Last week in Sound Bites, I remarked that folks reading the paper the day it hit newsstands would be doing so while I was attending a press conference announcing the lineup and sponsors of this year's Discover Jazz Festival, and that it was a sure of spring. It seems I was only half right.
Since that column ran, the weather has been undeniably spring-like. Eat your heart out Tom Messner. Unfortunately, I got my dates mixed up. Last Wednesday, I strolled into the Amy Tarrant Gallery at the FlynnCenter only to "discover" . . . a completely empty room. D'oh! The conference was actually yesterday, not a week ago.
I did end up attending, and I'm glad I did. The food was really, really good. Oh, and the lineup is pretty sweet too.
In particular, there was a lot of buzz around an up-and-coming R&B singer named Ledisi, who was recently nominated for two Grammys — Best R&B Album and Best New Artist, the latter of which she lost to Amy Winehouse. Hailed by pundits who hail such things as a blend of Ella Fitgerald and Erykah Badu, Ledisi is one sultry soul siren, equally adept at delivering slinky R&B and smoky jazz. Should be a great show.
The following is a clip from her appearance on PBS' "Great Performances: We Love Ella!" There's kind of a lot of talking — and the second half of the video features jazz a cappella ensemble Take 6. But the music in between is a tantalizing taste of what we can expect in a couple of months. Enjoy!
You can check out the rest of this year's lineup here.