist Akua Allrich, who is keeping the jazz tradition relevant for a new generation by adding in fresh influences from a range of influences from reggae to African.” The Michael Eric Dyson Show, Dysonshow.org -Listen now!”

“Akua Allrich’s A Peace of Mine is now international! Check out our new Japanese musical family Inpartmaint Inc.! OW! Peace and love to Japan.”

“Jazzmobile 2011 Jazz Vocal Competition Finalist! Akua Allrich was chosen as one of 8 finalists out of more than 100 contestants in the 2011 Jazz Vocal Competition. Final competition date and venue are tba. Congratulations to Akua and to all of the finalists!”

"Her fluid and graceful voice glides over rhythms that draw upon jazz, reggae, African and R&B influences. The buzz from that recording led to her signing with a Japanese record label and a collaboration with the historic Bohemian Caverns..."

“Akua Allrich's 'Hard to Get' is an irresistible jazzy soul tune that warms you up even if you're mired in cold, winter wind and snow.”

“... What is impressive is Akua's seemingly effortless ability to use each genre effectively to showcase her sound, which does not suffer across any of the musical styles used.”

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