Paula West; Monday, October 14, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
“Paula West is, quite simply, the finest jazz-cabaret singer around.” – JazzTimes
Paula West is a unique vocalist, not only in terms of bridging the genres of jazz and cabaret, but in her choice of repertoire as well. She revels in searching out the off-beat and lesser known gems in the canon of American music while breathing new life into a Cole Porter, or Johnny Mercer, standard. Her subtle reinterpretations of a Bob Dylan or Beatles, song allows audiences to hear the impact of the composer’s lyrical content from another thoughtful perspective. West’s latest recording is Live At Jazz Standard.
Paula West was born and raised in San Diego, California, and grew up in a military family. She heard mostly classical and popular music around the house, but little jazz. In grade school, she took up the clarinet, but, to some regret, gave it up. Instead, West became interested in singing, mostly enjoying popular music. However, upon entering college, she started to explore jazz and its vocal lineage, which led to serious studies into the African American musical heritage of blues and gospel. At the same time, she had already embraced the cabaret tradition, learning the Great American Songbook and acquiring a knowledge of the American popular composers whose work has stood the test of time.
West left Southern California for the Bay Area in the late ’80s, initially working as a waitress to get by. She began singing at open mic sessions when she could find them, and it wasn’t long before she began drawing attention for her vocal talent. West was also continuing her vocal studies, striving to improve on her already considerable abilities. Working hard, she began to gain a following around the Bay Area, at first in small lounges, then eventually landing long-term residencies at major hotel venues such as the Ritz-Carlton and the York.
In recent times, West has earned the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist over three consecutive years, while steadily raising her national and international profile. She has also broadened her jazz credentials in collaborations with pianist Eric Reed, and in appearances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s performances of Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields. Currently, she is accompanied by the outstanding talents of the George Mesterhazy Quartet. The New York Times has said of Paula West, “No singer can be all things to all people. But Ms. West comes as close as any jazz singer nowadays to carrying off that impossible feat.”
DATE: Monday, October 14, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25Adv $28/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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