WATCH: Ricardo Iamuuri — “Imperial Sugar”

Pittsburgh's @ricardoiamuuri urges listeners: "Don't refine your shine." Indeed.

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Good and interesting work is happening everywhere.  Sometimes it’s too easy to get very NY-centric or, even, Brooklyn-centric.  Fact is, it’s what happens when you live at the center of the known universe.

That was a joke, people.

Seriously, I’ve said for years that folks are creating all over the place: NYC, ATL, Nairobi, London, Oakland, Johannesburg, and Pittsburgh, where I went to college.  Even when I was  there, the city had a strong and growing decent music scene, most of which I remember as indie rock (we called it “new music” back then).  Which brings us to Ricardo Iamuuri, who was recently brought to my attention by video artist Alisha Wormsley, a friend of the talented Christiane D.

Of course, I start watching this video, Ricardo starts singing and I’m immediately struck by how much he reminds me of vocalist Dean Bowman.  Both are artists are heavily influenced by Negro Spirituals, but Dean plays much more on the avant-garde end of things.  Ricardo’s music, his bio says, “rests firmly upon the foundation of traditional folk music.  His primary influence came through Negro Spirituals sung a cappella by his family choir, “The Gift of Song,”  but the inspiration of musical theatre, urban blues, R&B, soul and classic hip-hop is evident throughout his work.”

Definitely someone to watch, and a great example of the creativity that’s flourishing in Pittsburgh, along other artists such as rapper and activist Jasiri X, rap-rockers Formula 412 and the aforementioned avant art songtress Christiane D.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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