This year’s Essence Festival brought the best and brightest in music, entertainment, and pop culture right to the heart of New Orleans. Crowds of over 450,000 flocked to the Louisiana hub to take part in the myriad of activities the fest had to offer, such as the Convention Center’s plethora of empowerment sessions and the Superdome’s star-studded line-up of evening performances. While those were the two flagship locales for the scheduled programming, Apple Music provided an escape from Convention Center Blvd and Poydras Street.
NOLA’s Kingsway Mansion on Esplanade Ave was the place to be for the low-key R&B jam session, R&B Rising. Hosted by ESSENCE LIVE’s Dana Blair, a New Orleans native, the event called on excellent local band Sonic Bloom, Ro James and Andra Day to set the night off right. By the end of the night, you would’ve seen Lynn Whitfield cutting up on the dance floor to the band, Teyonah Parris and Tichina Arnold clamoring for a picture with Ro, Rob Riley swaying to Ms. Day and Malik Yoba hopping on the mic to serenade a lucky lady fan.
Flip through to get a taste of the R&B magic from the evening.