Upcoming fall concerts at ASU feature D Smoke, Japanese Breakfast


Concerts take place on the Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium

Concerts will be held Nov. 3 and 4 at the Coca-Cola Sun Deck at ASU. Photo by Tim Trumble

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Live music shows sponsored by ASU 365 Community Union are returning this fall at Sun Devil Stadium for the ASU community and the public.

Bilingual rapper D Smoke and Japanese Breakfast, led by Michelle Zauner, will perform at two separate live concerts under the stars on the Coca-Cola Sun Deck on Nov. 3 and 4, respectively.

D Smoke with special guest Jean Dawson 

8 p.m. Nov. 3 (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) 

D Smoke gained global notoriety as the breakout star of Netflix’s competition show "Rhythm + Flow." He was nominated for two Grammys in 2021, including best new artist and best rap album for "Black Habits." Smoke released his second studio album “War & Wonders” in September this year. 

Hailing from Inglewood, California, Smoke dove fingers-first into classical piano at the age of 6, honing his talents in church, and eventually lending vocals to the late Michael Jackson. Focusing on the creative arts helped him to circumvent the throes of violence present on his doorstep and propel himself into the classrooms of UCLA. 

D Smoke

D Smoke. Photo courtesy WME

D Smoke gained a unique and immersive industry experience by collaborating across genres with everyone from Usher, Babyface, Mary J. Blige and Jahiem, to Missy Elliott, Timbaland and the Pussycat Dolls. His hard work garnered an ASCAP ​Song of the Year ​award.

After college, D Smoke taught Spanish at Inglewood High School, applying his personal experiences as an alumnus and lifelong city resident to create a safe space for students to express themselves openly.

Support will come from Jean Dawson, who is equal parts musician and visual artist, influenced by his Mexican and Black background. Dawson represents a genre-less musical movement and a generation straddling culture and worlds without easy categorization or classification.

Jean Dawson sitting on a motorcycle under blue light

Jean Dawson. Photo courtesy WME

Born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, he became obsessed with music on his daily five-hour treks across the Mexican-American border to attend school in the U.S.

Raised by a single, working-class Mexican mother, listening to rock and rap alongside the Latin sounds enveloping him, Dawson began recording and performing at the age of 14, inspired by Nirvana, Mike Jones, Beach Fossils, Kanye West, the Smiths, Outkast, N.E.R.D. and 50 Cent. Attending college for directorial studies, Dawson leaned further into art and exploration in his work, challenging the notions of hyper-masculinity underpinning his Mexican and Black cultures. His 2019 EP "Bad Sports" discussed these concepts, touching on intimacy, discussing depression and heavily pushing back against social norms.

Tickets for D Smoke are now on sale through Ticketmaster.

Japanese Breakfast   

8 p.m. Nov. 4 (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)   

Michelle Zauner looks over her shoulder, covering one eye with a golden persimmon. She wears golden eye makeup and styled hair braids. Persimmons float around her out of focus.

Michelle Zauner. Photo by Peter Ash.

Zauner released her third studio album, "Jubilee," earlier this month to critical acclaim. This year, Zauner also released her debut book, "Crying in H Mart," which became a New York Times bestseller and was just last week picked up for film adaptation by MGM’s Orion Pictures. 

From the moment she began writing her new album, Zauner knew that she wanted to call it "Jubilee." A jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time — a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant Technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way they grappled with anguish: "Psychopomp" was written as her mother underwent cancer treatment, while "Soft Sounds From Another Planet" took the grief she held from her mother‘s death and used it as a conduit to explore the cosmos. 

In the years leading up to "Jubilee," Zauner took theory lessons and studied piano in earnest for the first time, in an effort to improve her range as a songwriter. "Jubilee" is an album about processing life and love in the quest for happiness, and how that process sometimes requires us to step outside of ourselves.

Tickets for Japanese Breakfast now on sale through Ticketmaster

All concerts on the Coca-Cola Sun Deck are general admission, standing room only. ASU's clear-bag policy is in effect for events at Sun Devil Stadium. Access to the Coca-Cola Sun Deck is available through the northeast stadium gate, as is night-of-show box office. More info at https://asu365communityunion.com/.

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