Words & Photos by Marco Denzer

Following his performance at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Jalen N’Gonda stopped at Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and delivered a very intimate performance that was nothing short of magical.

Echoing the smooth sounds of great Soul/Rhythm & Blues musicians like Sam Cooke and Charles Bradley, the Maryland native (who currently resides in the UK) delighted everyone in the audience with an impressive 16-song setlist that included an excellent cover of “Going Out of My Head” by Little Anthony and The Imperials.

Backed by his percussionist playing a box drum on only a handful of songs, Jalen clearly showed the true measure of his musicianship and talent by singing most of the night’s repertoire while accompanying himself on either guitar or piano. No other musicians joined them on stage.

Watching this unassuming yet very talented musician’s live show was an extremely satisfying experience. He easily captured and conveyed the romance characterized in his lyrics and that was truly captivating; and even though his guitar playing and singing was outstanding… his piano playing and singing elevated things to a much higher level. It was obvious we were in the presence of greatness. Musicians of his caliber are hard to find, but he’s the real deal.

Jalen N’Gonda will continue to tour the U.S. through June before returning to the UK in July. Visit www.jalenngonda.com for dates, details, and tickets.

Lucky Love
Easy Street
Medicinal Fix
Kinda Wonderful
When You Belonged
Going Out of My Head
Love Don’t Live
Don’t Know What Else
When The Sun
We Fell Out of Love
Don’t You Remember
I Need You
Why I Try

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