R&B forever... • Brooklyn Paper

R&B forever…

BAM and MetroTech Center continue their 2008 BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech into July.

In its 14th year, the festival continues to feature the legends of R&B and world music — and the genres’ vibrant and innovative newcomers — headlining free outdoor concerts every Thursday from now to August 7.

These lunchtime performances (12-2 p.m.) are held at MetroTech Commons, located at the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle avenues. For information, call 718-636-4100 or visit www.bam.org.

Oleta Adams is the star July 3. Being the daughter of a minister, it’s no surprise that Adams’ roots are in gospel, but her formal introduction to the masses began rather unexpectedly.

While performing in a Kansas City hotel, she was discovered by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears, and she was invited to participate in the recording of the British band’s follow-up to the immensely popular 1985 album “Songs from the Big Chair.”

Leela James is center stage on July 10. “Music,” the first song and lead single from Leela James’ first album “A Change Is Gonna Come,” reminisces about Aretha, Gladys, Tina, and Chaka. James doesn’t see her inspirations merely as artists to mimic; she sees how they learned from the past and applied it to the present.

The great Phoebe Snow takes the spotlight on July 17. Renowned for her elastic contralto and jazz-scat vocal gymnastics, singer Phoebe Snow was born Phoebe Laub in New York City. After signing to Leon Russell’s Shelter label, Snow issued her self-titled debut LP in 1974; on the strength of her Top Five smash “Poetry Man,” the album rose to number four on the Billboard charts.

A tour with Paul Simon followed, and after returning to the studio, Snow emerged in 1976 with “Second Childhood,” another highly successful effort which, like its predecessor, was a gold-seller.

More from Around New York