Jamila Woods @ The Lost Lake Lounge, with Duendita, Saturday, June 15, 8 p.m., 3602 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, all-ages, ticket prices and availability at lost-lake.com
Chicago soul singer, poet and activist Jamila Woods aimed high on her latest album, but those who’ve followed her work expect nothing less. Since the 2012 publication of her first chapbook The Truth About Dolls, the 29-year-old artist has gone on to collaborate with high-profile figures like Chance the Rapper and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Last month, she released Legacy! Legacy!, the follow-up to her 2016 debut album HEAVN. The new collection features 13 songs that are each named after one of her creative inspirations, including painters Jean-Michel Basquiat and Frida Kahlo, authors Octavia Butler and James Baldwin, and musicians Miles Davis and Muddy Waters. On “Sun Ra,” Woods sings about the late jazz genius who insisted he was sent from Venus to save our terminally ailing planet: “I just gotta get away from the Earth, man / This marble was doomed from the start, and / I won’t be around to see it when it goes.”
In lesser hands, a concept such as this would itself be doomed from the start. But Woods’ ability to pull it off suggests she may create an enduring legacy of her own.