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Backed by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ production on her first solo recording, I’m Here for You, Ann Nesby wields her voice like a sledgehammer. Over the past few years Nesby has gained fame as the lead singer of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness. The group reeled off a series of hits including “Optimistic,” “Testify,” “I Believe,” and “I’m Going All the Way.” Now with the challenge of tackling an album on her own, her material gets a bit monotonous after a few listens, but she brings the noise on every track. This Monday, see if she can bring the noise live, too, with Julia Nixon, Melinda Young, and Charisma at 8 p.m. at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium, 6th & Fairmont Sts. NW. $25-35. (202) 806-7198. (Ta-Nehisi Coates)