Experimental & Avant-Garde

Duets: Meshell Ndegeocello and Chris Bruce

When: Mon., March 12, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. 2012

It's a testament to The New Parish's stature and street cred that it can repeatedly pull an artist like Meshell Ndegeocello, the preeminent female baritone in neo-soul and R&B. Last year she performed several concerts dedicated to the music of Eighties pop megastar Prince, all of which garnered a fervent critical reception. It was yet another interesting twist for an artist whose career has been anything but predictable, but whose sensibility has always remained intact. Take, for example, her slowed-down, balletic version of the Prince classic "Lady Cab Driver," which Ndegeocello renders in a tone that's almost doleful. It's a genuflection that still manages to be entirely different from the original tune. Her latest project, a series of duet performances with guitarist Chris Bruce, promises yet another series of fiercely beautiful serenades, all executed with a deep but evenhanded vocal style and a conspicuous lack of ornamentation. It's the concert that many fans have waited a year to see. At The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Monday, Mar. 12. 8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m., $25-$750. TheNewParish.com

Rachel Swan

Price: $25-$750

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