Reserved: $55, $45.
General Admission: $30.
Sure to be a sell-out: A night of music for lovers and jazz lovers. Celebrate Valentine’s night with Whitney James for her annual Jazz Valentine Concert at The Palladium’s intimate Side Door. James will set the mood for love with a repertoire that includes timeless love songs. Joining her on stage will be Michael Clement, Alejandro Arenas, LaRue Nickelson, and Dave Hamar. Two sets with intermission.
About Whitney James
Jazz Vocalist Whitney James pairs incredible vocal skill with intimate, meaningful interpretations. She brings flawless intonation, a broad range of colors and an instrumentalist’s sensibility to the bandstand. For Whitney it’s all about connection. Her unique ability to connect a decades old lyric and reimagine it in today’s modern context gives her arrangements a rare depth. Audiences immediately feel connected to her during performances through her deep emotional interpretations and down to earth stage presence. Her polished musicianship, sense of phrasing and time make her a consummate musician’s singer—she knows how to work with a band, instead of asking it to merely back her.
Music has been part of Whitney’s life since she was a little girl growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. It started with family musicals she staged with her sister, then dance lessons, acting, musical theatre and eventually classical voice lessons. After hearing recordings of Sarah Vaughan, James got hooked jazz. Her interest in jazz singing led her to Seattle to study at Cornish College of the Arts. It was at Cornish where she completed her bachelor’s degree in music. She also had the opportunity to work with master jazz vocalists Jay Clayton, Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy and Nancy King. While in Seattle, Whitney worked in several rewarding and exciting musical settings. She opened for jazz legends Nina Simone and Betty Carter and pop giants Earth Wind & Fire and Macy Gray. She has also voiced numerous radio station jingles and commercials airing in Europe and The United States.
In 2007, Whitney made the move to the East Coast, splitting her time between New York City and Florida. Her 2010 debut CD — The Nature of Love — featuring trumpet great Ingrid Jensen, received rave reviews from US and International Jazz Press and spent 16 weeks on the Jazz Radio Charts.
In 2012, James was chosen by jazz piano legend Marian McPartland as one of the top twelve rising stars in the world of jazz. She was featured on Marian McPartland’s radio show Piano Jazz Rising Stars on NPR hosted by Jon Weber. In recent years, she has had the pleasure to perform at The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, and sell out numerous solo shows at The Palladium. She is a founding member and lead singer for The Florida Bjorkestra. Most notably she opened for jazz great Kurt Elling in 2013 and performed in a joint-lead concert with jazz legend Dick Hyman. In 2013 and 2015 she was the guest vocalist for composer Maria Schneider and bassist, composer Rufus Reid on their tours through Florida playing at USF.
Whitney joined NPR Station 89.7 FM, WUSF in 2014 as the first woman to work on-air as a disc jockey for All Night Jazz. Whitney is constantly trying to deepen her musical understanding and enrich her work as a musician and singer. In May 2022, Whitney received her master’s degree in music and jazz voice performance at the University of North Texas. Whatever the setting, Whitney James connects pure jazz and pure joy to her listening audience.
Presented by The Palladium at SPC.