Jazz for Dancing: From New Orleans to Swing & The Birth of Rhythm & Blues.
With her playfully lascivious stage persona and sultry blues-inflected vocals, Lavay Smith emerged as the most swinging and deeply informed vocalist of the 1990s swing dance vogue. Backed by her stellar Red Hot Skillet Lickers and directed by pianist Chris Siebert, Smith delivers an incisive program commissioned by the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Tracing the evolution and continuum of jazz and R&B from the early years in New Orleans through the swing era and the birth of rhythm and blues, Lavay and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers highlight the connection between jazz and dance while exploring stylistic innovations and regional influences. The project includes dancers to provide a demo accompanying the concert.