Jazz has always been my genre of choice since I was a little girl listening to my mother singing Jazz and Blues. I've been a Jazz singer all of my life. I have sung backup R&B, Pop, Rock, and so many other genres; but during Luther Vandross's sound checks, when everyone else was singing the most popular songs, I would always sing Jazz standards,” states McWilliams. I am so looking forward to singing Jazz in New York City at Aaron Davis Hall! Performing in such a beautiful intimate setting will be a homecoming, as I have spent many years in New York. It’ll be comparable to singing in my living room for all of the people I love. Which is what I always did as a young girl, so I feel it's a full circle moment for me.
Telling Stories will be a glorious musical night for those who especially love Jazz. McWilliams will be joined by The Nat Adderley Jr. Quartet for the two shows, and will also sing songs from her album Telling Stories, which Jazz artist Michael Buble says is “Absolutely beautiful!” Speaking about her recent release, McWilliams states, “Telling Stories is such an important album for me. It is my first full recorded foray into Jazz and I am very proud of it. Jazz has always been special for me and I believe every song I’ve sung on, and every artist I’ve worked with, led me to Telling Stories.”
Regarding the album title, McWilliams explains, “I love painting a vocal picture with my words and phrasing. I sing to interpret. I sing from my heart. I want my audiences to hear what I am feeling. Telling Stories turned me from the singer who almost was to the singer that is."
Aaron Davis Hall
Convent Avenue & West 135th Street
On the campus of City College of New York
New York, NY 10031
About Paulette McWilliams
Paulette McWilliams’ mom used to tell her that before she could utter “cohesive baby-talk,” Paulette was singing songs. Did it have something to do with the fact that her mom sang all the time? More than likely it did. The “lyrical and vocal dye was cast” and singing was in her DNA. At 11 years old, Paulette was competing on the “Amateur Hour” TV show and their special guest star that evening was the one-and-only Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy pulled little Paulette aside and said she should stay on the path and don’t be discouraged due to her second-place finish on the show. It inspired her. Years later, Paulette became the lead singer with Ask Rufus and was solely responsible for introducing the group to a friend of hers, Chaka Khan. Paulette was leaving the group and she felt Chaka had what it takes to fill her lead spot. For a period of time, Paulette and Chaka both shared the lead in Ask Rufus and when Paulette left, Chaka took over. To this day, they remain the best of friends – one of those life-changing ties that bind. Moving from gig to gig, Paulette worked feverishly and then, thanks to a sample recording, she was introduced to Quincy Jones. Phil Upchurch, a fine Jazz guitarist, sent a home studio recording to Quincy. Shortly thereafter, Paulette became solo/lead singer with Quincy during his “Body Heat” tour and featured her on his “Mellow Madness” album – the title song co-written by Paulette. Next, they toured Japan, where one of Paulette’s dreams came true: singing a duet live with the legendary Sarah Vaughan while Quincy conducted the orchestra. McWilliams has also wrote and performed for TV commercial (work) such as Folgers Coffee, McDonalds, Diet Pepsi (with Britney Spears), Cadillac, Cover Girl, American Express, Celebrex, MasterCard, United Airlines, Budweiser Beer and the memorable, “Love Jones” tune Mercedes used triumphantly.
About Aaron Davis Hall: Aaron Davis Hall hosts an ambitious, year-round calendar of events, most of which are open to the public. The stunning architecture houses an innovative two-theatre performing arts complex that presents public performances and exhibitions by students as well as professional artists, and serves as the cultural hub of upper Manhattan and Harlem. ADH is the only cultural facility of its kind between Lincoln Center and uptown Manhattan and is used by groups like Carnegie Hall, Dance Theater of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico, Harlem School of the Arts, and so many other community based and nationally based organizations.