Extend your holiday celebrations and join us for this exclusive ONE NIGHT ONLY appearance by Cleveland's own internationally acclaimed vocalist, Vanessa Rubin, with her all-star organ trio.
Revered as both a torchbearer and a storyteller, jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin possesses a voice hailed for crystalline clarity, hearth-like warmth and playful lioness sass. The Cleveland native brings a wealth of diverse influences to her vocal performance from both the Trinidadian/Caribbean roots of her mother and traditional jazz by way of her Louisiana-born father. Additional homespun influences include the melodic bell tone clarity of a young Capital Records recording artist, Nancy Wilson, the fire of Lambert, Hendricks ...& Ross, the sweet sounds of trumpeter Blue Mitchell as well as her love of the Motown Sound…especially girl groups like the Supremes.
Rubin’s passion for rich musical stories are evidenced throughout her eight albums thus far plus numerous guest appearances. Highlights include the evocative “Voyager II” from the pen of Teri Thornton, “Inside a Silent Tear” written by Blossom Dearie, a refashioned waltz version of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” lyricized by New York Voices and an arrangement of “Superwoman” by Stevie Wonder insipired by the Ahmad Jamal recording of “Poinciana”. So while she has one foot planted in tradition – sticking close to timeless melodies and exquisite vocal forms – Rubin waxes adventurous, embracing stories lesser told while employing lessons of acclaimed storytellers in song such as Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn and Freddy Cole. “They mastered the art of believability”, Rubin asserts. Additionally, Rubin continues to back her way into The Blues with an urgent appreciation for soulful mentors like Etta Jones and Irene Reid. Also among her current endeavors is highlighting and interpreting well known, obscure and new lyrical works of composer/arranger/pianist Tadd Dameron. “I hope to do for Tadd’s music what Carmen McRae did for Monk’s music”, Rubin explained.
Vanessa’s journey to becoming a jazz singer could be said to have begun at an early age. She was characterized by her mother as always being “a very vocal child,” and knew Vanessa would, “do something with that big ol’ mouth of hers.” Coming from parents who valued academia, discipline and hard work, that “something” was meant to be law school. Attaining a BA from the The Ohio State School of Journalism in 1979 was not a disappointment. However, her decision to pursue a career jazz singing did come as a surprise. Vanessa’s fascination with language coupled with her passion for music, especially jazz, pointed her on a collision course toward jazz performance.
In 1992, Rubin signed to Novus/RCA Records recording five albums, three of which reached #1 at radio. Her debut recording Soul Eyes (1992) was produced by the venerable Onaje Allen Gumbs. Her sophomore recording, Pastiche (1993) showed off her horn like abilities interacting with an all-star sextet which included jazz legends Frank Foster and Cecil Bridgewater. I’m Glad There is You, A Tribute to Carmen McRae (1994) followed, finding Vanessa couched in beautiful string arrangements with jazz luminaries Kenny Burrell and Grover Washington. Her fourth release Vanessa Rubin Sings (1995) was intimately guitar based. It was easy to see Vanessa flourished on Novus with the muscle of parent company RCA Records behind her. However, when the Novus label folded between her fourth and fifth recording option, Vanessa was invited to stay on at RCA to record her fifth album,New Horizons (1997) – a new more contemporary sound. This move, predictably, was not heralded by her jazz base but gained her a new audience with smooth jazz/NAC fans. She next recorded two mainstream CDs for Telarc Jazz: Language of Love (1999) and Girl Talk (2001). Full Circle (Creative Perspective Music – 2013), her most recent release, is a joint project of Vanessa Rubin and saxophonist Don Braden, both of whom are from the Midwest and share a deep appreciation for the Hammond B3.
"I always tell audiences that artists love it the most when they can get it good at home. I started in Cleveland with a swinging organ trio and now I am back to my roots! Coupled with a venue that hosts one of the best sunsets in the city and where every seat in the house is a good seat… well it's just a recipe for a great evening of fun and song. See you there Cleveland! -Vanessa Rubin
Advanced ticket purchases advised. See you there!
Vanessa Rubin, Vocals
Perry Hughes, Guitar
Duncan McMillan, Organ