who is yahzarah?
YahZarah Ghanaian American classically trained R&B singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, NY. Her stage name, a dedication to her grandmothers Yah and Sarah, roughly translates to “Queen Mother is the brightest star” in Arabic.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, YahZarah started singing at the age of 7 in her church choir. Her love for performance began after winning a youth talent search at the Kennedy Center at age 10. In 1997,she was accepted to North Carolina Central University in Durham on a full scholarship to the school’s jazz program.
In 1998, she left NC Central and began touring as a background singer for Erykah Badu. While touring, YahZarah contributed vocal arrangements and background vocals to Badu’s platinum-selling “Mama’s Gun” LP, and was featured in the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Bag Lady.’ In 2001, she left the Mama’s
Gun tour and released her debut album “Hear Me” on the KEO Music label. A follow-up LP, 2003’s “Blackstar,” was issued on the Three Keys label and reached #44 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.
2004 found YahZarah reuniting with longtime collaborator and fellow NC Central classmate Phonte Coleman (Little Brother, The Foreign Exchange) for a
series of crucial guest appearances. With the release of The Foreign Exchange’s debut album “Connected,” YahZarah was featured on the lead single “Sincere.”
The following year she appeared on Little Brother’s controversial “Minstrel Show” LP (Atlantic Records), and was featured on the debut single “Lovin It.” She later contributed three vocal performances to The Foreign Exchange’s Grammy-nominated “Leave It All Behind” LP in 2008. That same year, she released an EP of new material entitled “The Prelude.”
Purple St. James has been called upon to bless the stage with outstanding artists such as J. Davey, Anderson Pak, Chaka Kahn, Talib Kweli, Jazmine Sullivan, Raheem Davaughn, Jessie Boykins, Common, Bilal Oliver, The Roots, Erykah Badu and others.
YahZarah's effort "The Ballad of Purple St. James" was also considered for a Grammy in 6 major categories an honor for the artist in 2010.
In 2011 YahZarah was not only named Soultracks Performing Vocalist of the Year but also named one of Jet Magazines BreakOut artist of 2011.
YahZarah has also been curating and performing in her annual series "Purple Reign" a tribute to the music of Prince Rogers Nelson. It has remained a sellout event since 2010. Headlining successful shows at SOB's, The Roxy, Little Temple Bar, and the "The Blue Note" the Kennedy Center, and the "Brooklyn Museum of Art" just to name a few.
YahZarah is currently touring as support vocalist for Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz, and recording her next release "The Body Aquatic.
7.8.16 ALEXANDRIA, VA - THE BIRCHMERE YAHZARAH PRESENTS "PURPLE REIGN"
7.9.16 : BALTIMORE, MD- HOTEL RL CREATIVE NOMADS PRESENTS:NAVIGATION YAHZARAH
7.19.16: FOXBORO,MA- LENNY KRAVITZ WITH GUNS AND ROSES
7.20.16: FOXBORO,MA- LENNY KRAVITZ WITH GUNS AND ROSES
7.23.16: E. RUTHERFORD, NJ- LENNY KRAVITZ WITH GUNS AND ROSES
7.23.16: E. RUTHERFORD, NJ- LENNY KRAVTZ WITH GUNS AND ROSES
7.30.16: WASHINGTON, DC- TBA
8.13.16: PG COUNTY, MD- SIX FLAGS TASTE OF PG COUNTY