Dynamic Vocalist back home after several World Tours with an All-Star Lineup for Holiday Weekend Show @ Nighttown!
Featuring: Vanessa Rubin-vocals, Larry Willis-piano, Marion Hayden-acoustic bass, & Gayelynne McKinney-drums at 7:00pm
Special Jazz Conversation with Promoter/Producer/Agent, & 2018 NEA JazzMaster Todd Barkan at 6:00pm
Endowed with the kind of liquid phrasing and sheer wisdom that comes from depth of experience on the jazz performance campaign trail, Vanessa Rubin is an ever-evolving classic singer in the making. The development of a true jazz singer is a long-range prospect, laden with learning experiences that forge the voice into a true instrument, rich with passion, deeply invested in living through life’s joys and perils; such is the journey of Vanessa Rubin, jazz singer extraordinaire. Capable of employing the gamut of emotions, the mature Ms. Rubin can range from whisper to shout in the blink of an eye; from honey-laden ballads purring like a kitten, to up tempo swinging and scatting like a fluent saxophone, she delivers the goods.
One of the surest tests of a jazz singer is her acceptance by skilled players; the relationship between instrumentalist and vocalist is so often fraught with distrust. From the time she joined the New York jazz community in the early 80s, under the guidance of such grandmasters as Barry Harris and Frank Foster, Rubin’s acceptance has been universal.
The list of great musicians who have graced her recordings and bandstands is quite impressive: Monty Alexander, Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, Billy Higgins, Etta Jones, Lewis Nash, Houston Person, Patience Higgins, Don Braden, Toots Thielemans, Steve Turre, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington, Jr..
Larry Willis has played on more than 300 records. He’s played or recorded with almost every great jazz musician of the modern era, stars like Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Hugh Masakela, Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Art Taylor, Clifford Jordan, Carmen McRae, and Shirley Horn.
Larry’s extraordinary versatility as a pianist ranges from rock and pop—he spent 7 years as keyboardist for Blood, Sweat and Tears—to African, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music.
Jazz impresario Todd Barkan's name is inextricably associated with one of the nation’s legendary jazz clubs: the Keystone Korner, a San Francisco venue he had opened in 1972 and then managed for more than a decade. While that alone would make him a significant figure in the jazz world, he also worked as a record producer, for labels such as Fantasy/Milestone, Concord, 32 Records, and HighNote. .
To date, Barkan has produced hundreds of recordings, including artists such as Tommy Flanagan, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Hank Jones, and Jimmy Scott.