Bewitching vocalist puts jazz fest on top

By Pat Ratliff | May 28, 2009

Beacon photo by Pat Ratliff

"I said to myself, 'AhhhhI'm going to like it here!'"

By Pat Ratliff
The Beacon

Inviting Ann Hampton Calloway to perform at the Edmonds Center For the Arts was kind of a no-brainer. The Tony Award-nominated singer is at the top of her game, considered by many the top female jazz singer out there today.

With all the world-class programs in the Puget Sound area participating in Saturday's Edmonds Jazz Connection, and the Edmonds Arts Center as a backdrop, Ms. Calloway was sure to be a hit with local residents.

The surprise was in how much of a hit she was.
"When I pulled into town at dusk last night," Ann Hampton Calloway said, "I saw how beautiful it was. I said to myself, 'AhhhhI'm going to like it here!"

Her feelings about Edmonds may have spilled into her performance, as she wowed a near sell-out crowd with a broad range of songs from "Over the Rainbow" to "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac.

Her band, featuring three top-flight musicians, is also stellar. Ted Rosenthal on piano, Jay Leonhart on bass and drummer Lewis Nash are as good as they come.

But songstress Calloway is who everyone came to see, and she delivered. Smooth vocals mixed with an exceptional stage presence and a great choice of songs combined in a very enjoyable evening for concert-goers.

Between songs, she talks to her audience, mixing in a little humor while establishing a connection that makes her performance unforgettable.

Her current tour will continue from here to Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Toronto and other venues including, eventually, a performance at Teatre Fortuny in Spain.

And Edmonds was very much in the mix.
Because of the exceptional work done by the sponsoring Daybreakers Rotary Club, Edmonds was at the top of the jazz world last Saturday.

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