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Kyshona Armstrong with Jenn Bostic
August 25 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Show 8:00 Summer Hours
For a singer-songwriter, there’s no more basic function than getting onstage and getting something personal off your chest. The therapeutic qualities of the experience have seduced countless confessional composers, some of whom make known that they hold unfiltered expression as their highest artistic aim.
Kyshona Armstrong started out enabling others to enjoy the healing properties of songwriting, and keeping her thoughts to herself. When you’re a music therapist to incarcerated and institutionalized adults and school children with emotional behavior disorders, artistic considerations aren’t even on the table.
“I definitely had to accept the fact that when I’m writing with a patient, whatever they want to do is what they want to do,” Armstrong tells the Scene as she nurses a latte in East Nashville. “It’s their song: ‘Even if it might not fit in a form, if that’s what you want to say, say it. We’re not writing a big hit. This is for you.’ ”
When Armstrong worked first in the state mental hospital, then the public school system in Georgia, she found that her co-writers often clung to chant-like, circular song ideas. “They would find this melody they liked and they would stick to it,” she explains. “It was theirs to keep. It wasn’t hard to hold onto.”
Armstrong had focused on oboe at the University of Georgia — that and steel drums, which she played in the college’s Hawaiian-shirt-sporting ensemble, Tropical Breeze. But since neither instrument was all that well suited to coaxing patients into musical self-expression, she got into singing, playing acoustic guitar and songwriting. See more at http://www.kyshona.com/bio/
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Jenn Bostic’s new single, What Love Feels Like, is a soulful track that will leave you singing “Nanas” for the rest of the week. Produced by six-time grammy award winning mix engineer Paul Salveson, the record features a gospel choir, conducted by Bostic, and debuted on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 23, 2016.
Most well known for her hit single, Jealous of the Angels, a tribute to her late father, with the support of BBC Breakfast, Songs of Praise, BBC Radio 2, Weekend Wogan, Good Morning Sunday, and Smooth Radio, Bostic won over the hearts of people across the United Kingdom. It has been through the writing and over six hundred performances of this song that Bostic has found personal healing and brought comfort to people dealing with loss around the world.
Life began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but unfolded in Waconia, Minnesota, where her family regularly gathered around a piano or guitar to sing. In addition to traditional American music – the 1930 standard “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was a favorite duet for Jenn and her father – the senior Bostic turned her on the soulful sounds of Bonnie Raitt and the purity of Emmylou Harris.
Jenn’s dad played accordion with respected Minnesota roots ensemble, Traveled Ground. “After losing my dad, they took me under their wing; they became like family,” Bostic says about the band. They also respected her vocal talent, which was becoming obvious through her participation in show choir and musical theater. At 16, the group invited her to sing background vocals on their first album, followed by countless live performances featuring Bostic singing the hits of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin.
Upon high school graduation, Jenn attended Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music. It was a far cry from Waconia. “I was so intimidated by the campus,” Jenn confides, “walking to class down city streets.” She dealt with this fish-out-of-water syndrome by throwing herself into her music-education studies. During her sophomore year, she was given the opportunity to front a country/rock cover band that performed every weekend up and down the East Coast, as well as for the U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. She regards her tenure with the group as a critical learning experience. “It taught me so much about performing, and I fell in love with country songwriting.”
She calls her subsequent entry into “real life,” as an aspiring Nashville artist, a “trial by fire.” She played at the famed Bluebird Café and developed fruitful relationships with songwriters, after the release of her debut album in 2009, she was dubbed “too pop for country and too country for pop,” by Music City’s power brokers.
Undeterred, Bostic performed several self-booked tours, and in 2012, released Jealous, which featured “Jealous of the Angels.” On a shoestring budget, she shot a video for the song and posted it on YouTube. Unknown to Jenn, a fan found the video and sent it to veteran DJ Simon Bates, who debuted the song on Smooth Radio. The response was enormous, and shortly after the song was playlisted at BBC Radio 2, Jenn performed the song on BBC Breakfast, and that day the song reached #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart in the UK.
Jenn went on to be the first international independent artist to have three singles—“Jealous of the Angels,” “Not Yet” and “Missin’ a Man”—playlisted at Radio 2, the most listened-to radio station in Europe. That same year she won five International Country Music Association Awards including “Best Songwriter,” “Best Female Artist,” and “Overall Winner.”
In 2015, Bostic released Faithful, a 14 track album including collaborations with Barrett Yeretsian (Jar of Hearts), and Lauren Christy, co-creator of The Matrix writing/production team, which has sold more than 30 million records alongside artists such as Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Rihanna, to name a few.
see more at http://jennbostic.com/bio
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