Celebrated singer Somi creates richly textured music that celebrates and extends the traditions of at least two continents.
Born in Illinois and raised there and in Zambia and Kenya, she is the daughter of an Ugandan father and Rwandan mother.
After majoring in anthropology and African studies at the University of Illinois, where her father was a professor, Somi — who performs Thursday at UC San Diego — turned to music, releasing her first album in 2003.
She taught in Nigeria in 2011, prior to recording her 2014 album, “The Lagos Music Salon,” in that country’s capital city.
The singer, whose full name is Laura Kabasomi Kakoma, is blessed with a powerful, pliable voice that enable her to perform jazz, soul and an array of African music styles with equal skill and panache.
Somi: 8 p.m. Thursday. The Loft @ UC San Diego, 3500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. Sold out. (858) 534-8497. artpower.ucsd.edu/event/somi/