Naia Kete Mentors and Performs at SF Sept. 28

Singer/songwriter/musician Naia Kete, who was a Top 24 contestant with Team Blake on “The Voice” in 2012, will headline Santa Fe College’s inaugural SantaFEST celebration and scholarship fundraising campaign when she performs in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at SF’s Fine Arts Hall at 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville.

Tickets are $15 orchestra, $12 balcony, or $9 for all Santa Fe students and employees. For ticket information, call the SF Box Office at 352-395-4181 or Bob Fetterman at 352-395-4133. Tickets may be purchased on line at http://www.sfcollege.edu/finearts/.

Kete, whose music has been described as pop-reggae with elements of jazz and soul, will be at Santa Fe as part of the college’s Master Artists Series that brings professional performers to campus to teach and mentor students about how to take the next steps in their careers.

Rolling Stone magazine called Kete “an earthy soulstress” whose “dynamic sound and smile are magic.” With awesome dreadlocks below her waist, a free spirit and upbeat, flirtatious vocals, Kete enchants listeners with songs such as “Crazy Glue” (“…I will stick to you like crazy glue/It’s all your fault I’m caught up in/The way you love me”) and “Sing Me,” co-written and with backing vocals by Colbie Caillat.

Born in Massachusetts to a Senegalese father and a white American mother, the 22-year-old Kete now lives in southern California where she has built a street following singing outdoors at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. She views music as something that can inspire people and bring them together.

“Community is so important to me,” Kete says. “A lot of what I try to convey in my music is that I feel like it’s truly time for the people of the world to unite in order to create peace and joy. It has to start in the home, and next in your extended family and community. I wouldn’t be singing and writing in the way that I do if it wasn’t for the people who have touched my life and heart so dearly.”

Kete’s latest digital album/CD is “Fire Breather.” Previous releases include “Third Street” and “Naia Kete:  Live in L.A.” More information is available on her website at http://www.naiakete.com/.

“I’m delighted that Naia Kete will be able to spend time with our students because personal contact with mentors is so important in the performing arts,” said SF College Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes. “Having access to an accomplished artist should be a part of every interested student’s world of possibility. If students cannot make it to Los Angeles, then why not bring L.A. to them?”

The featured opening act for Kete’s concert will be the winner of the SantaFEST’s Battle of the Bands, held earlier on Sept. 28 beginning 1 p.m. at the Northwest Campus.