Paulette Dozier: Cornbread Tour
Greenville, South Carolina to New York, New York
June 25-July 4, 2009
Miami-based jazz vocalist, actress and voice-over professional Paulette Dozier recently completed a whirlwind Eastern coast tour centering on small and intimate venues where audiences could be no more than a hundred people, lending to what the performing artist describes as a more "up close and personal" experience with her music. The intimate circumstances led her to choose the title Cornbread Tour, a theme she plans to repeat every summer. Accordingly, the venues were chosen by design to ensure that the vocalist could feel at home regardless of geographical location. The key was to be at ease with the club and the audience for whom she performedgracefully and communicatively. With her striking looks and elegant manner on stage, Dozier presents quite an arresting visual image while being, as she has been previously described, "stylishly dressed and tastefully glamorous." In short, the lady put on a visual as well as beautiful vocal show where ever she went.
The Cornbread Tour took the lady to three different cities and four different locations, accompanied by local musicians playing the music from her two albums With You (PF&E, 2006) and Over & Over Again (PF&E, 2007). With all arrangements provided by Miami pianist Mike Levine, a star in his own right and a regular of the Dozier group, the backup players for the tour were treated to a new musical experience, playing fresh material with creative and innovative spins to such pop standards as the "Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is" by the musical group Chicago along with other tunes that have become modern-day classics. The tour kicked off with an especially inspired performance from the singer to a packed room at the Brown Street Club in Greenville, SC, where the vocalist was accompanied by the very able Eric Barnhart Trio.
The next stop was Atlanta, another potentially jazz-rich environment, where the artist displayed her talents in the Studio 281 club, supported this time by bassist Kevin Smith, drummer Kinah Boto and pianist Rick Denton. Then, it was up the coast to the jazz capital of the East if not the world, New York City, performing at two of the most renowned jazz venues still going: the historic Lenox Lounge in Harlem, where the great Billie Holiday once performed, then off to the Metropolitan Room, where she was part of the Jazzin' Up the 4th Independence Day music bash.
At the Metropolitan, Dozier's rich-toned vocals seemed in high gear as the artist saved her best performances for last. Looking as delicious and sounding as sultry as ever, Dozier visibly mesmerized the audience with each song. One teary-eyed, especially moving moment was her performance of "Ode to Billie and Freddy" for the first time in such a setting, paying homage to Billie Holiday and a dear friend who has passed on. Unlike the previous two stops, in both of the New York venues the diva was joined by a quartet adding the saxophone voice of Ryan Anselmi, who was accompanied by Dominic Fallacaro on piano, Daniel Foose on bass and Curt Garey playing drums.
Leaving a memorable impression everywhere she went, Paulette Dozier made her Cornbread Tour an exciting and enriching musical experience enjoyed by all who were lucky to be a part of it, whether as listeners or musicians. So successful was this brief ten-day trek that plans are in the works to begin the adventure same time next year, except starting in Florida and ending in Chicago. If the reception to Dozier's performances on this year's tour is any indication, audiences next year will be in for a rare treat.