Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get Out: Stephanie Rooker

Stephanie Rooker

Courtesy of Stephanie Rooker


Don't try to pigeonhole Stephanie Rooker into a particular style of music. The Radford native will disappoint you.

The last time The Roanoke Times wrote at length about Rooker, she was a Radford High School junior who had just been accepted into the National Women's Choir. She got the gig based on an aria she recorded for the 1999 audition.

Flash forward about nine years, and she's a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based singer who performs jazz, blues, reggae, soul and hip-hop. Rooker brings her band and her new CD, "Tellin' You Right Now," to 202 Market on Thursday night.

Music is more than just performance for Rooker, who designed an independent major in ethnomusicology while she was at Oberlin College. That led to four months of study in Ghana, where she did field research and recordings, and produced a CD of traditional tribal music. Soon, she was composing her own music and writing her own lyrics.

"I just got into it and couldn't get out," she said.

Go to this story at roanoke.com and hear a podcast with Rooker, including songs from her new CD.

— Tad Dickens

Who: Stephanie Rooker

Where: 202 Market, 202 Market Square, Roanoke

When: 9 p.m. Thursday

How much: $5

Web: stephanierooker.com