February 13, 2013 fell on a Wednesday. With all the 13's and cold weather, most people went straight home after work and curled up in front of the TV. But since I've always claimed 13 as one of my lucky numbers (I love misfits) and being inside my house for too many consecutive hours gives me cabin fever, I decided to have a Red Cup Adventure and found that 2/13/13 was indeed my lucky day.
I left the office early to meet up with one of my clients who was working at the Auto Show. Then I went to hear one of my favorite storytellers at a spoken word event at Beauty Bar. My last stop was an event at the Shrine featuring Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone! (one of my favorite bands) and live performances from some other artists I hadn't heard of before. Shrine is one of my favorite venues because I love live music and Shrine keeps a wonderful roster of artists on their stage. After Beauty Bar, my fatigue was setting in and I had an early meeting, but I decided to rally and at least slide through the Shrine. I made the rounds, showed my face, got my hugs, and was about to leave when these stunning three women took the stage with a full band. They all had beautiful afros, shapely figures, and dramatic red and black dresses. With my intrigue piqued, I decided to stay for the performance and that's when 2/13/13 became my lucky day because I fell in love with ANIBA HOTEP & THE SOL COLLECTIVE.
Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective is a Chicago based Soul/R&B band comprised of 8 members. The lead is songwriter and vocal powerhouse, Aniba Hotep which means "Messenger of Peace". Her soulful southern tones are harmonized with songbirds Neri Ma’at and Caress Sahura. The five musicians are equally as powerful and melodious as the singers. The band performed an amazing remake of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thang" that I'm still singing in my head months later. The performance was a soulful journey featuring popular covers and original material. I literally fell in love. After they finished, I went over to the ladies to let them know how much I enjoyed the performance and found out that I went to high school with one of the singers, Neri Ma'at.
Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective performing "Sweet Thang" at the Shrine
Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective is a local, independent band that has performed at high profile events and venues include The House Of Blues, The Shrine, The NAACP Gala, The African festival, The Glenwood festival, Real Men Cook, The Stepppenwolf Theater, The Mayne Stage Theater, and many more. They have a strong following and regularly pack the house wherever they perform. They have headlined and shared the stage with multi-platinum artists, such as Chaka Khan, Mint Condition, Dwayne Wiggins, Silk, Carl Thomas, Gerald Alston of the Manhattans, The Drifters, Cynda Williams of Spike Lee’s Mo Betta Blues fame and most recently Les Nubians. Lead singer Aniba Hotep recently won TV One's "Are You Unsung" contest.
This week on Thursday and Friday (April 4th and 5th), Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective are performing a 2-day benefit concert called the "I Know You Got Sol" Tour at the Jacob Carruthers Center (700 East Oakwood Blvd). Both shows begin at 730pm. The goal of the concert is to raise money for their upcoming tour dates in Atlanta and London. There are so few bands left that produce great soul music so I'm encouraging everyone to support this wonderful group. I know you'll fall in love too.
You can purchase tickets or give a donation by clicking here.
Deanna Burrell is the author of the explosive novel, Single Girl Summer.
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