• All Ages Welcome
• Assigned, reserved seating
• Tickets available online via Ticketmaster.com or without ticket fees in person at the Center Stage Box Office, M-F, 11-6. Online sales end at 5pm on day of show.
"taking high chances
in this divine dance
in this divine dance"
– “God” from bleuphoria
The passage above plays in a loop in my head as I wait for Rahsaan Patterson (Rah to his friends) to arrive at Casbah, the Moroccan-themed café where we’re meeting to talk about bleuphoria, his latest CD. That potent snatch of lyrics sums up both the high-wire aesthetics of the new disc and Rahsaan’s approach to his entire career (itself a gift within the gift of life): taking high chances in this divine dance. bleuphoria, whose sonic tapestry ranges from the retro club funk of “Ghost” (featuring the divine Jody Watley) to the avant-Broadway spiritual “Mountain Top” (featuring the great Táta Vega), has been my soundtrack for weeks, pushing me out of the realm of on-the-grind journalist into that of unadulterated fan. It’s one of those gifts that true artists routinely bestow on the faithful, justifying our love, reminding us anew why we’ve taken them into our hearts and ceded real estate in our spirits to them. With bleuphoria, coming almost four years after 2007’s cult favorite Wines & Spirits and three years after his acclaimed 2008 Christmas album The Ultimate Gift (played year-round by the devoted), fans are getting synthesis and evolution of all that’s come before—leftfield experimentation, centerfield grooves and soulful meditations on inner and outer space.
Longtime fans have watched Rah grow from the skinny, wide-eyed boy with the big eyes and bigger voice on the classic children’s show “Kids Incorporated” to one of the most influential yet underrated soul men on the planet. (His career is riddled with paradox and irony.) We’ve watched him sport blonde-streaked hair and cutting edge fashions while strolling through European-set music videos, and then hung on to his every note in clubs and concert halls around the globe as he, shorn of hair and clad in the simplest of gear, bled out in song—joy, pain, longing, despair, ecstasy. We’ve kept track of the Who’s Who of talented folks he’s written and produced for and with (from pop diva Brandy to fellow under-sung MVP Van Hunt), with whom he’s collaborated (Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway) and of the icons who have sung his praises (the awesome Chaka Khan) and ushered him into the hall of the greats.