She ain’t that average girl in your video, of course. But India.Arie seemed to spring fully-grown from the mind of Nina Simone and out into the media spotlight a few years back. Her down-to-earth grooves and reserved vocals nearly stole the Grammy Award Show in 2002. But Arie (pictured above) sings that she “don’t worry about no Grammy because I know that the Creator has a plan for me.” Whatever that plan may be, it puts Arie in a funny role–taking center stage in order to renounce her claim to it. More plainspoken, less mysterious than Erykah Badu, Arie transforms divahood into righteous sister and brotherhood. There’s little posturing in her music; or is it that she postures little posturing? It’s hard to believe that Arie could be so sincere in a music-biz world full of irony and calculation. But when she starts to sing, it happens: In a casual way, she dramatizes the effort not just to “keep it real,” but to keep it sweet, humble, and movingly beautiful. Arie picks up on the spiritually-infused, earthy-rooted, globally-tinged soul traditions of the 1970s–Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Terry Callier, Phoebe Snow–throwing in thumping hip-hop beats and catchy hooks to make the neo-soul modern, not retro. Her philosophy is to focus on the “Little Things,” as she calls them in the opening track on her album, Voyage to India. Who needs riches and glamour, Arie asks. Just “give me some good food, give me some cute shoes, give me some peace of mind, give me some sunshine, give me some blue skies.” Tickets for the show are $25 advanced purchase. Anthony David, one of Arie’s co-writers and backup musicians, opens. 8:15 p.m. For more info, call (919) 821-4111 or visit