Jazz + Blues + R&B

Bilal

When: Fri., Aug. 12, 9 p.m. 2011

A member of the now-inactive Soulquarians collective along with Common, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Questlove, among others, the Philadelphia-based soul vocalist Bilal has never quite broken though to the mainstream, but not for want of talent. Much like the Nappy Roots (also in Indy this week), Bilal had a less than productive stint in major label-world, seeing his second album (Love for Sale, easily available online) shelved after it was leaked. But maybe his stuff is best produced for a smaller audience, who can appreciate his take on soul (simultaneously forward- and backward-looking) and intense honesty (he pours out his heart on his most recent record, Airtight’s Revenge). Certainly, his octave-spanning, angular, expressive voice remains one of the best in R&B or soul. The kick-off concert for the Madame Walker Theatre’s 2011-12 season.

Price: $25-$40, all-ages

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