Entertainment BAM R&B Festival hits Brooklyn with George Clinton & others George Clinton performs at the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 23, 2015 in Anaheim, California. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jesse Grant By ROBERT SPUHLER June 1, 2015 11:30 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email In a way, rhythm and blues has become a meaningless label. How is it that one phrase can supposedly incorporate crooner Barry White and trip-hop revivalist FKA twigs? British downbeat singer Jessie Ware and the slick Ne-Yo? The BAM R&B Festival is in its 21st year, but never has the label of "R&B" applied to such diverse acts as in 2015. This year's lineup includes southern soul singers, African lute players and even a return to the New Jack Swing era. With ten acts spread out across the full spectrum of rhythm and blues, it can be hard to figure out exactly what an individual act might sound like. To that end, weave broken down the schedule to give you a hint on who to see, based on more than a two-letter designation that's been stretched beyond meaning. Bobby RushDate: June 4If You Like: Double entendres and southern bluesSong to Stream: "Bowlegged Woman" Andra Day (featuring Kate Davis)Date: June 11If You Like: Retro soul in the Billie Holiday/Nina Simone moldSong to Stream: "Forever Mine" Erica CampbellDate: June 18If You Like: Gospel soul, with everything from talkboxes to guest rap appearancesSong to Stream: "Help" Al B. Sure!Date: June 25If You Like: New Jack swing and unnecessary punctuationSong to Stream: "Nite And Day" King Sunny Ade and His African BeatsDate: July 2If You Like: Afro-beat guitar with the spirit of Bob MarleySong to Stream: "Ja Funmi" Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni BaDate: July 9If You Like: West African lute (think the banjo) and dancingSong to Stream: "I Speak Fula" George Clinton and Parliament FunkadelicDate: July 16If You Like: Every early-a90s west coast hip-hop songSong to Stream: "One Nation Under a Groove" The Jones Family SingersDate: July 23If You Like: Contemporary gospel with a southern twangSong to Stream: "Leaning On You" Theo CrokerDate: July 30If You Like: Grown-up jazz funk with a trumpetSong to Stream: "The Fundamentals" Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster GentlemenDate: August 6If You Like: New Orleans jazz and keyboard-centric soulSong to Stream: "When You Get Back" IF YOU GO: BAM R&B Festival takes place on Thursdays from noon-2 p.m., starting on June 4 at the MetroTech Commons, corner of Flatbush and Myrtle Avenues, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, free. By ROBERT SPUHLER Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.