Tour Profile: Ledisi

Jul 1, 2014 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher

R&B, Soul Music Powerhouse Thrives on a Natural Mix


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photo of Ledisi

Ledisi concluded her 2014 The Truth tour in Sacramento, Calif., at the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel.

Singer/songwriter Ledisi started off 2014 with a bang by releasing her seventh album in March, The Truth (Verve), which she described as “a fiery version of Ledisi.” It features her dynamic, powerful vocals over vibrant, groove-driven songs, as well as ballads.


Ledisi 2014 Tour Gallery

Ledisi launched The Truth tour in April with a seven-piece band comprising guitarist/musical director Chuck Gibson; backing vocalists Danetra Moore and Sara Williams; keyboardists Tony Walker and Mike Moore; bassist Idris Davis; and drummer James Agnew.

Over two months, the group visited 28 cities across the U.S. and Toronto, appearing before enthusiastic fans in theaters, halls and auditoriums. In late May, the tour touched down in San Francisco’s The Warfield Theatre, where she reconnected with her hometown fans, and Mix caught the high-energy performance.

photo of BJ Pendleton

Production manager and front-of-house engineer BJ Pendleton at the Yamaha CL5 console.

For this tour, Ledisi teamed up with Robert Glasper Experiment, a quartet led by pianist/keyboardist Glasper that fuses jazz, R&B and hip-hop in equal measure, with Glasper’s band opening.

Front-of-house engineer BJ Pendleton and monitor engineer Rick Wright, who have worked with Glasper, supported both bands. In addition, Pendleton assumed the role of production manager. “I always wear like five different hats, just because I’m that guy,” Pendleton says. This was both engineers’ first tour with Ledisi.

Show Systems of Orlando, Fla., provided most of the audio and backline gear for this tour; Pendleton opted to rely on house-provided P.A.—The Warfield has a Meyer Sound MILO system—and he also brought a selection of Neumann and Sennheiser microphones from his personal collection. “I was trying to learn their approach and integrate myself into it,” Pendleton says of his first outing with Ledisi. “I kept them all within their comfort zone, within the kind of gear that they were used to using.”

Ledisi and the backup vocalists each sing into Shure SM58 wireless capsules, which carried over from the previous tour, according to Pendleton. [To see a complete list of microphones, download a PDF of Ledisi's input list for the 2014 "The Truth" tour.] “She can project,” Pendleton says of Ledisi. “She doesn’t hold back on me. She’s so powerful a singer that it makes my life easy.”

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