NPR Music’s Field Recordings series is steady turning out more feel-good musical moments from their time in New Orleans during the ESSENCE Festival. They’ve already given us Jazmine Sullivan debuting her new song “Stupid Girls” in a barber shop and Sevyn Streeter rolling out her hit “It Won’t Stop” in a boxing gym. And now the series takes us to NOLA’s famous, jazz-filled French Quarter, where SB fave Ledisi offers a rendition of her song “Pieces of Me” while standing on a balcony. As unusual as the locations for Jazmine and Sevyn’s performances were, Ledisi performing in the French Quarter felt right, perhaps because it was a homecoming of sorts for the New Orleans native.
She approaches the song delicately at first in the clip, her only accompaniment a Rhodes and her backing vocalists. But the diminutive singer doesn’t need much to bring down the house, as she proved with vocal acrobatics that would make even the most seasoned singer jealous. As a crowd drew close to watch and record the show from below, Ledisi invited them to sing along with her, bringing a smile to everyone’s face.
By the end of her performance, Ledisi left even herself surprised, telling the audience, “I didn’t know I’d be out here. I was just trying to get something to drink.” While we’re sure she soon found liquid refreshment, you can get some musical refreshment by checking out the clip right here.