Adam Blackstone Showcases The ‘Legacy’ Of Black Music For NPR Music’s ‘Tiny Desk Concert’ Series

Photo Credit: NPR Music/YouTube

Adam Blackstone is one of those rare musicians who transcends genre. The man responsible for creating and curating amazing televised performances (including Rihanna’s much-talked about Super Bowl halftime show) and your favorite tours, released his debut album Legacy last year. Now he’s bringing his talents and expertise to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series along with a few of his well-known friends.

Adam started his set in a big way by inviting the famed DJ Jazzy Jeff to do his thing on the 1s and 2s on the cut “Brother J.” The song melded hip-hop and jazz in interesting ways as Jazzy Jeff’s precise cuts met Adam’s bass and the band’s stirring horns. Once that incredible moment was out of the way, Mr. Blackstone blew our minds again by inviting singer Blakely onto the mic for a rendition of the jazz standard “’Round Midnight.”

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The song, which appears on Legacy featuring the vocal stylings of Jazmine Sullivan, was in good hands with Blakely. He mirrored Jazmine’s effortless use of runs with a precision that was mesmerizing and unexpected. The band took an instrumental break for the third song of the set, “The Storm Will Pass.”

Blackstone then took time to speak about one of the first artists to utilize his talents, Musiq Soulchild, before bringing him out to perform his song “teachme.” The two then dipped back into the hip-hop side of things for “Legacy,” with Adam offering up a few quick rhymes as Musiq harmonized. That all led to a performance of the Musiq classic “Just Friends (Sunny),” with DJ Aktive hopping on the turntables to spin the track while the band embellished the already funky groove with a bit of their own pizazz.

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All in all, Adam Blackstone offered a journey into what Black music was, is and could be on his Tiny Desk Concert. There are still more acts to follow as the month of June winds down, but they have a high bar to meet after such an amazing showing.

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