Lavay Smith: The Music of Etta James

Lavay Smith: The Music of Etta James


Lavay Smith
& Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Music of Etta James

Saturday, March 8, 7:00pm · 8:30pm
at SFJAZZ Center, Joe Henderson Lab

Lavay Smith
SOLD OUT! - Check for turn-back tickets on day of performance.

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.

Artist Personnel

Lavay Smith vocals
Jules Broussard alto & tenor saxophones
Danny Armstrong trombone
Chris Siebert piano
Ron Belcher bass
Howard Wiley drums

Artist Website

"Hands-down the best thing to come out of the jump/swing revival...the gal can sing her tail off. " — Seattle Times
"A singular ensemble that puts a soulful stamp on a huge swath of American music. " — Boston Globe