Friday, November 20, 2015

Clairdee to perform holiday concert for Vallejo Jazz Society, Dec. 6

(Originally published in the 11/20/15 edition)

   Internationally renowned jazz vocalist Clairdee will be providing atmosphere for the holiday season for her Dec. 6 show “Clairdee’s Soulful Sounds of the Season” at Vallejo’s Empress Theatre presented by the Vallejo Jazz Society.
   The Vallejo Jazz Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2010 with the goals of raising awareness of jazz in Vallejo and surrounding areas, providing opportunities for the greatest Bay Area jazz musicians to perform and reaching out to the community by bringing concerts to local schools and youth organizations.
   In just five years, Vallejo Jazz Society has put on 29 concerts featuring some of the Bay’s top jazz talents, including Larry Vuckovich, Denise Perrier, Pamela Rose and Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. For its 30th concert, Vallejo Jazz Society has chosen Clairdee to bring her soulful vocals and jazzy renditions of holiday classics to the stage.
   “She’s a wonderful performer,” Chairman Bryan Girard said. “She does a blend of jazz, soul and pop music. She’s very flexible and good at what she does.”
   Clairdee has performed across the globe, often playing to sold-out venues, and she has played with a variety of performers including Boz Scaggs, Bucky Pizzarelli and Chuck Redd. She has also opened for legendary acts like the Count Basie Orchestra, Johnny Mathis and Etta James. Additionally, she is a faculty member with the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and has worked as a vocal jazz instructor for UC Berkeley and Diablo Valley College. 
   “We consider it a real coup to have gotten her to perform for Vallejo Jazz Society,” Girard said. “We can’t pay as much as some of the for-profit venues. Clairdee believes in what we’re trying to do and was willing to play for somewhat less than what she could normally command for a performance.”
  Clairdee’s setlist will consist of jazzy renderings of holiday songs, something she is very familiar with. In 2003, Clairdee released an album titled “This Christmas,” which featured jazzified renditions of standards like “Winter Wonderland” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The CD also featured interpretations of lesser-known holiday songs like Charles Brown’s “Bringing in a Brand New Year.”
   Girard expects audience members to have a lot of fun watching “one of the best vocalists around singing great music and backed by a five-piece band.”
   He also encourages people to support nonprofit jazz organizations.
   “Nobody gets paid,” Girard said. “We work as hard as we can just to keep this music alive and growing.”
    “Clairdee’s Soulful Sounds of the Season” will be performed from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Empress Theatre, located on 330 Virginia St. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $7.50 for Vallejo Jazz Society members. They can be purchased at the door or online at Up to two children 18 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information, contact (707) 533-4593 or visit


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