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Dwele and Slum Village 

When: Sat., Nov. 5, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: $28-$45

For someone who mostly sings about love and relationships, Andwele Gardner (aka Dwele) is actually pretty hard knock. At age ten he saw his father get fatally shot outside the family home. That childhood trauma, and the emotional wounds it generated, ultimately steered Dwele toward music. The singer said he began writing songs as a form of catharsis. He also played a variety of instruments (trumpet, guitar, piano) and listened to a ton of hip-hop. Dwele made his name working with the late producer J. Dilla and singing hooks for the group SlumVillage, though he eventually consolidated his career as a solo artist. His 2010 album W.antsW.orldW.omen drew influences from jazz, gospel, and R&B, and included political ballads that begged comparison to Marvin Gaye. Its lead single, "What's Not to Love," was beautiful and immediately catchy, bolstered by Dwele's luxuriant tenor. He'll perform with SlumVillage at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Saturday, Nov. 5. 9 p.m., $28-$45.

— Rachel Swan


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