Nicknamed “the little woman with the big voice,” vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, and powerhouse front-person Akina Adderley was born into music. 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, but her sound and style are completely her own. A cross between Sharon Jones and Roberta Flack, her music crosses genre boundaries effortlessly, but whether she’s performing jazz, rock, or soul, you will be moved by what the Austin American Statesman calls her “rich, emotive pipes” and impacted by her songs with their infectious grooves and incisive lyrics.
Akina has taken what KUTX calls her “dynamism and her superstar performance” all over Austin to 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 or busting out a ferociously vibrant show in front of a crowd of thousands. Akina has shared bills with Booker T, Budos Band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Bob Schneider, Gary Clark, Jr., Alejandro Escovedo, Pinetop Perkins, and Carolyn Wonderland, and she has sung backing vocals on the albums of Charlie Mars and Gregg Rolie (of Santana and Journey). Akina has made Austin her musical home, but she has taken her music all over Texas and to Los Angeles, New York, and throughout the South. With her 8-piece soul band, Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys, she has produced two albums and toured extensively. She is currently revving up with an exciting new neo-soul/jazz outfit, Akina Adderley and the Upper East Side.
In addition to being a performing artist, Akina is an educator and conductor; she loves master classes, workshops, and opportunities to conduct choirs and musicals.