Former Beyonce bassist Divinity Roxx to perform at Jazz Cafe in Plains Township
WILKES-BARRE — Bassist and lyricist Divinity Roxx has a musical resume that turns heads.
She toured and recorded extensively with bass master Victor Wooten before becoming the bass player and band leader for Beyonce’s band, a role she fulfilled for over five years.
But since 2012, Roxx has been focusing mostly on her solo career, creating music that brings together soul, funk, hip-hop, rock and R&B, which she’ll perform at 10 p.m. March 11 at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains Township.
Before Roxx cut her teeth in the Atlanta music scene, she studied journalism at University of California Berkeley, an endeavor she said developed from her earlier love for spoken and written word.
“I was a lyricist first,” Roxx said. “I grew up writing poems and penning my own raps. I chose journalism so that I could stay connected to words in a profession. I needed something to fall back on, because I had pretty much given up the idea that I would be a professional artist.”
But she didn’t give up.
Roxx fell in love with playing bass guitar while at UC Berkeley and ended up leaving school to pursue music.
While attending a bass camp with virtuoso Wooten, she was asked to join him on tour and was featured on 2001’s “Live in America” and 2005’s “Soul Circus.”
Roxx said Wooten taught her she could be completely independent and still successful.
“He taught me you could play the music you love and spread the message of hope and inspiration to people and still make a living.”
In 2006, she auditioned for Beyonce’s all-female band and was chosen as the bassist, eventually taking on the role of musical director.
“I learned so much from the Beyonce Experience,” Roxx said. “One of the things I bring into my personal career is that if you are true to the music, the music will be true to you.”
Being true to herself and the music inside of her, Roxx said, has been at the forefront of the work she has done.
Following her debut, 2003’s “Ain’t No Other Way,” Roxx reached critical acclaim with 2012’s “The Roxx Boxx Experience,” an album featuring funk legend Bootsy Collins and hip-hop heavyweight Killer Mike.
Her highly anticipated follow up, “ImPossible” premiered in 2016.
Roxx flows effortlessly from cerebral jazz, to gritty funk, elegant soul and even heavy rock to create the soundscape for her verses.
“I don’t think about genres when I’m writing,” she said. “I simply think of the song and how the song is trying to be expressed through me. I love all kinds of music, and there’s so much music around, it finds it’s way into my head and heart.”
Being both lyricist/frontwoman and the instrumentalist/composer behind her work, Roxx brings a refreshing authenticity to a hip-hop world that is often over produced.
“I try to be as authentic as possible in everything I do, even in my misgivings and mistakes,” Roxx said. “I try to speak and act with pure intention and purpose … to embody that which I am constantly reaching for: mastery, inspiration, love, humility and possibility.”
In anticipation of visiting the Jazz Cafe, Roxx said she loves to perform at intimate venues.
“It allows for a personal connection to the audience,” she said. “I’m on my own journey to share my music and light and love everywhere I go and to share in others’ love and light, so I’m hoping people come out and experience the music and the show, so that we’re all able to make a genuine long-lasting connection. Music is a magical universal language, and to be able to travel the world sharing it is special indeed.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Divinity Roxx, former band leader for Beyonce
Where: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 N. River St., Plains Township
When: 10 p.m. March 11
Ticket information: Tickets cost $10 in advance and are available at riverstreetjazzcafe.com.