Velour showcases local female musicians

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This weekend, Velour Live Music Gallery celebrates local female talent with its second annual “Les Femmes de Velour” showcase.

Kaneischa Johnson, a spokeswoman for Velour, said the event is a unique experience that highlights gifted female musicians who are in the minority of the music community.

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Emily Brown is one of Provo’s favorite musicians. She will join other female all-stars at Les Femmes de Velour this weekend.
“This is a city full of talent,” Johnson said, “but a lot of the female artists aren’t as prominent as their male counterparts. We wanted to showcase the girls because there is so much feminine talent in Provo.”

According to Johnson, another benefit of the showcase is to introduce fans of the female musicians to other great artists with whom they may not be familiar.

The showcase is a two-day event, including performances by Velour veterans and up-and-comers alike.

[pullquote]”We don’t need to look like boys or act like boys to be taken seriously. We really like to display femininity in our music, and at the same time we want to show our technical ability as musicians.” — Jess Bassett[/pullquote]

Friday night’s acts include Moriah Glazier, Kenzie James and The Knockouts, Blue Aces and Bus People.

Bus People, who recently opened for national touring band Twin Sister, is an all-girl band that has steadily gained a solid following. Founding member Jess Bassett, who sings and plays guitar in the band, said the band takes pride in its femininity.

“We don’t need to look like boys or act like boys to be taken seriously,” she said. “We really like to display femininity in our music, and at the same time we want to show our technical ability as musicians.”

Saturday’s lineup features two of the better known female artists in Provo, Emily Brown and Jennifer Blosil.

Brown, who has been a staple of Provo music for more than two years, is as well known for her work in Book On Tapeworm as she is for her solo project. Her pure voice and heartfelt lyrics have won her the affection of fans and peers, but so has her captivating charisma.

“Emily has the ability to charm the birds off the trees,” Johnson said. “She’s an aesthetic artist as well as a musician.”

Blosil is a piano-pop/soul artist with a unique voice and iconic look. She last performed at Velour in a collaborative project called Cobra Cat, in which she wails the blues with members of Atlantic Records’ Fictionist.

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Two up-and-coming female artists, Julianne Brough and Faith Johnson, are also playing Saturday night.

Brough, who also performs in the band Gils, last charmed listeners at Velour’s slumber party event in January and will be accompanied by her friend and band mate, Lauren Smith, on many songs. Brough said she is a huge fan of Emily Brown’s music and is honored to be part of the showcase.

“Emily Brown is an angel from heaven,” she said. “We’re really excited to be able to play with a bunch of really talented girls.”

Faith Johnson, who just turned 13, has gained the attention of record labels through YouTube videos of her live performances. According to Kaneishca Johnson, Faith’s music is incredibly mature in spite of her youth.

“She’s only 13, but she has an old soul when it comes to music,” Kaneischa said. “Although her songs talk about the experiences of a 13-year-old, they are told in a manner that anyone can identify with.”

In addition to the showcase, Velour will hold a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Miss Representation,” on Monday, Feb. 27. The film analyzes the misrepresentation of women in the media and the effect it’s had on the psyche of women in America.

“As an outspoken woman, I would love for other women to feel empowered through this film,” Johnson said. “The response has been incredible. There’s a whole movement that surrounds it, so it’s an honor to show this at Velour.”

Tickets for the showcase and for the film screening can be purchased at Velour Live Music Gallery.

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