Lavay Smith: The Music of Etta James
The Music of Etta James
One of SFJAZZ’s perennial favorites and a Bay Area treasure, singer Lavay Smith presents a series of intimate concerts dedicated to some of the first ladies of jazz, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Sarah Vaughan. For this four-night residency in the Joe Henderson Lab, Smith is joined by a six-piece version of her world-class band, the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, led by arranger and pianist Chris Siebert and featuring a rogue’s gallery of robustly swinging soloists who cut their teeth with everyone from Big Joe Turner to Ray Charles. On Saturday the 8th, Lavay celebrates the legacy of blues legend Etta James. With a staggering career that spanned six decades, James lived the blues on and off the stage. From the mid-fifties until her death in 2012, she remained an icon of popular music, leaving a rich catalog of unforgettable songs including “Tell Mama,” “All I Could Do Was Cry,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and her signature song, “At Last.” Join us at all four shows for a delightful romp through the history of song from the 1920s on.