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Thu | June 06, 2024
Amber WEEKES CD Release Event - A Lady With a Song Amber Weekes Celebrates Nancy Wilson
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm
Catalina Bar & Grill
All Ages
$25.00 Buy Tickets

A Lady With a Song – Amber Weekes Celebrates Nancy Wilson

Currently reaching rarefied heights in her storied, beautifully multi-faceted career a A Lady With A Song – Amber Weekes Celebrates Nancy Wilson, the acclaimed vocal stylist continues to draw inspiration from a rich personal journey where jazz was part of her DNA from the start. She may have grown up thousands of miles away in Southern California, but her musical heart and lifelong passion for the art form is rooted in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem. Upon a recent visit to NYC for a special showcase, the veteran live performer and critically acclaimed recording artist visited what is now a Dunkin’ Donuts at 155 th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.
As she entered, she felt the spirits of jazz legends and musicians from long ago surround her. For a few moments in her mind, she was transported to Weekes’ Luncheonette, owned by her grandparents Wilfred and Nettie Weekes from the late 1930s through the mid-60’s. Raised by parents who were both singers, Amber reveled in the stories told by her dad - who worked at the establishment in his youth - about all the greats (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte, et al) who hung out at all hours after gigs because the joint was
open 24/7/365. Ellington lived down the street and came in regularly for his trademark fried egg sandwiches. He felt so at home there that he often unbuttoned his dress shirt, revealing his T-shirt collar beneath it. When tunes came on the jukebox, no matter the hour sometimes the musicians would whip out their instruments and start an impromptu jazz session.
These true yet fanciful tales were only the foundation of her expansive roll call of jazz influences that influenced the development of her own artistry in the genre and beyond. Thanks to her parents, her childhood home was filled with the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, The Beatles, Leontyne Price, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Brown, Jr. and Ray Charles. But even all those greats aren’t the whole story. Some of Amber’s fondest early musical memories find her, around age three or four, joining her sister up on the family coffee table singing songs by another prominent songstress whose tunes wafted sweetly through their house, the great Nancy Wilson. Among the selections she still recalls are “Don’t Talk, Just Sing” and
“Before the Rain,” co-written by Sue Raney, who has been Amber’s voice coach now for 25 years!
No doubt, when Amber was a toddler she didn’t understand all the deep emotional nuances of the charming nostalgic waltz “Wasn’t It Wonderful” – one of the gems the Weekes sisters sang for their parents – but it makes an ideal through line to the present day, and an emphatic coda to all the interpretive magic on A Lady With A Song – Amber Weekes Celebrates Nancy Wilson.