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Vanessa Rubin

Jazz Vocalist Vanessa Rubin Performs with Tampa-Based Trio La Lucha

| Suncoast Post Staff |

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 will take to the Fogartyville stage, joined by jazz trio La Lucha, on Friday, March 24th at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $30 for members, $32 for nonmembers, and $16 for students.  Advance tickets are available at Fogartyville.

Vanessa Rubin has a passion for rich musical stories 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.

La Lucha, the Tampa-based jazz trio, consists of Alejandro Arenas, John O’Leary, and Mark Feinman. Since 2009, the group has explored the many realms of music that fall under the jazz umbrella, and pride themselves on the adventurous nature of their releases. They were awarded the Creative Loafing award for “Best of the Bay Jazz Ensemble” in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Photo from Fogartyville

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