Brown Commons Coffeehouse Showcases Danielle Ponder


R&B singer and activist Danielle Ponder performed with her band, The Tomorrow People, for the Browns Commons Coffeehouse series on February 21.

Michael Tom, Maroon-News Staff

Brown Commons hosted another installation of their Coffeehouse Music Series at 110 Broad Street this past Thursday, February 21. This time around, the featured musical artist was Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People. The band has been quite successful and won Best Band in the Rochester Awards Show in both 2015 and 2016. Their music is a mixture of groove and soul.

The Coffeehouse series is one of Brown Commons’ most successful events, and although turnouts are usually strong, this particular night was undeniably the best of the year with every ticket sold out and guests filling any standing room they could find. There was a palpable excitement in the air for one of the most heavily anticipated artists to come to Colgate this year.

The show did not disappoint, and whether it was your first or thousandth time hearing her soulful voice, it was impossible to not get swept up by lead singer, Ponder’s, emotion and expression.

Throughout the performance, Ponder showcased a wide range of inflections; in one moment, you might imagine yourself on a Sunday stroll and the next, feel pressed to social justice action and protest. However, she is much more than an artist. Ponder is also a defense attorney, activist and speaker. She has been critically acclaimed for her role in advocating for women’s rights and education. Perhaps most notably, she performed a 2017 show called “For the Love of Justice,” which commented on the state of the judicial system. In this performance, she employed powerful lyrics and visuals to convey her messages.

“I think what I love about Danielle is that she uses her platform to say something. I think that’s the true power and responsibility of an artist,” sophomore Andrew Kish said.

This is a common sentiment among many of Ponder’s fans, who appreciate her authenticity and commitment to social issues. In a way, Ponder gives a voice to the things her fans want to say but may not have the strength or platform to express.

Each Coffeehouse event serves as a reminder of how special live music is and how lucky students are to be able to have these opportunities at Colgate. If you could not make the performance, consider giving some of Ponder’s songs a listen on her website, With a combination of talent both in and outside of music, and her genuine care for other people, Ponder is a special artist who will undoubtedly continue to rise in the music world.

Contact Michael Tom at [email protected].