Yesterday marked the second day of the West Coast leg of Bessie’s 81 Theatre Tour, honoring the legacy of blues singer Bessie Smith in anticipation of HBO’s film Bessie. The movie chronicles the life of the singer and will air on May 16; Bessie will be played by Queen Latifah.
Singer Luke James held the honor of the night’s emcee, while DJ D-Nice provided the evening’s soundtrack.
The crowd sipped cocktails while dancing and singing along to soulful showcase acts Tiffany Gouche, trio KING and buzzed-about singer Kehlani, who closed out the show with an energetic performance.
The LA showcase paid tribute to Bessie’s legacy by supporting up-and-coming musicians and fostering community among the LA music community. The evening was preceded by a songwriter/producer workshop earlier in the day featuring songwriter Stacy Barthe and producer Bryan Michael Cox, who also hosted a student-only workshop in NYC.