The Kennedy Center

Akua Allrich



Biography

Jazz vocalist and D.C.-native, Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer, and teacher has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the nation’s capital with sold-out performances.
 
With the launch of her independently produced album, A Peace of Mine, in 2010, and her latest release Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live! the young artist’s music and concerts created a significant buzz with critics and music-lovers alike. Her appeal soon reached across U.S. borders and attained international attention. In early 2011, Allrich signed a distribution deal with Japanese record label AGATE/Inpartmaint Inc. Her debut CD, A Peace of Mine, was released in Japan during their “Golden Week” of May 2011. Music lovers and tastemakers from around the world expressed their appreciation and excitement for this new music.
 
Allrich’s style is fluid and ever evolving. Her musical roots run deeply into blues, soul, and rhythm and blues, with a clear grounding in jazz and pan-African music. She sings in many languages including Portuguese, French, Spanish, English, Xhosa, and Twi. Given her ability to capture the essence of a broad range of musical genres, Allrich is often likened to legendary artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Miriam Makeba, and Nina Simone. She has developed popular tribute programs involving the latter two women and other great African American women of jazz.
 
Akua Allrich was educated at Howard University, where she obtained her BM in jazz vocals and a master’s degree in social work. She was taught, coached, and mentored by talented musicians such as world-renowned singer Kehembe V. Eichelberger, singer/drummer Grady Tate, and pianist Charles Covington.

She is the child of a musical family (her father, Agyei Akoto, was a founding member of the jazz group Nation, and recorded two albums during Allrich’s youth). Her home held a wealth of cherished recordings that she and her siblings were invited to explore. In fact, she did not buy any albums until her second year in college because her parents had such an amazing collection of jazz records. One of the first jazz albums she bought was John Coltrane’s Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes.
 
Allrich has already proven her abilities as a performer and bandleader by producing and performing many successful solo and group programs. In addition to focusing on her own engaging compositions, she keeps an ear to the rest of the world and to other eras and artists. Akua Allrich has inspired music lovers from all walks on an international scale, who enjoy her exceptional work and expect nothing short of brilliant artistry from each of her offerings.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/5/2015: Akua Allrich Album Release Show

Celebrating the release of her third album, Soul Singer, the soul-stirring jazz vocalist and D.C. native captures the blues, soul, R&B, jazz, and pan-African music with lyrics akin to Miriam Makeba, Bob Marley, and Nina Simone.

Akua Allrich