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Lauryn Hill to bring her 'Moving Target' playdate series to Club Nokia after Coachella gig

March 11, 2011 | 11:45 am

HILL Could Lauryn Hill be ready for her big comeback?

Hill's fans have been waiting for 13 years for the elusive performer to release the follow-up to her 1998 Grammy-winning solo offering, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

But save for a much-ballyhooed stop-and-start reunion with the Fugees and a leaked single, “Repercussions,” that managed to chart last year, she still hasn’t given what her legions of very patient fans have been pining for: an album.

She’s been nowhere near dormant over the years, though, often popping up at music festivals here and a string of dates there. But she often garners headlines for how long she makes the audience wait (one report said three hours late, with no opening act). Hill is taking things a bit more seriously, it seems, by announcing the dates for her “Moving Target: Extended Intimate Playdate Series.”

The series will kick off in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday and hit 12 cities across the country, including previously announced sets at this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival on April 15, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 7 and Miami’s Jazz in the Gardens Festival on March 19.

The “playdates,” as she is billing them, will afford Los Angeles fans that didn’t shell out the money for Coachella the opportunity to see her at the more intimate Club Nokia on April 18.

Notoriously press shy, the rapper released an uncharacteristically lengthy statement regarding the upcoming series of shows:

"One of the benefits of playing venues smaller than the ones I'm used to allows me the opportunity to not only reconnect with my supporters but to expose them to a portion of the musical journey I've been on which the world for the most part has not had access to," Hill said. "I've never shied away from being musically adventurous, nor am I known for being a lightweight when it comes to lyrical content or musical exploration."

“These more intimate playdates afford me the time to perform for listeners who haven't heard from me over the past several years or have been misinformed by the inaccuracies in some media coverage, many of which I might add, I find very amusing. Getting back out there to perform is a lot like resuming a strenuous sport after having been away from it for a while, but eventually the muscle memory kicks in, and each day brings progressive strength. It's an exciting and REAL process which these audiences will get to witness."

More dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. She’s also made the move to Twitter (though she's yet to christen her page). Here is the initial series of shows:

March 16 — Orlando, House of Blues
March 19 — Miami, Jazz in the Gardens Festival
March 23 — Tampa, The Ritz
March 26 — Myrtle Beach, House of Blues
March 30 — Atlanta, Center Stage
April 3 — Oahu, Aloha Tower
April 9 — Portland, Arlene Schnitzer Hall
April 12 — San Francisco, The Warfield
April 15 — Indio, Coachella Music and Arts Festival
April 18 — Los Angeles, Club Nokia
April 23 — Denver, The Fillmore
May 7 — New Orleans, Jazz and Heritage Festival

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy


Photo: Lauryn Hill performs at "Skullcandy Sessions" at Harry O's nightclub during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters