After a decade, D’Angelo is back to performing live, and for now the first opportunity to see the reclusive R&B songwriter in North America is at the Essence Music Festival. The festival announced the addition of D’Angelo to the lineup today, which puts him among previously announced acts including Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Kevin Hart and Aretha Franklin. D’Angelo’s performance at the New Orleans festival is scheduled for July 6.
D’Angelo’s live return started last January in Stockholm, Sweden. At his first performance back, D’Angelo played songs that are expected to be on his new album, James River, which collaborator and Roots drummer ?uestlove called “the black version of [Brian Wilson’s] SMiLE.” The drummer also told Pitchfork that the album is “97 percent done.”
You can check out two of the new tracks, ”Sugar Daddy” and “The Charade, from D’Angelo’s Stockholm show here.