"The Many Faces of Barbara Morrison" opens May 5 at The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center
LOS ANGELESBarbara Morrison will sing songs popularized by Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Big Mama Thornton, the performing artists who were the greatest influences on her career, in The Many Sides of Barbara Morrison" at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park. The show opens May 5 and continues May 12, May 19 and May 26 with all performances starting at 7:30 p.m.
How I do my thing, they were the influences of who I am today," Morrison said. I decided to put the show together because of the versatility they have given me in shaping my style. Ella was pure jazz, Big Mama was show-down, low-down blues, Dinah did rhythm and blues and hit the pop charts and Aretha started in jazz, became a rock and roll star and mixed it all in together.
The show follows the different genres of music that were performed at different times from the 1940s to today. Each of them were trailblazing artists and they were people that I looked up to. I didn't have to know them to feel their spirit."
Morrison, who has been featured on over 20 recordings from traditional jazz and blues to gospel and pop, will be joined by special guest vocalist Billy Valentine and accompanied by Stuart Elster on piano, Richard Simon on bass and Lee Spath on drums.
Billy Valentine is one of the best singers this side of the Mississippi," Morrison said. Billy and I will sing duets. All four of these women had men problems and it boosted them to excel at another level. It's why they sang the blues so well.
The band is tight. I play with them regularly in Santa Monica at Casa del Mar (Hotel)."
Samples of the songs Morrison will perform include How High the Moon," Fitzgerald's signature song she first recorded in 1947, Mack the Knife," also recorded by Fitzgerald, Hound Dog," recorded by Thornton in 1952, three years before Elvis Presley, Relax Max" and Bluetop Blues," recorded by Washington, A Natural Woman," recorded by Franklin and, with Valentine Baby (You Got What It Takes)," a duet originally recorded by Washington and Brook Benton.
Morrison will be performing them her way, using her melodic voice with its two-and-a-half octave range for rich and soulful interpretations of the four artists who shaped her unique style.
This is a show I've wanted to do for a long time," Morrison said. I'm excited to bring it to the stage."
Comfortable and intimate, the 99-seat Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center is located at 4305 Degnan Boulevard, Suite 101, in Los Angeles. Tickets for The Many Sides of Barbara Morrison" are $20 and are available at BarbaraMorrison.com.
The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center
4305 Degnan Blvd. Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90036