The Lake Wales Arts Council is excited to kick off our 2019-2020 Concert Series with jazz vocalist extraordinaire Whitney James and her all-star jazz band for her tribute to George and Ira Gershwin. The concert will take place on Saturday, October 12th at 6 PM at the Lake Wales Arts Center. We hope to see you there for an incredible evening of Gershwin’s greatest hits.
James doesn’t just sing a tune—she creatively engages it. Every time she approaches a melody and a lyric, she finds a new way to phrase them, shape them, highlight a word or a few notes that shade the meaning and make the music richer. Her sense of time and pacing make her a consummate musician’s singer—she knows how to work with a band, instead of asking it to merely back her. Her supple alto voice wraps itself around a song like a sheer silk scarf. She sings with a bright clarity of tone, yet she colors her sound with earthy inflections, subtle squeezed notes, dark growls, and notes of soaring purity. Her polished musicianship helps her interpret the best of American popular music as well as challenging originals of jazz composers rarely attempted by singers. It’s rare that a performer emerges fully formed on their first album. But Whitney James has the musicianship and deep emotional power of a mature artist.