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Joan of arts: Singer curates a women’s music series

’borne to sing: Joan Osborne curates the “Womanly Hips Presents” series of concerts starting on March 1, and may sing a song or two at each performance.
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These musicians are hip!

A superstar of the Lilith Fair women’s music scene will launch a new concert series next month at the Bric House in Fort Greene. “One of Us” singer Joan Osborne curates the “Womanly Hips Presents” series, starting in March with a pair of performances from the Parisian neo-soul duo Les Nubians and the secular gospel group Birds of Chicago. Osborne said she hopes the concerts will promote women working in music today .

“With these shows I particularly want to elevate female voices and female artists,” she said.

“Womanly Hips” was the name of Osborne’s independent record label during the 1990s, and also of her touring company. Osborne, who lives in Boerum Hill, said she does not remember exactly what she was thinking when she came up with the name in the ’90s, but she suspects that it was part of affirming the female form.

“Maybe it’s because I have womanly hips and want to celebrate that fact,” she said.

The first concert in the year-long series will happen on March 1, with a performance by Les Nubians, a pair of Grammy award-winning sisters who combine African music with a unique brand of soul. Brooklyn funk band Igbo will open for the sisters, who now live in Brooklyn.

Osborne is a longtime fan of Les Nubians, and chose them them to launch the series because their eclectic music draws from traditions on multiple continents.

“I love the way they have a multicultural African, French, and urban mix of sounds,” she said.

One week later, Birds of Chicago, a husband-and-wife team that mixes gospel music with folk and soul, will play the second concert in the series. Osborne discovered the group’s music while she was on tour across the pond, she said, and she got in touch soon after.

“I was on tour in the Netherlands and the driver of the van played them,” she said. “I said ‘What an amazing singer. Who is this band?’ ”

More concerts will come later in 2018, said Osborne, who plans to join the bands at each show for a song or two.

Womanly Hips Presents: Les Nubians with Igbo at Bric House (647 Fulton Street between Rockwell Place and Ashland Place in Fort Greene, www.bricartsmedia.org). March 1 at 8 pm. $20 ($15 in advance).

Birds of Chicago with Victory at Bric House. March 8 at 8 pm. $20 ($15 in advance).

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Posted 12:00 am, February 21, 2018
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