When Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People hit the stage things get torqued up quickly like a tent revival during tornado season. Named Top Ten Bands to watch by CityPaper, and winner of the 2015 and 2016 Roc Awards, "Best Band", 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 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. The band has also completed two successful European tours. Boyd Kletter of Bourbon Street Blues Club in Amsterdam said "Danielle shines bright both on and off the stage. She's truly is a star!"
In 2016 the singer released her debut EP Blow Out The Sun. Soultracks.com said “Ponder’s vocals combine the spirit of the church with the speak-truth- to-power assertiveness of a movement leader. “ Jeff Spevak of the Democrat & Chronicle wrote "Ponder’s tough-sounding vocals on “Three Word Revolution (I Love Myself)” is a defiant call to self worth. That title track feels custom built as a room-shaking anthem for women in the audience.” In 2016 the band would also enter the AfroPunk Battle of the Bands contest, where they surpassed hundreds of bands and made it to the final four.
Beyond Danielle's musical talent, she is a passionate defense attorney, speaker and Adjunct Professor.
She teaches Legal Rights of the Disadvantage in the Department of African American studies at The State University of New York College at Brockport. At Northeastern University, where she received her Juris Doctorate, Danielle was awarded the prestigious Public Interest Law scholarship.
Danielle worked for 5 years at the Monroe County Public Defender’s office where she provided criminal defense to indigent defendants.
Danielle has dedicated the past 15 years to organizing and speaking up for marginalized communities. She has worked on issues such as education funding, women's rights, and has spent the past 8 years working for criminal justice reform. Danielle was recently highlighted by the American Bar Association. In 2017 she created the Multi-Media show For the Love of Justice, where she shines light on our criminal justice system through powerful lyrics and thought provoking visuals.
Dr. Karen Stote of WIlfred Laurier University called For the Love of Justice an "impactful and uplifting performance"
Danielle has been awarded, Teen Empowerment's PeaceMaker in Action Award and The Jessica-Bain Community Excellence Award.
This sensational singer lists powerful influences that lit her fuse like Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton, Shirley Chilsolm, Cornel West and Lauryn Hill. Ponder opens her mouth to sing or speak and it’s readily apparent; there’s another name that belongs in that pantheon as well. Danielle Ponder, and her time is now.