Danielle Ponder

Moved to Sun 2:10pm Swan Stage to fill in for Cymande who is unable to perform

Danielle Ponder turned to a career in law after her brother received a 20-year “three strikes” prison sentence, serving as a public defender in her hometown of Rochester, New York. But music had always been part of her life, from blues and gospel to alt-rock and hip hop, and she kept playing in numerous bands before taking a leap of faith by leaving the public defender’s office to focus on her songwriting. “I write the songs I need to survive the situations I am in, and these are those songs,” she says of her debut album, Some of Us Are Brave. “Nina Simone is one of my favorite artists, and she’s really given me the permission to write whatever I feel. She said, ‘Don’t put nothing in it unless you feel it.‘ So, she sang about heartache, but then she would also record a song like Randy Newman’s ‘Baltimore.’ This is where I am right now.”