Rising R&B funkstress, Tarriona “Tank” Ball headlines a new soul-infused music series, “Uptown Saturday Night” this weekend on July 27 with her band The Bangas and support from soul-jazz vocalist Zena Moses and DJ RQaway. This eclectic blend of progressive New Orleans artists rooted in all things soul — jazz, funk, R&B, hip-hop — has been appearing more and more together lately. If we didn’t know better, we might say they are at the forefront of the city’s neo-soul scene. But since we know “there’s no such thing as neo-soul” and that all soul music is just that – soul, perhaps it is safer to say that Tank is a new funky soul artist with flavor that doesn’t quite taste like another.
Though no official recordings have been released as of yet, Tank garnered quite a few hits with the music video for her single, “Boxes” this past year and evidently already has a humble but loyal fanbase. With a veil of enigma still encircling her story, the young New Orleanian’s gritty, powerful chords echo aspects of the late Etta James or even the contemporary Leela James. Some have even compared aspects of her stylings to Jill Scott. But Tank’s weaving of engaging spoken word into her compositions produces a fluidity unlike most poet/singers that come to mind. Demand for her unique, charismatic live performances recently drew she and her band to several cities across the States this spring and summer, including Apache Cafe in Atlanta and a buzzed-about set at the famed Shrine in New York City. And we haven’t even begun to talk about her distinct fashion sense.
A new live music series aiming to bridge the gap between the older, classics-oriented R&B/soul scene and the younger, more progressive jazz and hip-hop based audience, “Uptown Saturday Night” selected Tank and the Bangas to headline their July edition. The series has also presented other local favorites such as the Soul Rebels Brass Band with DJ Captain Charles, and this time combines Tank and the Bangas with the jazzier Zena Moses and Rue Fiya. Moses, who made her Jazz Fest debut earlier this year, brings her own brand of modern soul to the mixing table.
Providing the heartbeat for Saturday’s set is DJ RQaway, who OffBeat profiled last year as one of New Orleans’ most promising young, new DJs with more than a paycheck in mind. Uptown Saturday Night is this Saturday, July 27 at 9 p.m. at Tipitina’s where admission is $15 and includes complimentary Hennessy cocktail tastings. Tickets are available at Tipitina’s website or at the door.
Uptown Saturday Night featuring Tank & The Bangas
plus Zena Moses & Rue Fiya and DJ RQaway
Date: Saturday, July 27
Time: 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
501 Napoleon Ave. (map)
More Info: www.tankandthebangas.com