Virginia Arts Festival Brings Jazz Vocal and Brazilian Music

ParrottThe Virginia Arts Festival continues to impress with the depth and breath of its schedule.    As part of the Attucks Jazz Series this year, the Festival is offering performances by the extraordinary San Francisco based jazz vocalist Kenny Washington,  New York based singer/bassist Nicki Parrott and Tierney Sutton.  Washington might be the most underated jazz vocalist in the country.  He has yet to record a studio album in his own name, but if you have had the chance to hear his collaborations with saxophonist Micheal O’Neill  on “The Long & The Short of It” and “Still Dancin’ or his co-staring role with vibraphonist Joe Locke on “For The Love of You”,  you know this guy the real thing.   In the spirit of Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling and John Hendricks, he is a true jazz singer.  Washington performs Saturday April 20th at 8pm.

Nicki Parrott is making her second visit to Hampton Roads in the past year.   She wowed all of us in attendance in an earlier stint at Virginia Beach’s Havana Nights.   Parrott is the complete musical package.   An attractive and talented bass player, she displays the poise and prescence of a rising star.   And then there is her voice, a warm and flexible instrument that beautifully shapes and colors whatever she chooses to sing.   In the past year Parrott has released four albums in Japan each celebrating a different season of the year.   She has also done a duet album with Ken Peplowski and is a member of the Les Paul Trio that performs every Monday night at Iridium in New York City.  Parrott will be at the Attucks Sat May 18th at 8pm.

Sutton is making a return visit to the Virginia Arts Festival.    But this time with a twist.  She will be peforming with the always adventerous Turtle Island String Quartet.   Sutton and the Quartet have recently collaborated on Sutton’s upcoming album.   They will be featured Wednesday May 1 at the Sandler Center.

Which brings me to Luciana Souza, the Brazilian born vocalist who will be showcased at the Robin Hixon Theatre in the Virginia Arts Festival building in Norfolk 8pm on May 10.  Souza has an understated quiet style, showcased so effectively on her latest album “Brazilian Duos” Volume 3.




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