Her name, Goapele Mohlabane, is just as intriguing as her music.
Her name, Goapele Mohlabane, is just as intriguing as her music. Having generated considerable buzz in her native San Francisco, this gifted singer/songwriter of South African and Jewish heritage is poised to break out. And rightfully so. This arresting set organically mixes R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and electronica in introspective, candid songs that colorfully reflect this soulful sista's diverse range and life experiences. Whether bumping down the neo-soul route via "Closer," getting in touch with her inner spirit on the compelling blues/Middle Eastern-flavored "Salvation," or expressing anti-war sentiment on "Red, White & Blues," Goapele's smoky, sensual voice is a beacon that shines on a set that wisely steers clear of overproduction. While calling to mind such influences as Nina Simone and Sade, this classic chanteuse-in-the-making is definitely her own woman of substance. Contact: 510-451-1200.—GM