Bessie 81 Tour: Deva Mahal, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Adeline Michele And Phony Ppl Take Over Musical Showcase


HBO continued its Bessie 81 Theatre tour in honor of Bessie Smith and their upcoming film Bessie on Tuesday night (April 28) with a musical showcase in the concrete jungle.

Hosted by MTV2 Guy Code’s Damien Lemon, artists like Deva Mahal, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Adeline Michele and Phony Ppl performed their best jams at Manhattan’s Stephan Weiss Studios.

Say hello to the rising stars below.

Deva Mahal

As the daughter of famed blues singer, Taj Mahal, Deva was born with a mix of genres in her blood. Taking audiences through a sound trip of gospel to funk to R&B, Deva kicked off the evening with a bang and a few jingles of her tambourine.

Gabriel Garzon-Montano

Drake may have sampled Gabriel’s “6 8″ on his If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late cut “Jungle,” but this Brooklyn native has more where that came from. Flipping Tweet’s seductive “Oops (Oh My)” for an even more stripped down track, the virtuoso not only showcased his vocals, but his knack for creating soundscapes right on stage. A few songs to plug into your playlist right now: “Sour Mango” and “Everything Is Everything.”


Adeline Michele

Before Adeline Michele appeared under the bright lights, she was introduced as a mixture between Prince and Chaka Khan. With a few gasps drawn in the crowd at the comparison, everyone’s ears perked up once she sang her first note. The hefty intro proved to be true. Adeline seamlessly fused funk, R&B, and disco without missing a beat. The way she handled her guitar could have made her an honorary member of Prince’s band, The Revolution.


Phony Ppl

The six-man ensemble had an audience of more than 80 people feeling like they were at Afropunk. Delivering feel-good jams from their album Yesterday’s Tomorrow, you’ll definitely put the Brooklyn posse’s project on replay as your soundtrack for the summer.

Photo Credits: Dorothy Hong

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