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Feb 13th

Goapele to headline Urbane Exposure Sept. 6

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goapele checkered skirt smilingBay Area soul singer Goapele is performing in the Twin Cities for the first time in five years as she headlines Urbane Exposure, Saturday, Sept. 6.

The free event takes place from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, 420 Main St. SE, just east of downtown Minneapolis. Along with Goapele, fellow Bay Area native, Martin Luther and St. Louisan, Theresa Payne will perform on the pavilion stage. Other area acts are slated to perform, in addition to music from KMOJ's Dan Speak.

The Sept. 6 event, presented by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board and produced by Thee Urbane Life, was conceived to recruit volunteers – in particular, volunteers of color, to take part in the park board's youth programming efforts. In addition to seeking volunteers, event organizers hope to use the event to showcase parks that are under-utilized by communities of color. Along with the performances, there will be food and product vendors, a children's play area, face painting and more.

Since her debut in 2001 with her album, "Closer," Goapele has endured as a favorite among soul and neosoul music fans. The singer and songwriter recently joined forces with Primary Wave Music and Jordan House Records – the label owned by soul star Eric Benet – who along with her own label, Sky Blaze, will release her fifth album, "Strong as Glass," later this fall.

"'Strong as Glass' is a contrast of how a woman feels ... strong and empowered, and yet knowing that it doesn't take a lot to break," said Goapele, who said the project is due for release in mid October.

Along with being on Benet's label, the two collaborated in writing one song and have a duet on the LP as well. Goapele's first single off "Strong as Glass" is the up-tempo "Hey Boy," co-written by Estelle ("American Boy").

While each of Goapele's four previous albums have scored well with fans, with songs such as "Catch 22," "Romantic," "Change it All," "First Love," "Play" and "Tears On My Pillow," Goapele is known for her signature hit, "Closer."

" 'Closer' is a gift," said Goapele. "It's a gift to hear people's stories about the song and what it meant to them. A lot of people tell me all kinds of stories of how the song either inspired them or helped them out of a rough situation. I couldn't ask for more from a song."

Fellow Bay Area soul singer, Martin Luther gained acclaim when he debuted in 2004 with "Rebel Soul Music." The San Francisco-born "choir boy turned rocker," Martin Luther gained a following as he toured and performed with The Roots during the Okay Player Tour.

Among Martin Luther's many fans is Urbane Exposure's headlining act, Goapele.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Martin Luther; he's so dope and people are going to love his live performance," said Goapele. "He's so good live."

St. Louisan Theresa Payne made a name for herself when she won a Budweiser competition to open for Jill Scott. Payne is the 2012 and 2014 Riverfront Times Best R&B/Soul artist and has performed with Eric Roberson, Anthony David, N'Dambi and others. Recently, Payne was selected to audition for NBC's "The Voice."

Urbane Exposure is sponsored by Insight News and Lupient Kia/Lupient Bargain Lot North.

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