By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader
SASSY SARAH: The Symphony Center will present “A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn” featuring The Chicago Jazz Orchestra on Friday, May 20th at 8:00 PM. Chicago Jazz Orchestra Conductor and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg leads his big band and an all-star roster of talented vocalists including Chicago’s own Dee Alexander and Ann Hampton Callaway, as well as Grammy Award nominee Rene’ Marie in transcriptions of Vaughn’s chart-topping hits.
The program will honor the legacy of the incomparable Sarah Vaughn, a Grammy award winner, NEA Jazz Master award recipient and one of the most unforgettable voices in jazz.
Alexander, Callaway and Marie will perform some of Vaughn’s signature hits including “Misty,” “Tenderly,” “Key Largo,” “How High The Moon,” “I Hadn’t Anyone ‘Til You,” and “Until I Met You” among others. Lindberg, one of the foremost jazz arrangers has recreated Vaughn’s original arrangements by such legendary musicians as Quincy Jones, Thad Jones, Hal Mooney and Ernie Wilkins.
“We have wanted to create a tribute to Sarah for years,” said Lindberg. “She had such a unique sound and was arguably perhaps one of the most virtuosic athletic jazz singers in history. This trio of vocalists will do justice to Sarah’s talent and style.”
Alexander and Callaway, as well as Marie credit Vaughn with being an inspiration in their work and lives. Dee Alexander is well known to Chicago audiences, receiving numerous awards and accolades including the Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year” award in 2008 and “Jazz Entertainer of the Year” by the Chicago Music Awards.
Callaway is best known for her Tony Award nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical “Swing!” and recently released the album “From Sassy To Divine: The Sarah Vaughn Project” Marie, a Grammy Award nominee in the “Best Jazz Vocalist” category for her album “I Want To Be Evil: With Love from Eartha Kitt,” is a talented singer and songwriter who began her career at 42-years of age. Her signature style involves combining contrasting songs into a new rendition with dramatic results. Marie made her first Symphony Center appearance in a critically acclaimed performance with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 2015.
Tickets for all Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented concerts may be purchased by telephone at 1-800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000; online at cso.org, or at the Symphony Center Box Office located at 220 South Michigan Avenue. Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the Box Office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040.