Siren Songs

But for being born white, San Francisco chanteuse Lavay Smith might be the latter-day Billie Holiday. Smith has Lady Day’s throaty purr, though it might be more appropriate to say that Smith has Holiday’s purr down. Smith, see, is a natural-born self-promoter whose business is channeling swing/bebop legends such as Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Big Maybelle. That said, there’s a lot to hype. Smith is a fine singer with a fine ear for songs, and she’s extremely easy on the retinas.

Additionally, Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are a tonic to the eardrums, raising a joyful racket in the key of haute swing. The “little big band” provides music for hoofing at Wrigley Mansion in conjunction with the manse’s Summer Swing Dance Series.


Thu., Aug. 28, 8 p.m., 2008
 
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