Some musical artists may claim cross-cultural influences, but few may be as deeply immersed as Ester Rada, an Israeli-born Ethiopian Jew.
Her sound has been described as "gracefully combining Ethio-jazz, urban-funk, neo-soul and R&B, with mixed undertones of black grooves."
She'll bring her genre-mixing music to Chattanooga on Friday, May 30, as the next headliner in the Nightfall summer concert series. The Creative Underground will open.
Rada just released her first album, featuring songs in English and Amharic. The self-titled, full-length debut is the follow-up to her critically acclaimed EP, "Life Happens."
Self-written and self-composed, the EP put Rada on the radar as a singer, songwriter and performer. Her increasing popularity brought tours of the United States, Canada and Europe and a slot at the Glastonbury Festival. Her video for "Life Happens" aired on MTV France, East Europe and Israel, as well as on VH1 UK.
She counts among her influences soul's power women of the early 20th century: Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. She adds an appreciation for contemporary black singers, including Eryka Badu, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott.