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FRIDAY

It’s been four years since Rachelle Ferrell rebuked both the music industry and the record-buying public for embracing only the purely raunchy or the beautiful-but-marginally-talented with her first U.S. release—a slowly-certified-gold, self-titled disc on Capitol Records. Ferrell dared listeners to focus on true music—insightful lyrics, real musicians, and sumptuous vocals. In fact, her singles “With Open Arms” and “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This” (a duet with Will Downing) are still request favorites on local quiet-storm shows. Her jazz disc First Instrument, a hit nearly five years ago in Japan, was released in the states last year, further solidifying her reputation as a six-and-a-half-octave vocal wonder. The prolific singer/lyricist has worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to George Duke and calls to mind the best of Anita Baker, Dianne Reeves, and Minnie Ripperton. Ferrell will appear at 8 & 10 p.m. tonight through Sunday at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $31.75. (202) 337-4141.CP