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Lalah Hathaway & Friends @ Troubadour 2/10/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq.(@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Lalah Hathaway & Friends @ Troubadour 2/10/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq.(@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

On April 21, 2015, Lalah Hathaway recorded a performance at the fabled Troubadour; the same Hollywood venue where her father, Donny Hathaway, recorded his legendary live album. Ms. Hathaway’s “Lalah Hathaway Live” album earned high praise, and on February 12, 2017 those accolades materialized in two Grammy statuettes (Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Angel” and Best R&B Album). As if her musical legacy wasn’t already established as elite, the recent recognition only solidified it as such.

Two days before the 2017 Grammy Awards festivities, Ms. Hathaway returned to the Troubadour to celebrate the anticipated Grammy festivities with another performance. Billed as “Lalah Hathaway and Friends”, and notwithstanding the fact that Grammy Week concerts often draw a multitude of special guests to the stage no matter the venue, attendees were guaranteed to experience an evening filled with twists, turns and surprises.

Oh … my … lord.

The talent represented on stage was incredible, and for fans of the R&B genre, it was a veritable cornucopia of musical bliss. “Official” opening sets by were performed by two other Grammy nominated artists (BJ the Chicago Kid and Terrace Martin) and sure-bet, up and coming talent (Tiffany Gouche). Terrace Martin even used part of his performance to feature the talented new artist Rose Gold.

The flow of the evening’s showcase was smooth and casual. During Terrace’s and Tiffany’s sets, Lalah would hang out on stage to enjoy her friends’ sonics, taking a few moments to jam on the keys with Terrace or sing backing vocals for Tiffany. Lalah’s interactions with the opening acts facilitated a feeling of strong kinship and familial love in the venue which lasted throughout the evening.

When Ms. Hathaway took the stage for her performance, the crowd was surely ready … and so was Ms. Hathaway. She wooed the crowd with the subtle timbre of her mellifluous vocals, performing her popular songs like “Forever, For Always, For Love”, “Surrender” from the motion picture “Hidden Figures” and a new song that I’m assuming will be on her forthcoming new EP. The show could have continued with just Lalah on stage, but this was Grammy Week, and Ms. Hathaway had some special surprises … a lot of special surprises … for her adoring fans.

First, Grammy nominated singer Raheem DeVaughn stepped on stage to sing covers of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin'”. Then Faith Evans made her way to the stage to sing a couple songs, including “Love Like This”, and “Love and Devotion” (for which Lalah sang background vocals for). All of a sudden, during “Love and Devotion”, “The New Edition Story” cast members Luke James, Elijah Kelly and Algee Smith joined the two women on stage and started doing some improvisational riffing. Towards the end of the evening’s musical fare, Lalah called upon an insanely talented trio of players to accompany her: Phil Beaufreax, Elena Penderhughes and Robert Randolph. Together, they performed an inspired rendition of George Gershwin’s classic “Summertime”.

Lalah concluded her performance with her cover of Anita Baker’s “Angel”, which she absolutely owns, and sent shivers down every attendee’s spine when she sang the final notes, harmonizing with herself as only she can do, before thanking the crowd and departing the stage … to win a pair of Grammy’s the next day.

Follow Lalah Hathaway on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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