Paula West

Paula West

Paula West

Tribute to Ethel Waters

Sunday, September 14, 5:30pm · 7:00pm
at SFJAZZ Center, Joe Henderson Lab

Paula West
Tribute to Ethel Waters Series: Paula West  
Almost Sold Out

Paula West

The artist JazzTimes calls “the finest jazz-cabaret singer around” presents a loving tribute to the pioneering jazz vocalist and actress Ethel Waters. Paula West possesses a supple, velvety contralto, superb pitch and an insinuating sense of swing. She’s not the kind of singer who uses her voice like an instrument, improvising long scat solos. West prefers to work around the edges of a melody, stretching a word here or clipping a phrase there so that each piece sounds as if it was written with her voice in mind. Without benefit of a label or high-powered management, she’s become a Manhattan fixture, regularly earning New York Nightlife Awards for “Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist.” Last year Wynton Marsalis recruited her to sing the lead role in the reprise of his Pulitzer Prize-winning opus Blood On the Fields. Adding to her allure is West’s reputation as a song sleuth who has uncovered startlingly effective jazz vehicles amidst the work of Sonny Bono, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Webb. In paying tribute to Ethel Waters, the largely forgotten foremother of American popular music, she’s tapping into a treasure trove of songs introduced by a pioneering African-American recording artist and Broadway star, including “Stormy Weather,” “Heat Wave,” “Am I Blue?” and “Supper Time.”

Artist Personnel

Paula West vocals
Adam Shulman piano
Mike Bordelon bass
Greg Wyser-Pratte drums

"Paula West is, quite simply, the finest jazz-cabaret singer around. All of her albums deserve pride of place in any discerning listener's library. " — JazzTimes
"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. " — The New York Times