Turning 50 and starting a garage band is not the usual vocalist's narrative. But that's what happened with Jacqui Sutton, the lead vocalist and bandleader for the Frontier Jazz Orchestra. Having listened to jazz and bluegrass for over 30 years, she didn't want to
choose one style, so she blended them into what jazz reviewer C. Michael Bailey describes as, "where jazz meets the American frontier."
Other forms work their way into the sound too: pop, Broadway, classical, R&B. But this is a mostly jazz/bluegrass sound, with each style dominating to various degrees.
Her debut CD, Billie & Dolly (2010), is an homage to her two vocal heroes Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton. It showed that the two styles could blend in unique ways. Her second CD, Notes From the Frontier (2012), provided a deeper integration of bluegrass into the jazz sound, and the range of songs is as varied as American music itself.
Jazz Times' Christopher Loudon summed it up: "Widening her celebration of American musical spirit…Sutton opens with a ‘Summertime' that serves as splendid introduction to the steel of her pipes and the majesty of a voice that marries the earthiness of Cassandra Wilson to the warmth of Dianne Reeves. Jazz, bluegrass and honkytonk slip and slide together in Sutton's crafty blend of ‘Hummingbird' and Dave Brubeck's ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk,' while ‘Nature Boy' is reinvented as a fiery tango sung in Spanish and English."
This Texas-based mini-orchestra is excited to make its Berkeley debut at The Back Room. Jacqui will be appearing with her quartet version of the Frontier Jazz Orchestra, which includes Paul Chester (banjo/guitar), Anthony Sapp (bass), Henry Darragh (piano), and Max
Recent Bay Area appearances in Palo Alto and San Francisco were sold out, so get your tickets early!
Cello and upright bass for this concert were provided with the kind sponsorship of Ifshin Violins.
Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one hour before show time. The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (21+) space. If you have any questions or need more information, please call us at #510-654-3808.