ToDo ToDay: Jah9 At Howard Theatre
Young Jamaican singer, poet, and community organizer Jah9 quickly developed a following among roots reggae fans with her 2013 debut album, New Name. The title track’s spiritual references to King Rastafari and the Lion of Judah, along with the island’s traditional loping rhythm, is standard for the genre. But this Baptist minister’s daughter gives listeners much more: her melodic voice, varied cadence, and distinctive instrumental touches provided by producers like the acclaimed Rory “Stone Love” Gilligan. It all helps Jah9, born Janine Cunningham, transcend the platitudinous phrasing she sometimes pens.