When you’re making a tour stop in D.C. there’s no way you can bypass NPR. The NPR headquarters, which is en route to most concert venues in the Washington, DC area, is a festive musical hub on any given day with its NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert series. So while on his Long Live The Chief Tour, it only made sense for emcee and crooner Jidenna to visit the famous office cubicle to sing a few tracks from his 2017 album The Chief. Surrounded by NPR employees, fans, youth and the SoulBounce team, the Nigerian-American “Classic Man” waltzed in with his finest gray two-piece, walking cane and cap. The artist kept things soulful and silly for his 12-minute gig, sourcing the NPR office for props, including a colorful toy mic, tambourines and a bottle of whiskey.
Jidenna got the crowd primed and ready when he started with a slow tempo performance of “Trampoline.” If you’ve seen Jidenna perform before, you already know he uses his charm and clean delivery to truly tell a story with his music. For his upbeat track “Long Live the Chief,” he put on shades and got the party going with his colorful mic while spitting his lyrics and not missing a beat. Jidenna ended his performance with his latest hit, “Bambi,” where he dramatically drowned his sorrows in the bottle of whiskey. The highlight of the gig, besides his theatrical performance, was the chemistry with his band. George Peters (percussion), Andre MoDre Brown (bass, keys), Jordan Hemby (drums) and Bounce-Worthy artist William Gittens (guitar) peppered the performance with whistles, beautiful harmonies, practiced pauses and effortless instrumentals.
Jidenna kept the positive vibes going after his performance, staying for another hour to meet NPR staff and chat and take pictures with a group of at-risk youth from The MusicianShip program. Since the crooner just hopped off his summer tour, he’s also had time to help save the world. He’s currently helping to raise funds for the recent floods in Benue State, Nigeria, and Houston, Texas. Keep up with Jidenna on his website and go ahead and pick up The Chief on iTunes if you haven’t purchased it already. Watch Jidenna’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert right here and have a jam session with him and his crew.