When Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People hit the stage things get torqued up quickly like a tent revival during tornado season. Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People transcend musical genres with a blast of deep, powerful groove and soul. The band is the groove while Ponder’s pipes keep it rooted in soul. And according to Ponder, soul is more than a sound.
“Soul music is something you feel,” she says. “It gives you goose bumps.”
This Rochester, NY Native has spent the past 10 years rendering goose bumps by perfecting her style and charismatic performance. She sings, you listen, you melt. The result of her focus and dedication is a tone that is both enchanting and seductive along with a riveting, honest stage presence. It is this voice that has helped her secure gigs opening up for powerhouses such as George Clinton, Ledisi and The Roots.
“I am a very passionate performer,” Ponder says. “I usually make myself go back to the place I was when I wrote that song. I like to immerse myself in those feelings. That helps me deliver an authentic performance.”
To Ponder, the audience is integral to the performance. They are, in a sense, part of the band. We are all tomorrow people.
“That’s why I named the band Tomorrow People, It’s an ode to artist, progressive people. We create the future. When I get on stage I want the audience to be just as important as the musicians. I want to hear them, feel them, and see them dancing and moving.”
And the crowd does just that. This daughter of a preacher take the audience to church, as she dances across stage and belts out her notes, it is clear that her gospel roots have had a strong influence. This sensational singer also lists powerful influences that lit her fuse like Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, and Lauryn Hill. Ponder opens her mouth to sing and it’s readily apparent; there’s another name that belongs in that pantheon as well. Danielle Ponder, and her time is now.