Crosstown Arts presents Patrice Williamson, Jenna McLean, and Deborah Swiney with the Michael Shults Quartet in the Green Room.
The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
Friday, March 3, 2023
Doors open at 7 pm | Show begins at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $15 in advance | $20 at the door | $10 student tickets available
Three of the most legendary women in jazz unite for one special performance, backed up by the Michael Shults Quartet.
Jazz Times magazine states that “Patrice Williamson isn’t a singer, she’s a one-woman jazz sampler. – She is a woman of many voices, each distinctly intriguing all distinctly her own.”
Patrice Williamson’s childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee, was filled with song. Her late father, Webster Williamson, an avid amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephen’s Baptist Church music ministry, introduced his children to both sacred music and the secular styles of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. With the encouragement of her mother, Lillie Rivers Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister, Denise, taking up the violin and making her debut at age four. From then on, she was hooked on music and performing.
A favorite of the Boston music scene, Patrice’s sensitive ballad work and fluent scat style have garnered invitations to perform at the famed Blue Note Jazz club in New York City, and with many well-known instrumentalists such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano and Terri Lyne Carrington. As a Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, her work has taken her to Perugia, Italy, Seoul, South Korea, Peru and India, where she performed with saxophonist Donald Harrison in the New Delhi Jazz Festival.
Her independent recordings, My Shining Hour and Free to Dream, have received high praise from jazz critics around the country. In 2014 Patrice started The Ella Project, a multi-faceted tribute leading up to Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday, including a concert series, biographical performance, and recordings, including Comes Love, an album celebrating the collaboration between Fitzgerald and legendary guitarist Joe Pass.
Jenna McLean is a jazz vocalist and Lecturer in Music and Entertainment at the University of Memphis Lambuth in Jackson, Tennessee. As an accomplished performer, vocal technician, songwriter, and educator, she finds her artistic drive in bringing new twists to timeless standards of the Great American Songbook as well as pop, funk, and soul tunes. With a love and devotion for jazz, opera, R&B, and folk music, she maintains the belief that all music is good music as long as it speaks to the soul and grooves.
Jenna was the 2019 winner of the Downbeat Student Music Awards Graduate Vocal Soloist Category, and a 2019 recent recipient of the Pathways to Jazz Grant. She performs regularly at renowned Colorado Jazz Venues including Dazzle and Nocturne, and has performed and presented multiple times at the Jazz Education Network conference and the Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver. She has had the pleasure of performing alongside renowned musicians such as Bobby McFerrin, Aubrey Logan and the New York Voices, and also performs regularly with incredible Denver-based jazz musicians such as Steve Kovalcheck, Ben Markley, Eric Gunnison, Tom Amend, Dawn Clement, Annie Booth and others.
Deborah Swiney has definitely earned the title of a true chanteuse. Throughout her performance, you get to enjoy a trip back to Harlem to experience the iconic era of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn; you get to dance across the Great American Songbook; and you get to take a flight to Rio where you could close your eyes and imagine relaxing on a Copacabana or Ipanema beach. Being a Memphis native, you might even get a splash of blues.
In a city that loves its blues, rock, jazz, and gospel, Deborah has carved out a niche uniquely her own. This is evident with her highly praised co-produced debut album, I Remember Rio, a Brazilian-inspired album with “Memphis-Soul seasoning” (All about Jazz). I Remember Rio is filled with classic Bossa Nova standards and tunes written by the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as Deborah Swiney’s “Bossa Nova Casanova” and guitarist, Ed Finney’s title song, “I Remember Rio”. Jazz Weekly describes her as bringing “ a strong and Sarah Vaughan-esque voice to deliver soulful reads of Brazilian…” Transcending the standard definition of a Jazz songstress, her melodic and sultry approach to Bossa Nova and other Brazilian stylings are natural without betraying her Bluff City roots.