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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 20 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 29
A Dyke About Town: Irma Thomas is the soul queen of New Orleans
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Irma Thomas is the soul queen of New Orleans

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN A&E Writer

Seattle Chamber Music Festival
Mercy celebrates the fact that Seattle Chamber Music Society is extending its 'Music Under the Stars' program to Volunteer Park. The setting is the first one to be as pretty as its old place, Lakeside School. It was fun to watch kids dancing. Reality joined her there on July 11.

Mozart's 'Divertimento for Violin, Cello, and Piano in B-flat Major, K. 254,' played by Ida Levin on violin, Bion Tsang on cello, and Orion Weiss on piano, was luscious. Reality pronounced it delightful.

Dvorak's 'Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 75a,' with Stephen Rose and Augustin Hadelich on violin and Richard O'Neill on viola, was well-tempered. Reality thought it was exquisite.

Bartok's 'Seven Pieces from Mikrokosmos for Two Pianos,' played by Jeremy Denk and Inon Barnatan, was delicious. Milhaud's 'Scaramouche Suite for Two Pianos' featured the same two pianists and was passionate. Reality described it as powerful.

Mendelssohn's 'Quartet No. 1 for Piano and Strings in C minor, Op. 1,' performed by Benjamin Beilman on violin, David Harding on viola, Edward Arron on cello, and Anna Polonsky on piano, was tight. Reality said it was stirring.

Irma Thomas
Mercy heard Grammy award-winning Irma Thomas sing slow, soulful songs at the Triple Door on July 14. Often called the 'soul queen of New Orleans,' Thomas is 71 and has been in show business 53 years. She had people doing a second-line and various other dances.

Thomas has a powerful voice and a big laugh, and wore a black sparkling dress. Her seven-piece band was hot. She explained that she doesn't work from a set list, but she does take requests.

She opened with 'Let It Be Me.' 'In the Middle of It All' was featured in the movie Why Did I Get Married II. 'It's Raining' followed nicely, as did 'Ruler of My Heart' and 'At Last.' 'Time Is On My Side' earned a standing ovation, which Mercy joined even though she is disabled. 'Forever Young,' which Thomas dedicated to her fans, also earned a standing ovation.

James Cotton Superharp Band
Mercy is very much looking forward to seeing James Cotton and his Superharp Band at Jazz Alley. The band members are James Cotton (harmonica), Darrell Nulisch (vocals), Tom Holland (guitar and vocals), Noel Neal (bass and vocals), and Jerry Porter (drums). They are touring in support of their 2011 CD, Giant.

Cotton is a Grammy award-winning blues harmonica player singer and songwriter. He has performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists as well as with his own band. They are at Jazz Alley tonight through July 22.

John Pizzarelli Quartet
Mercy is also looking forward to seeing jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli at Jazz Alley. His band includes Larry Fuller (piano), Martin Pizzarelli (bass), and Tony Tedesco (drums). They are touring in support of a new CD, Double Exposure.

John and Martin are the sons of well-known guitarist/banjoist Bucky Pizzarelli. The foursome will be at Jazz Alley July 24 and 25.

Ramsey Lewis and His Electric Band
Mercy is also anticipating the Sun Goddess Tour featuring Ramsey Lewis and his Electric Band at Jazz Alley, July 26 to 29. The band members are Ramsey Lewis (piano and Fender Rhodes keyboard), Henry Johnson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass), Charles Heath (drums), and Tim Gant (keyboards).

Lewis is a jazz composer and pianist. He has won seven gold records and three Grammys. His most famous songs are 'The In Crowd,' 'Hang On Sloopy,' and 'Wade in the Water.'

You can get tickets to James Cotton, John Pizzarelli, and Ramsey Lewis at www.jazzalley.com.

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