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May 26, TD Arena, 301 Meeting St., Monday, 7 p.m., $45-$65
Looking to hear some jazz with a flair for the risqué and the riotous? Then René Marie’s your ticket. Throughout her career, this singer, songwriter, actress, and activist has been shirking conformist expectations in an effort to say something unique and personal. Even when performing a standard, she makes it her own.
Marie is currently supporting her sensual tribute album, I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt, which DownBeat magazine dubbed “one of the year’s best jazz vocal albums,” writing “whether she’s seducing you with ‘Peel Me A Grape’ or declaring her autonomy in the title cut, this is her show.” Go for her intensely expressive voice, eccentric originality, and powerful stage presence—not to mention the expertise of her band, featuring Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Etienne Charles (trumpet), and Charleston’s own Quentin Baxter (drums).
We know Quentin Baxter as the immensely talented, dreadlocked drummer whom you might catch playing a show at The Mezz—that is, when he’s in town. The Charleston native, College of Charleston grad, and adjunct professor of jazz percussion is a sought-after, world-class percussionist who has played with an array of musicians—Donald Byrd and James Spaulding to name just two. Currently touring with René Marie, Baxter will provide the foundation for the groove during her Spoleto performance, his syncopated rhythms the optimal foil to Marie’s controlled but fluid delivery.
Eat & Drink:
Dinner/Drinks: Charleston Grill (224 King St.), FIG (232 Meeting St.),
Hank’s (10 Hayne St.), Muse (82 Society St.), Peninsula Grill (112 N. Market St.), Zero George (0 George St.)
Photo by Janice Yim