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The Center For The Arts Presents Queens of Jazz: Lorraine Gervais & Vivian Lee A celebration of some of the greatest woman jazz singers of the 20th century!
Saturday, May 13th, 2017 8:00 PM Main Stage Theatre
Beginning in the early 1900’s, blues and jazz singers have pushed the lines of race, gender and popular culture to become powerful forces in their own right. Singing directly from their lives full of pain and joy, suffering and love, these early pioneers blazed the way for contemporary singers to experience that same insatiable calling to have their voices heard.
Lorraine Gervais and Vivian Lee, both long time singers and friends, are excited to collaborate on a show together where they will sing homage to some of their favorite Jazz Queens—from Bessie Smith, recognized as the 1st “official” jazz singer, on to Bille Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Anita O’Day, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Julie London, and many many more. Because of the vast amount of incredible singers in the last 100 years, Gervais and Lee decided to narrow the field to cover groundbreaking vocalists between the early 1920’s thru 1960’s, from blues, to the big band era, and on to the soloists who emerged as modern jazz singers. Backed by a stellar group of musicians who have performed with Gervais at the Center in previous shows, it will be an evening of beautiful melodies and hot rhythm, performed by musicians who absolutely love what they do together onstage. The band includes Jacob Aginsky on piano, Mike McMullen on horns, Rick Lotter on drums, and Joe Dolister playing bass. Songs will include “Don’t Go To Strangers”, “Didn’t We”, “Strange Fruit”, “Good Morning Heartache”, “Cheek To Cheek”, “Twisted”, among many others.
Gervais and Lee last sang together in a tribute to Cole Porter which sold out and became the basis for the many tribute shows Gervais has produced at the Center for the Arts thru the years (17 in total!). A local favorite, just voted Best Live Performer of Nevada County for the 2nd year in a row by the Union newspaper, Gervais has performed on stages since she was 5 and has opened for various artists, including Mavis Staples, Etta James and the Pointer Sisters. In addition to being the front woman in jazz and r&b bands thru the years and mentoring younger singers, she also loves performing with her newest band “Lolo Gervais”.
Sacramento based jazz vocalist Vivian Lee specializes in the standards – Gershwin, Ellington, Jobim, with some Brubeck, Hubbard, Monk and Gillespie thrown in. Taking classic instrumental works, she has written lyrics to make them uniquely hers. She can swing with the “boys in the band” and make your heart melt with a lyric in a ballad. In July 2014 The Black Music Association of America, Sacramento Chapter Inducted Ms Lee into the Music Hall of Fame as a Music Icon in Sacramento. They also selected her as Jazz Vocalist of the Year for 2014. This SAMMIE award winning vocalists’ unique style, phrasing and magical stage presence will captivate the audience and take them on a wonderful musical journey.