shirlette ammons

shirlette ammons

Durham, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999

Durham, North Carolina, United States
Established on Jan, 1999
Band Hip Hop Soul




"Sense of Place: North Carolina"

Shirlette Ammons is a multidisciplinary hip-hop artist from Durham, N.C., who specializes in making musical connections. Her latest album, Language Barrier, is a tour de force that includes contributions from many of the artists World Cafe spoke with during our Sense Of Place visit to North Carolina — including Heather McEntire from Mount Moriah, M.C. Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook — along with Meshell Ndegeocello and others.

Ammons brought her band in for a special session, which you can hear in the audio above. Watch her perform "Joy Division" in the video below. - NPR

"Shirlette Ammons Pays Tribute to Bulldagger Gladys Bentley"

Hailing from Durham, NC – the fierce poet pays homage to a blues legend in her ballsy new debut album, Twilight for Gladys Bentley. Gladys Bentley was a famed, openly gay blues singer from Harlem Renaissance back in the 1920’s. The Renaissance (also known as the New Negro Movement) was an upsurge of African American culture and arts in Harlem immediately following the end of World War I. Black artists and creative’s from the south, migrated to the East Coast neighborhood to find solace and like minded individuals such as themselves. Artist Jacob Lawrence and writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were part of the Renaissance. - Afropunk

"stereogum premieres new shirlette ammons track feat. Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath"

"A slow-building drum beat is paired with matching space age synths, a ringing electric guitar, and lingering atmospheric sweeps for an irresistible groove shifting between genres. The outro even brings in a wonderfully cacophonous flourish of classical strings. Ammons and Meath come together for an insanely catchy harmony, utilizing the same cadence throughout the entire song." - Stereogum


Spectacles (2022, Clouds Hill Records - Hamburg Germany)

Language Barrier (2016, Churchkey/SugarQube Records - Durham NC)

Twilight for Gladys Bentley (2011, Sprinstoff Records - Berlin Germany)



shirlette ammons is a Durham, NC-based musician whose sophomore solo album, Language Barrier was co-released by SugarQube Records and Churchkey Records in February 2016. The album features guest appearances by The Indigo Girls, Meshell Ndegeocello, Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso), Hiss Golden Messenger, Median (The Foreign Exchange), Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah), Phil Cook, and Jocelyn Ellis with musical compositions by Daniel Hart (St. Vincent, Broken Social Scene).

shirlette’s first solo album, Twilight For Gladys Bentley, was released in 2012 by Springstoff Records (Berlin, Germany) and is a ‘re-imagining,’ of 1920′s blues singer, Gladys Bentley. shirlette has toured throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the US in support of the work. In 2012, shirlette travelled to Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia with Next Level Program, a collaborative international exchange program that engages underserved communities in various countries around the world and uses artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences. Using multi-disciplinary hip hop collaborations, this unique arts-based exchange explores and addresses conflict resolution strategies by sending up to 20 American beat makers, DJs, B-Boys/B-Girls (or experts of other types of hip hop dance), or MCs in teams of 5 artists to lead four- to six-week exchange programs in various countries.

shirlette is served as a producer for Emmy award-winning PBS series "A Chef's Life," and "Somewhere South," and co-directed a half-hour documentary special entitled "The Hook," which aired on APT.

shirlette’s past works include a 2011 release with Chapel Hill based rock band, The Dynamite Brothers called And Lover’s Like. The album includes guest appearances from Justin Robinson (formerly of The Carolina Chocolate Drops), Kelly Crisp (The Rosebuds), Juan HuevosGreg HumphreysYahzarahJocelyn Ellis, and Pierce Freelon. Her most recent collection of poetry, Matching Skin featuring The John Anonymous EP was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2008. Shirlette’s first collection entitled Stumphole: Aunthology of Backwoods Blood was published by Big Drum Press in 2002. Her literary work has appeared in The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, What Your Momma Never Tod You: True Stories About Love and Sex, The Asheville Revielw and The Journal of the Academy of American Poets amongst other publications. She has received a John Hope Franklin Grant for Documentary Studies, The Ebony Harlem Award for Literary Achievement, as well as Emerging Artist Grants from the Durham Arts COuncil and the United Arts Council. She is also vocalist for the hip hop rock band Mosadi Music whose debut album, The Window, was released in 2006 and songwriter and vocalist for the fusion electronic duo, Jon Anonymous. As a freelance writer, Shirlette has contributed to The Independent Weekly and Duke Performance’s Blog, The Thread

 resides and creates in Durham, North Carolina and is set to release a new album entitled "Spectacles," in 2022.

Band Members