It’s no surprise that this week’s featured artist has garnered some major critical acclaim for her debut album Cheers to the Fall.  With a voice like Andra Day’s, soulful and uplifting, the listener has no choice but to pay attention.  Combine that voice with her retro style and affinity for vintage jazz singers, and you have an artist who is as contemporary as she is deeply connected to the “old soul” classics.

The Sound:

“Nina Simone and Billie Holiday are why I do what I do,” says Andra Day, and that’s evident in her vocal stylings.  Jazz is at her core and her wide ranging voice flows effortlessly into long, soulful improvisations.  But, her real talent comes through in her refusal to put herself in a box.  Though committed to honoring her jazz heroes, she also plays with hip-hop cadences and R&B rhythms. She follows whichever chord progression moves her and doesn’t worry about categorizing.  Her creative versatility is possibly best represented through her YouTube covers series featuring remakes of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Muse’s “Uprising.”

Why You Should Go:

Stunning voice aside, Andra Day is gorgeous and her throwback style creates a stage presence that is captivating and painfully beautiful at times.  She is sure to make the BMO Harris Pavilion feel less like an outdoor stage and more like an intimate, soft-lit night club at 1:00 am.  See her live at Summerfest on July 6!

If you like Emeli Sandé, Amy Winehouse, or Adele, check out Andra Day.

Sara Peronto is the Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator for Summerfest.