Jamila Woods | Double Door | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods

Bill Whitmire

Jamila Woods 

When: Thu., June 23, 7 p.m. 2016
Price: $15, $10 in advance
Tonight poet, teaching artist, and soul vocalist Jamila Woods celebrates the new Heavn (Closed Sessions). It’s billed as her solo debut, though you might recognize Woods’s enchanting voice if you listen to Chance the Rapper or Macklemore, both of whom have recently enlisted her to sing on tracks. But even if you’re unfamiliar with those contemporary hip-hop heavies, and even if you never listened to Woods’s previous soul-pop band M&O (once known as Milo & Otis), her soothing vocals impart a warm familiarity. Her performances are so relatable and down-to-earth that even if you’ve never exchanged a single word with Woods it’s possible to feel like you’re sharing a special moment with her when you hear her sing. An empathetic approach enriches her soul-influenced pop songs and makes her most intimate material feel massive. On early Heavn single “Blk Girl Soldier” Woods uses the oppression women of color have to confront as a rallying cry; her brassy voice suggests there can be an end to the historical and systemic injustice, and that it’s necessary for everyone to join the fight.
— Leor Galil



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