Artist Gallery Photo

Meshell Ndegeocello | No More Water | The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin

Thu, Mar 7 -
Sun, Mar 10, 2019




$40.50 ($6 Service fee Included) All purchases are nonrefundable/nonexchangeable.

Tickets may be purchased on-line or by phone.
Night of show seating typically available.


Vouchers, promotional certificates, donated gift certificates, student/military discounts, senior discounts, children under 12 free discounts and 2 for 1 cards are not applicable for this show.


KBCS 91.3 and the Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcome singer/songwriter, rapper, bassist and all-around creative genius Meshell Ndegeocello for four nights and six shows, touring in support of her new release Ventriloquism. Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday - Sunday.

artist info

No More Water | The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin, the next evolution of Meshell Ndegeocello’s 2016 WaterWorks world premiere Can I Get A Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin, pays homage to James Baldwin by creating a shared space for reflection, conversation and social change. Meshell’s transformative music and collaborative spirit ignites this genre-bending performance: a church service, a concert, a celebration, a testimonial, a call to action.

There are albums dedicated to personal pain, or political protest, love, death, nostalgia, rage. There are those that are simply fun, glossy, the soundtrack to a good time. Some are exploratory, a musical journey, shapeshifting soundmaking, a new way to do an old thing. An artist can make a choice about concept and content, or heed a vision, follow their muse or their manager. But in times so extreme and overwhelming, when there is no known expression for the feeling, no satisfactory direction for art or action, then they might take refuge in a process, a ritual, something familiar, the shape and sound of which recall another time altogether, so that they can weather the present long enough to call it the past. Some albums are testimony, some confessions, and some are escape. Ventriloquism, the latest album from Meshell Ndegeocello, is a place, like its process, to take refuge from one storm too many.

Musically, Ventriloquism has the hallmarks of all of Ndegeocello’s work, lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and in these eleven covers, we hear them layered over one another. Ndegeocello filters “Tender Love” through a folky, Californian filter and brings Vaudevillian accents to “Sensitivity”. She recreates Smooth Operator in five, and turns “Private Dancer” into a sultry waltz. The re-imagining affords not just a new musical experience but also a comment on the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music.

Some tracks were selected for their reflections: The album opens with “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, which marked the early influence of Prince and Hip Hop on commercial pop, and was a reference for Ndegeocello’s own “If That's Your Boyfriend”. Constantly asked to be “funky”, Meshell includes “Atomic Dog” as a reminder that the heart of funk is ineffable and irreverent, not just acted in showy flourishes, slaps, or noodling. Other songs offered an outlet for plain emotional truths: “Waterfalls” was stripped down, and delivered as an honest and needed personal lament. “Sometimes It Snows In April” has an extended intro, an accidental result of the band’s desire to delay the new and inevitable sadness of the song. “Funny How Time Flies” approaches sarcasm in its ominous and lonely sounds, exemplifying how these times – personally for Meshell, politically for many – are neither flying nor fun.

“The year around the recording of this album was so disorienting and dispiriting for me personally and for so many people I know and spoke to all the time. I looked for a way to make something that was light while things around me were so dark, a musical place to go that reminded me of another, brighter time.”

A portion of the profits from this album will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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