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Amel Larrieux 

When: Sat., Sept. 10, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 11, 7 & 9 p.m. 2011
Price: $30

Best known for her mid-Nineties R&B group Groove Theory, singer AmelLarrieux actually boasts a pretty lofty pedigree. She grew up in Greenwich Village, attended Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (the same art school that bred Bilal, Jazmine Sullivan, Christian McBride, and The Roots, among others), and learned about music in a scholarly way before venturing into the pop world. Her voice is a soft, pliant, often whispery alto, suited for jazz standards as well as soul and R&B. Larrieux usually performs with a full band, but she's also comfortable floating over a programmed backbeat. Larrieux released her last solo effort -- a rather unconventional take on the American Songbook -- in 2007. Last year, she reunited with former Groove Theory co-frontman Bryce Wilson for their long-awaited sophomore effort. They're apparently still shopping for a label. Larrieux will appear at Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 (8 p.m. & 10 p.m.) and 11 (7 p.m. & 9 p.m.). $30. Yoshis.com

— Rachel Swan

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