Akina Adderley’s exciting new project, The Upper East Side, performs with a neo-soul sound deeply rooted in jazz and tinged with gritty attitude. The group features four of Austin’s finest and most in-demand jazz and soul musicians: Carter Arrington on guitar (Malford Milligan), Bennett Wood on alto saxophone (The Gabriel Santiago Quintet), Nick Clark on bass (Chrisette Michele), and Wayne Salzmann on drums (Bob Schneider and Lonelyland, Eric Johnson). These powerhouse players perform Akina’s songs with an improvisational spirit, shredding rock ‘n roll energy, and heavy, gut-wrenching soul. Come out to a show. You will be moved by what the Austin American Statesman calls Akina’s “rich, emotive pipes,” impacted by her songs with their infectious grooves and incisive lyrics, and blown away by the monster musicianship of her slammin’ new band. Akina has produced two albums with her popular 9-piece soul band, Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys. These days, she is heated and hungry to get into the studio with The Upper East Side.
“Jazz is in Akina Adderley’s blood, and it flows with a warm mix of old-school soul and R&B.” –Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle
Musically born of Jazz, Soul, and R&B, dynamic bass lines are a key component of Akina’s music.
“For all of my projects, I write songs that are best represented with a bass as a foundation for the sound. When sharing my songs intimately as a singer-songwriter, I partner with a bassist to best express the original artistic intent of my music.”
When presenting as a duo, Akina’s songs are conveyed through voice, piano, and upright bass, with naked honesty supported by a soulful groove.
Nicknamed ‘the little woman with the big voice,” vocalist, songwriter, and bandleader Akina Adderley was born into music; it is etched into her like the tattoo of a family crest. You could say that her father, Nat Adderley, Jr. (jazz pianist and former bandleader for Luther Vandross), grandfather and granduncle (renowned jazz musicians Nat Adderley and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley) planted the seed of song in her soul, yet her sound and style are completely her own.
“All it takes is one time. You see Akina Adderley onstage and you instantly fall for her dynamism and her superstar performance. You want a show? This lady delivers with finesse.” –Laurie Gallardo, KUT 90.5 FM Here she is with The Vintage Playboys!
Akina found a home in the rich music scene of Austin, with its collaborative spirit and world-class musicians. Since moving to Austin, Akina has shared bills with the likes of Bob Schneider, Gary Clark, Jr., Alejandro Escovedo, Pinetop Perkins, Carolyn Wonderland, Booker T, Budos Band, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and she has sung backing vocals on the albums of Charlie Mars and Gregg Rolie (of Santana and Journey). Akina has performed all over Austin at venues as massive as ACL Live and Stubb’s and as intimate as Cactus Cafe, and has been equally comfortable sharing a set at a little landmark club and busting out a ferociously vibrant show in front of a crowd of thousands. Akina has made Austin her musical home, but she has taken her music all over Texas and to Los Angeles, Memphis, Columbus, Tuscaloosa, and Hattiesburg. She has also produced two albums with her 9-piece soul band, Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys. These days, you’ll usually find her with her soul jazz band The Upper East Side, or singing with jazz~folk~world group Nori.