185 Orchard St.
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Born and raised in that faceless jungle of urban sprawl between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, J grew up in a Baptist family, singing in church on Sundays. At home, music was a constant presence; her Latina mother played merengue and bachata day and night, while her African American father schooled her in classic and contemporary R&B. She loved all of it.
As a teenager she was drawn to vocalists with big, dramatic ranges, particularly Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Tori Amos and country music diva Martina McBride. Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell was a favorite album. She became a jazz fan, too.
Yet her devotion to the church was strong. At 19, J left South Florida for a private Christian university in the middle of the state, where she majored in music and sang in the touring gospel choir. And after graduation, she married her college sweetheart - together, they spent the next eight years operating a ministry in the Miami area.
“And then something clicked in me,” she says. “I realized that my whole life, I was following a set path that I thought I was supposed to follow. I had the house I wanted, I had the car I wanted.
“I was considered a success at a pretty young age. With my husband. But I was not happy as a person. We were doing music, but nothing secular.” She felt boxed in, restricted, making music that no longer resonated with her so much.
And so J Blue walked away. “I started over,” she says. “Now I feel like I’m living a new life – I’m living twice!”
The music, she was ecstatic to discover, was still there, waiting for her. The songs began to pour out of her, some profoundly autobiographical, some using newfound poetic license to exorcise demons, celebrate a new love or declare her hard-won independence.
There’s blood in her lyrics, spilled over time along the rocky road that led her to this point. And the music, blending elements of jazz, gospel, R&B, hip hop and every other sound she’d absorbed, is, in the final judgement, all hers. There’s only one J Blue, making this dynamic, richly textured and exceedingly soulful music.
“A long time ago,” she says, “I started to think ‘OK, who am I as a singer? What do I have to say as a songwriter? What’s my voice?’
“I think it’ll be a lifelong journey. I’ve come to a place where I’m OK with that. I don’t have to have that answer today, and I don’t have to have it tomorrow, or in the next two years. I’m happy with the journey.
GA Seated || Please note, there is a two drink minimum in the room.
Advance tickets are available online until 5:30PM, day of show. Any remaining tickets can be purchased at the door at showtime.