Jazz vocalist and DC-native Akua Allrich fuses soul with myriad other genres to electrifying effect.
Born into a musical family, Allrich found inspiration in her parent’s extensive jazz record collection. At Howard University, where she studied with world-renowned mezzo-soprano (Kehembe) Valerie Eichelberger, hard bop singer/drummer Grady Tate and celebrated jazz pianist Charles Covington, Allrich earned a bachelor's degree in jazz vocals and a master’s degree in social work. Allrich’s fluid style draws from blues, soul, jazz, R&B and pan-African music and incorporates lyrics in Portuguese, French, English, Xhosa and Twi.
Allrich’s first two independently produced albums, A Peace of Mine (2010) and Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live! (2012), caught the attention of critics at online magazine All About Jazz and DC-focused non-profit organization CapitalBop. A Peace of Mine went international in 2011, when it was released in Japan through a distribution deal with Japanese record label AGATE/Inpartmaint. In July 2015, Allrich celebrated the release of her third album, Soul Singer, with a performance at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Darwin, Roy & Joel