Bettye Yvette opened the 2019 BRIC Jazz Fest Photo: Raymond Hagans

On Saturday, October 19, soul singer and songwriter Bettye LaVette brought her powerful voice and eclectic magic to kick off the BRIC JazzFest 2019 with a free concert at the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District’s outdoor public space.

LaVette, best known for her 2005 hit, I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, made her first record at sixteen. Her music style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music.

Photo: Raymond Hagans for BK Reader
LaVette performed songs from her illustrious 60-year career, from her first recording in 1962, at aged sixteen, “My Man — He’s a Lovin’ Man”, to her latest studio recording of “Things Have Changed” which featured songs originally written and sung by Bob Dylan.
Photo: Raymond Hagans for BK Reader

The Plaza was packed with fans and admirers of all ages, and passersby ask who the performer was and stayed to enjoy the performance. LeVette performed a solo encore of “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” and received a standing ovation as she finally exited the stage.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Brooklyn’s annual jazz festival will run through October 26, featuring film, poetry, conversation, and a three-night, three-stage live music marathon with overlapping sets by global legends, groundbreaking artists, and exciting newcomers to jazz. To see the full schedule, go here.

Check out the following photos of the event:

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