The Patterson-Appleton Arts Center showed some soul this past Saturday to close out the third night of the Denton Black Film Festival.
Ashleigh Smith, a UNT alumna and jazz recording artist, took the stage as one of the musical artists featured for the festival
Quentin Moore, another former UNT student from Austin, opened for Smith. Moore’s jazz sound featured heavy influences of R&B and even reggae with a nostalgic flair.
“I’m a little old school, is that OK?” Moore asked at the beginning of his performance to an eager audience, who definitely didn’t have a problem with his classic vibes.
Moore was very interactive with the crowd, encouraging clapping and singing along as well as even letting audience members touch his guitar. His fun, spunky aura perfectly prepared them for the headlining act of the night.
A glowing and very pregnant Smith kicked off her set with her rendition of “Pure Imagination” before going into originals from her 2016 LP, “Sunkissed.”
The intimate crowd setting paired well with Smith’s relaxed jazz sound and her rich singing vocals.
Smith’s setlist included tracks from her album like “Into the Blue,” which she admits was a collaboration between herself and a poem she found written by her sister. She said the song is about the “revolving door” of a romantic breakup that can’t seem to come to a final end.
One of the most notable songs on Smith’s setlist was the title track of her album. She said she was inspired to write this song after mentoring young girls, who would tell Smith about their physical insecurities.
“Everyone is beautiful without anything added or tucked or sucked or pushed or whatever,” Smith said. “And even if you do do that, you’re still beautiful.”
Moore and Smith’s powerful performances served as impeccable representations of black pop culture at the festival.
Their creativity and passion for their art are sure to make their alma mater—and Denton—proud.
Featured Image: As a part of the Denton Black Film Festival, Jazz Vocalist Ashleigh Smith performs for the crowd on Saturday, Jan. 28. Smith is a UNT graduate, returning to her stating point her as an artist here in Denton. Katie Jenkins