The 2010 edition of Women’s Voices, the nearly annual concert series that showcases the area’s exceptional female vocal talent, introduces new curators, a new concept and a new schedule. The series will forgo the usual smorgasbord of pop, jazz and blues on back-to-back nights to offer two distinctly different events. The first is Ladies Sing the Blues on Saturday, June 19, curated by Joan Cere (formerly Griffin). The second is Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan on Saturday, July 10, curated by Patty Stephens.
“The blues is my personal truth in music—it’s the roots,” says Cere, who’s planning to produce “an authentic New Mexico blues extravaganza” reminiscent of the blues nights held at the Madrid ballpark in years past.
Featured singers in Ladies Sing the Blues include Cere, Wendy Beach, Cathryn McGill and Hillary Smith. They’ll be backed by Darin Goldston (guitar), Larry Freedman (keys), Maud Beenhouwer (bass) and Melvin Crisp (drums), which all but guarantees horripilating blues over a locked-in groove.
“It’s going to be a rockin’ good time,” says Cere.
“To me, this is real personal, doing a tribute to someone,” says Stephens.
She and the other women who will join her in the tribute concert—Chava, Kathy Gutierrez, Patti Littlefield and Ashley Moyer (aka SayWut?!)—represent “the second generation of jazz singers,” she says. Their backgrounds range from theater to beatbox, but in prepping for this concert, they’ve all shared in a process of discovery—about the honorees and themselves.
Stephens has set up a format that she hopes will allow the audience to share some of these insights. “We want to bring about the humanity of the singer, because it’s the humanity of the singer that brings life to the songs,” she says.
Bert Dalton (piano), Milo Jaramillo (bass) and John Bartlitt (drums) will provide the swinging musical support.