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Bellevue Beats: J.R. Rhodes

August 12, 2021 - by Brooke Wilson

Bellevue Beats: J.R. Rhodes


From her first open-mic performances at the O.K. Hotel in Seattle to her latest album "I Am," singer-songwriter J.R. Rhodes believes in the transformative power of song and distills her musicality into gems of quiet intensity that traverse blues, jazz, folk and rock.

Her full-length albums include "I Am," produced by Johnny Sangster, Elixir (2011), Afriqueen Stare (2003), and Songs of Angels (1999). Additional works that demonstrate Rhodes’ range and virtuosity are Lullabies (2013), a riveting performance of traditional spirituals, On the Boards, Seattle; as well as 2 Old Chicks (2005), a 50-piece orchestral film score, created in collaboration with Doris Bartha and Steve Brush.

Rhodes earned her B.A. in music composition from Wesleyan University, where jazz luminaries Bill Lowe and Anthony Braxton became her favorite teachers who encouraged her to explore uncharted musical depths and push beyond inhibitions. These cherished lessons have allowed her to continually grow and evolve as a musician.

Rhodes muses, “It’s easy to be cynical. It takes a lot to be intentional. It takes a lot to love." On her album, "I Am," relationships and heartache are traversed on an acoustic journey through rebirth, and finally, up into freedom.

Virtual Tip Jar:

  • Venmo: @JR-Rhodes-1



Spanning April through autumn, we’re reigniting Downtown's music scene with free concerts in the Heart of Bellevue. Replay your favorite tunes from our virtual series on our Facebook page and website. Mark your calendars to catch all the rhythm & blues in person at different parks and plazas around the Heart of Bellevue community, each week at noon. See all venue locations on our events calendar. Whether you catch the tunes online or stroll Downtown for shows under the sun, enjoy our longest concert series yet!


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