Charenée Wade is known for her expert vocal improvisational ability and her seriously swinging groove, she evokes a classic jazz sound akin to Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan.

With her Motéma debut, Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (June 23), she pays tribute to another inspiration, the socially conscious poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, and confirms that she too plans to use her artist platform thoughtfully.

The first full-length album tribute to Scott-Heron and his musical collaborator Brian Jackson by a woman artist, Offering is arresting in just how timely Scott-Heron’s messages are today and how perfectly Wade delivers them through her savvy arrangements and intimate jazz interpretations. 

Wade embodies Scott-Heron’s poems deeply and with a pathos that belies her age. 

Her singing is effortless and inventive on the opening title track, and with her lithe voice floating around the poet’s timeless words, we are invited into her invocation. Indeed “Song of the Wind” feels like a sacred exchange between the past and present and a testament to the peace we’re still seeking today. “A Toast to The People” showcases her excellent storytelling ability and subtle vocal prowess. On “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” she and the band throw down the gauntlet both in terms of the powerful message and jazz chops on display.

Wade gives ample evidence on this remarkable debut as to why she is one of the most exciting, distinctive and bold young musical talents on the rise today. This year she is touring in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s national presentation, Ladies Sing the Blues.

A singer, composer, arranger and educator, Wade is a professor at the Aaron Copland School at Queens College and was just recently appointed to Peabody Institute. Wade will be performing as part of New Standards Jazz Crawl,  Thursday October 20th @ The Wright Museum.

@ The Wright Museum at 7:30 pm