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July 14 @ 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Fantastic Negrito, 2017 Grammy winner of Best Contemporary Blues Album, headlines the UICCU stage at 9 p.m., capping a lineup of exciting live blues and blues-inspired music.
Born Xavier Dphrepaulezz and raised in an orthodox Muslim household, Negrito writes songs that are real stories about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million-dollar record deal, the lows of a near-fatal car accident that left him in a coma and is now in the phase of rebirth — despite his mangled playing hand.
After taking a long break, Negrito returned to music in 2014, performing in front of subway stations in Oakland and San Francisco to test his songs in front of “people who didn’t want to hear them.” He realized if he could connect with them and get them to stop, he was on to something.
From there things started to move — he won NPR’s inaugural Tiny Desk Contest in 2015; performed with Sturgill Simpson, Solange, Chris Cornell and Temple of the Dog. His debut full-length album, The Last Days of Oakland, ultimately won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2017. He’s “reimagining the blues for a new age — and audience,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. His new album, Please Don’t Be Dead, will be released June 15.