Terrence Cunningham is far from timid in the company of a piano, and a microphone. A Maryland native, and a descendent of a long line of musicians, including his great aunt, the late blues legend Etta Baker, Terrence Cunningham’s music can best be described as alternative soul. Steeped in the natural velvet of black music, the pain and drama from the sweaty pulpit is peppered with heavy guitar, and slow buildups to swelling musical climaxes. Think Coldplay if Chris Martin was raised in the black church, or U2, if Bono was a child of the delta.
Besides being a staple on the Washington DC music scene, Terrence has performed in several other cities, including New York and Kansas City, Missouri. He has shared the stage with vocal dynamo, Ledisi, as well as singer/songwriter Emily King. One of his most memorable accomplishments was performing a tribute song for the legendary comedian/activist Dick Gregory, with Gregory’s daughter, singer Ayanna Gregory. He’s performed on local radio shows, and has been featured in several local newspapers like, Washington City Paper.
Terrence Cunningham is of a different breed. He chooses to push the envelope in search of new musical interpretations. His songs pull from life in a vulnerably honest way, and his overtly distinct voice compliments the sincerity of his work. He is a trained musician, and though rooted in theory, creates and performs mostly from instinct and sheer musical chops. And to think, it all began at the age of three when he mimicked his father and tapped out Prince’s, “Little Red Corvette” on the piano. Who knew that moment would be the cornerstone of a life devoted to music, and the early makings of a mold-breaker.