June 12--The key to distinction in jazz has always been in creating a unique sound.
The vocalist Dianne Reeves understands this better than most, and though her rich, regal vocals can be compared to the legendary Sarah Vaughn, Reeves' voice and approach are very much her own.
Reeves' latest record, "Beautiful Life," has a decided contemporary-jazz tinge that might be seen as a homage to her late cousin, the keyboardist and arranger George Duke, who appears on the album.
Produced by drummer Terri Lynne Carrington, the album leans on jazz versions of pop standards such as Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain," Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and Ani DiFranco's "32 Flavors." Reeves puts a confident spin on Marvin Gaye's "I Want You," rendering a version of the song that has the sensuality and groove of the original, yet feels like a true interpretation rather than a smoothed-out cover coasting on Gaye's genius.
Her performance Monday night at the Harris Center features her longtime quartet of pianist and musical director Peter Martin, guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully.
Reeves performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. Tickets: $25-$45. Information at (916) 608-6888 or www.HarrisCenter.net .
'Bluest Eye' nears end
The underdog community-theater group Celebration Arts maintains a low profile on D Street but stages notable works. This weekend it closes its well-regarded production "The Bluest Eye." Lydia Diamond's adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, published in 1970, has all of the book's moody tragedy. The story deals with racism and child molestation in a story told mostly through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl.
Artistic director James Wheatley directs the ensemble of Brooklynn Solomon, Eliza Hendrix, Carol Jefferson, KT Masala and Zarati Depaz.
8 p.m. today through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At Celebration Arts, 4469 D St., Sacramento. Tickets $13-$15. All seats $8 on Thursdays. Information at (916) 455-2787 or www.celebrationarts.net.
B Street ins and outs
B Street Theatre's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" hits a sweet spot of character-based comedy in Christopher Durang's Tony-winning homage to Anton Chekhov. Buck Busfield directs the cast of company regulars led by Greg Alexander and Jamie Jones with Stephanie McVay, Jason Kuykendall and Tara Sissom.
In B3, the noir drama "A Steady Rain" takes its final bows this weekend with Kurt Johnson and Dave Pierini as friends and cops on the streets of Chicago.
"Vanya" continues at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays (5 p.m. only on June 21); 2 p.m. Sundays through June 22.
Last shows for "A Steady Rain" are at 7 p.m. today and Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. today and Saturday.
Tickets for both B Street shows are $23-$35, $5 student rush. Information at (916) 443-5300, bstreettheatre.org .
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