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S.O.A.R. (Sounds of A&R) Brings Romance to the Fore in a Valentine's Day Edition of The Pulse

Courtesy of the artist

Although it wasn’t love at first sight, from the very beginning singer-songwriter April May and trumpeter Randall Haywood had a musical synergy that undoubtedly inspired their name. Sounds of A&R (aka S.O.A.R) took flight after their first single released in 2015.

Since then, they’ve found on the Billboard and JazzWeek charts, and have received recognition from Hot House Jazz and the Songwriter’s Association of Washington (SAW). S.O.A.R. has appeared at Birdland, Dizzy’s Club, Minton’s Playhouse and the Apollo Theater. When they aren’t performing as a duo, they tour as members of drummer T.S. Monk’s band. Their third album, Questions Left Unanswered, encapsulates everything from their first impromptu meeting, at a jam session at Moore’s Lounge in Jersey City, to their experiences in life individually and as a couple through covers of popular songs like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” interwoven with originals like “The Skin I’m In.”

On this Valentine’s Day edition of The Pulse, love is certainly in the air as Sounds of A&R give an exclusive performance and discuss the development of their musical and eventual life partnership (with details on their intimate quarantine wedding); the creation of their new album; and how the newlyweds are keeping their love light bright by finding innovative ways to creatively express their art and shared love. 

Keanna Faircloth is a Washington, DC native and comes to WBGO getting her start on-air at WPFW 89.3 FM in 2003, most recently as the host of Late Night Jazz: The Continuum Experience. She is a graduate of Howard University having majored in Music History with a minor in Classical Piano. Keanna has written for NPR Music, and worked for Radio One as an on-air personality, producer and voice-over talent. She is also the creator and host of Artimacy Podcast, where she has interviewed artists like Wynton Marsalis, Matthew Whitaker, Jonathan Butler, and Dionne Warwick. As a result, she was recognized by Radio Ink Magazine as a 2019 African American leader in radio.