Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Mon. April 1, 2013


Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Swingin’ the Blues: The Kansas City Sound

Monday, April 1, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… a soulful stamp on a huge swath of American music.” – Boston Globe

Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers dig deep into the Kansas jazz tradition with their tribute, Swingin’ the Blues: The Kansas City Sound. Tracing the history and development of the pivotal figures and styles in Kansas City music, this show will present a treat for music lovers.

Featuring the music of many of America’s most important musical icons:
Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Helen Humes, Jay McShann, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Williams, Julia Lee, Lester Young.

Performed by an all-star lineup of San Francisco Bay Area greats:
Lavay Smith – vocals
MIke Olmos – trumpet
Danny Armstrong – trombone & vocals
Jules Broussard – alto saxophone
Robert Stewart-  tenor saxophone
Chris Siebert – piano
Ron Belcher – string bass
Howard Wiley – drums

The Los Angeles Times says that Lavay Smith has “A lush vocal style recalling both Bessie Smith and Dinah Washington”, while the Boston Globe says that the Red Hot Skillet Lickers “sound as tight as the legendary musicians they choose to emulate.” Rhythm & Blues pioneer Johnny Otis called Lavay and her band “a breath of fresh air”.

Raised in Southern California – with a period of her teen years spent in the Philippines – Lavay Smith started out singing a variety of musical styles, but it was the American music of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, bluesy and swinging, that captured her imagination. She does more than resurrect the bygone era of jump/blues and swing music; she makes it relevant to a whole new generation of music lovers. Especially drawn to the vocal stylings’ of Esther Phillips, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington, Smith has rescued many classic tunes from obscurity to the delight of her fans. Sometimes bawdy, sometimes sentimental, Smith’s innate sense of musicality is always entertaining. And now, With Swingin’ the Blues: The Kansas City Sound, Lavay and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers focus on an era that represents an important part in the evolution of jazz towards a more arranged, sophisticated approach to rhythm and harmony, while maintaining all the adventurousness and excitement that is the hallmark of great music.

Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

DATE: Monday, April 1, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $23/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Jim Cassell


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