In honor of Women's History Month, jazz and blues vocalist Pamela Rose brings her internationally acclaimed multimedia show, Wild Women of Song: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era, to two San Francisco venues next month. The theatrical concert celebrates the lives, times, and music of the rarely mentioned women songwriters who helped create the American Songbook.
On Wednesday, March 16, Rose returns to Yoshi's San Francisco, where she first presented Wild Women as a work-in-progress in the fall of 2009 before an ecstatic sold-out house. She'll be performing with Kristen Strom, tenor saxophone; Tammy Hall, piano; Jeff Massanari, guitar; Ruth Davies, bass; and Kent Bryson, drums.
The program brings a joyous, female-centric perspective to jazz history as it celebrates African-American, Latina, and Jewish women songwriters. Wild Women of Song has archived over 500 images and performed in a few select venues in California, New York, and London, eliciting an enthusiastic response from audiences of all ages as well as jazz fans, blues fans, historians, educators, and Songbook enthusiasts. Rose has also created a companion web site to reflect her research about the songwriters.
On the afternoon of Sunday, March 13, host, narrator, and songstress Rose and her trio will front an open panel discussion with integrated live music performance at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Co-sponsored by SFJAZZ, the event takes place in conjunction with the closing of the exhibit Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations. Panelists will include pianist and musical director Tammy Hall, SFJAZZ Director of Education and pianist/composer Rebeca Mauleon, trombonist/educator Angela Wellman, saxophonist Kristen Strom, and bassist Ruth Davies, who will discuss the role of African-American and Jewish women composers in jazz.
Wild Women of Song: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era was initially developed from Rose's 2009 like-named CD. I was stunned to realize that many of the names of these prolific women, like Doris Fisher, Bernice Petkere, and Maria Grever, were unknown to me, although their songs were very familiar," said Rose. These were feisty, determined women, and their stories not only remind us of the role women played in this art form, but of the very earthy, complex, and peculiarly American nature of jazz and blues itself."
Rose's recent New York debut at Feinstein's prompted Broadway After Dark's reviewer, Ward Morehouse III, to rave: I have never seen a better tribute to the legendary women songwriters of the American songbook than Pamela Rose's recent show at Feinstein's. Using period slides and her own electrifying voice and stage magnetism, Pamela Rose brings the house down time and time again. Bring Pamela Rose back to Feinstein's and, I hope, even to Broadway in the brilliant Wild Women of Song!"
Sun. March 13, 2:00-4:00 pm: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco. Tickets: Free to children under 18; $10 CJM members/students/seniors; $20 general (includes museum admission). Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-655-7800.
Wed. March 16, 8:00 pm: Yoshi's, 1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. Tickets: $18. Information: yoshis.com/sanfrancisco or call 415-655-5600.