the guest apartment: nneka plays tompkins square park
  • THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010

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On record Nneka Egbuna traverses a staggering, dynamic sheath of musical touchstones; to be expected when your inspirations lie on two different continents. The Nigerian raised, European educated songwriter's US debut Concrete Jungle is an enterprising and engaging kind of listen, calling upon elements of afro-beat, folk ,funk, jazz, and neo-soul; a bit dizzying when written out, but easily recollecting the very best parts of artists like Lauryn Hill, Fela Kuti, and Nina Simone as it cycles through.

Fresh off a weekend engagement with The Roots at their annual summer picnic, Nneka joined us in the hustling environment of NYC's Tompkins Square Park for an acoustic rendition of one of her album's songs ("Come With Me"), as well as two numbers ("Lost Souls", "Valley") we had previously never encountered. Here in the "concrete jungle" of one the city's more charismatic public spaces, the beautiful songwriter and her accompanist lean heavy on the sparse enchanting beauty of her song's roots, crafting the kind of soft and elegant melodies that make the surrounding chaos of the city seem to sizzle away in the early-summer heat. - David Pitz

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Nneka Plays Tompkins Square Park

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