Jazz + An Upscale Gay BarJuly 17, 2011 No Comments
The nightlife in Raleigh is growing and improving year by year.
I have enjoyed every single venue where I’ve been invited to perform.. from The Mint.. to Yancey’s.. to Prime Only Steak House.. to Zydeco… to Mirage… and now Club 313.
I have been piquing the curiosity of the mostly gay patrons of this gorgeously laid out establishment since I started performing there in April. Lately I’ve been entertaining a sparse group of bargoers.
They listen intently as I go through my sets. My songs include Nora Jones’ Don’t Know Why, Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares for Me, As Time Goes By, Black Coffee, and Cry Me a River.
Later my performance turns ironic during Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which I give a mid-century torch-ballad treatment.
Really, I’m not doing a self review, I am just leading up to my query: Whether a straight Jazz Singer can make it in a club where most of the patrons appear ambivalent about her presence.
I can count on the staff to support me. They are in a word Ah-mazing!
A few years back a writer for Jazz Times (who reportedly patronized gay bars with almost the same regularity as jazz clubs) wrote that gay culture feels more allegiance toward Lady Gaga than Lady Day. He sensed a great divide between the two worlds. He went on to say that at the risk of stereotyping, the musical landscape to mainstream gay life was more devoted to vocal pop, club hits and electronica.
If there is then a divide of disinterest, I want to be a bridge if I can.
We’re going to keep the music playing at Club 313, but I’ve decided to do a bit of tweaking to my song list.
I am planning to build up a repetoire of songs that are commonly heard in cabarets or at most any piano bar.
I will not look for any off- the- beaten- track numbers. No No No!
I expect the “crowd” will be far more appreciative of the tried and true, the familiar… they want to hear the songs they know and love.
I’ve already downloaded the musical backing tracks to “And All that Jazz” (from Chicago) and “Cabaret”;
Also I’ve included some of the top songs ever written from the The Giants: Cole Porter, The Gershwins and Irving Berlin. You know them: “Night and Day”, “Miss Otis Regrets”, “Blue Skies” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”.
So there you have it.
Nothing big is changing with me. These are all songs that I love. I will still be who I am when I take the stage. It says a lot when you show up in your life as who you are and being happy. That’s my intention. Always.
Onward + Upward!Tags: Caberet, Piano BarMy Musical Journey, The Personal Side