Photo by Shana Lyn Berenzweig. Copyright 2011
You could say that Akina Adderley was, quite literally, born to play music. If you couldn’t tell by her last name, she comes from a pretty impressive musical lineage. Her grandfather was jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley, her great-uncle was Cannonball Adderley and her father, Nat Adderley Jr. is a pianist, arranger and former bandleader for the late Luther Vandross. So yeah, it’s pretty much in her DNA.
Unlike her forebears, Akina’s instrument of choice is her powerful voice, and she’s honed that instrument almost all her life. She attended the famous LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts (the New York high school that inspired Fame), and studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music and The New School. She’s classically trained, and her family is steeped in jazz, but she and her phenomenal band The Vintage Playboys make their own simmering brand of funk, R&B and soul, and they’ve been wowing audiences here in town since moving to Austin in 2009.
A few months back, we got a taste of their impressive live chops when they stopped by to perform a few tunes in our own Studio 1A, including the title track to her latest full-length Say Yes. The horns are punchy, the rhythm’s funky, and Adderly’s voice (of course) is outstanding. Just try and keep yourself from dancing, we dare you.
You’ll definitely be doing plenty of dancing this Saturday when Akina Adderley and the Vintage Playboys play at The Victory Grill as a part of MapJam 2013, a daylong festival celebrating Austin music. Presented by the Austin Music Map, KUTX, and the City of Austin Music Division, MapJam 2013 features some of our favorite local bands at some of our favorite local venues, playing everything from bluegrass to hip-hop and conjunto to rockabilly.