September 15, 2018 8:00 pm - 1:00 am Putnam Place, 63a Putnam Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
featuring special guests:
Jazzy Amra Sophistafunk
Ages: 18+ (note: there is a $5 surcharge for attendees under 21)
Tickets:$40 Advance / $47 Day of Show
* The online presale period for this show has ended. All remaining tickets will be sold at the door while supplies last.
The music that Wyclef Jean has written, performed, and produced — both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees — has been a consistently powerful, pop cultural force for over two decades. In 1996, the Fugees released their monumental album The Score, which inspired notoriously prickly rock critic Robert Christgau to write: “so beautiful and funny, its courage could make you weep.” The album, created in Wyclef’s studio in his uncle’s basement in New Jersey, hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, spawned a trio of smash singles (including their indelible reinvention of Roberta Flack’s 1973 ballad “Killing Me Softly”), and is now certified six times platinum. But Wyclef, a child prodigy with a wealth of musical influences from jazz to classic rock to reggae, resisted the pressure to duplicate the sound and style of that masterwork. Instead, he launched himself as a producer and solo artist whose work drew from an innovative and eclectic palette that included elements of pop, country, folk, disco,
Latin, and electronic music.
“I just keep moving,” he says today. “If I didn’t keep moving after The Score, y’all wouldn’t have had the biggest pop song of all time.” Wyclef is referring to Shakira’s chart-topping single “Hips Don’t Lie,” which he co-wrote, produced and is featured on. That 2006 blockbuster climbed to No. 1 in 20 countries including the U.S. — a crowning achievement atop a nearly unprecedented run of hits that include Wyclef’s own “Gone Till November,” “Ghetto Superstar” (Pras feat. Wyclef Jean), Carlos Santana’s No. 1 single “Maria, Maria” (featuring Jean and Product G&B) and the late Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love.” “The only record that captures Whitney, her daughter [Bobbi Kristina], and Bobby Brown all on one song,” Wyclef says of it.
Wyclef has been rewarded for his creativity and adventurousness with three Grammy Awards, a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone ’s special “Top 50 Hip Hop Players,” and the opportunity to make music with such legends as Michael Jackson, Queen, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, and Tom Jones. As a solo artist, he has released six albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut The Carnivaland 2000’s aptly titled The Eclectic: 2 Sides II a Book, which even turned wrestling superstar/action hero The Rock into a pop star with the international hit single “It Doesn’t Matter.” Through it all, Wyclef kept an ear cocked for new talent. He helped launch Beyoncé’s career with Destiny’s Child’s early hit “No, No, No.”
While it’s been eight years since his last studio album, Wyclef has not abandoned his dedication to sonic excursions. His new album the Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee, features contributions from Emeli Sandé, Supah Mario, The Knocks and Lunch Money Lewis. Thealbumwasrecentlynamedoneofthe “25Most AnticipatedAlbums” of the fall by Billboard.
Deeply rooted in R&B, Jazzy Amra draws inspiration from and immerses herself in the 1990’s and 2000’s classics such as TLC, 112, Boyz II Men, Donell Jones, Brandy, Aaliyah and Missy Elliot, appreciating the feel of hip-hop over R&B beats, a style she hopes to reflect in her own music. With a goal to reach beyond her R&B roots, Jazzy envisions herself breaking into multiple genres, connecting to the masses, and using her music to uplift the lives of those in similar situations.
From her early beginnings of watching her mother sing 1990’s classics to her, to the self-doubt she experienced with her music, her journey has brought her to a place full of inspiration and opportunities as she works beside the Heads team, continuously gaining invaluable knowledge from the people she encounters, and learning to trust the process.
2018 has already been a busy year for Sophistafunk. New music. A Cali Tour. A new vehicle. Now the band is embarking on another tour from February 16th through 25th, which includes stops in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Lincoln, and Chicago.
From their home in Syracuse NY, Sophistafunk has gained international notoriety with their unique combination of live hip hop, funk, and jam music. Last week, after returning from a nearly 4-hour show with 5 encores at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco, the guys immediately took off to Connecticut and bought a Mercedes Sprinter tour van. It was yet another new addition for drummer Emanuel Washington, who recently became a first-time father with the birth of his son Onyx this past August.
Sophistafunk will be debuting new songs from their upcoming album during the Colorado Tour, which begins Friday, February 16th in Boulder at The Lazy Dog. The next night, February 17th, the band travels to Denver to perform at Cervantes’ Other Side, followed by Fort Collins at Downtown Artery on Feb 18. After a private event with Zac Brown Band in Las Vegas, Sophistafunk returns to Nebraska and Iowa before concluding the tour at the Tonic Room in Chicago on Sunday, February 25th(full details below).
Following the success of their recent single “No More War” on the national circuit, Sophistafunk will be even busier in 2018. They will also be joined by their newest member, saxophonist Tommy Weeks of the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.