A week after playing the Rochester, N.Y., International Jazz Festival, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs roll into Miller Plaza, 928 Market St., to headline Nightfall on Friday, July 5. Danny Polo will open the free concert at 7 p.m.
Shamarr Allen is the definition of New Orleans. Hailing from the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, he grew up influenced by jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk rhythms, blues and country.
He is the lead vocalist and trumpeter for Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, and has collaborated with renowned artists such as Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis and Lenny Kravitz. In addition to his skills on the front line as a lead performer, Allen is also a writer, producer and composer.
In 2011, he and the Underdawgs were invited to tour Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department. In 2012, the Underdawgs were again invited by the State Department on a tour — this time to Central Asia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
In 2013, the band was invited to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Allen names one of his favorite moments as being the first trumpet player to play the national anthem for President Barack Obama.
The band's 2009 debut album was "Box Who In?" Their 2011 album, "504-799-8147," showcased the group's immense musical diversity, combining elements of hip-hop, rock, soul and pop. Their third studio album released last year, "True Orleans," pays homage to Allen's hometown with samples of all the music genres important to New Orleans' music history.