Leela James Live @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley | Oct. 11th-14th, 2012

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October 11 – 14, 2012


FROM:  The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
CONTACT:  Rachael Millikan, 206-441-9729, rachael@jazzalley.com
RE:  Performance at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
SHOW ADMISSION: $30.50 (*includes $4.00 processing fee)

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents soul singer Leela James in support of her new release, Loving You More… In The Spirit of Etta James.  Band members joining Ms. James are Marcus Phillips (bass), LJ Holoman (keyboards), Cam Perridge (guitar), and Dante McClinton (drums).  Set times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm and Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm.  Doors open at 6:00pm on Thursday and 5:30pm Friday through Sunday.

As one of the pre-eminent soul singers of her generation, Leela James has thrilled audiences around the world with her high-energy performances, which deliver her highly personal take on classic soul music. Few of Leela’s fans know that her last name is not really “James,” and many have thought that she was the granddaughter of Etta James. The fact isthat she adopted that performing name as a new artist because, since the time she was little, older folks have told her that she sounded like Etta James.Leela’s sound, along with her wild, passionate and let-it-all-hang performances on stage have further sparked comparisons to Etta’s over-the-top style. Unlike many of the current R & B singers on the scene, Leela is one of a smallhandful with an original sound and vocal style. Even when singing on a hip-hop-inflected track, she sounds like an “old soul.” In short, Leela James is this generation’s embodiment of Etta James.  So it makes perfect sense that when the legendary Etta James passed away in February of this year, Leela would be the one to celebrate and perpetuate her legacy by recording Loving You More… In The Spirit Of Etta James (July 2012), a powerful recording featuring Leela’s often quite contemporary take of nine songs associated with Etta and two new songs in the spirit of Etta. The album is an organic mix of classic soul sounds and current production techniques that captures and extends the spirit of one of the great vocalists of the past 60 years.

Interestingly enough, the new album was not initially intended to be a tribute to Etta James. The idea came

up to do a cover version of one of Etta James’ tunes. Then it was suggested: why not make the entire album a tribute to Etta. Initially, Leela, though a fan of Etta, wasn’t sure it would work. It is challenging to re-do classic songs by an icon, but as Leela listened, she saw that it could work if she made no attempt to replicate the classic versions but rather give a contemporary interpretation of them.

“Etta James is the best female blues artist there ever was,” declares Leela. “I feel a special closeness to her music because of her life’s struggles. Very few artists are able to convey that sincere pain in their music… I was a fan of her music and supported her when she was alive. Doing a project like this is just an extreme way of honoring her, and I always wanted to pay tribute to her.”


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