SFJAZZ presents “a skilled [vocal] alchemist who refuses to let one genre have the final word”, Lizz Wright. With an instrument described by The New York Times as a “sumptuously earthy, which commands strict and often spine-tingling attention,” the Georgia native is a singular singer/songwriter whose music has embraced soul and R&B, steeped in the gospel of her childhood. Her newest venture is the establishment of her own label, Blues & Greens Records, and its debut release, 2022’s live date Holding Space.
Lizz Wright vocals
Marvin Sewell guitar
Kenny Banks keys
Ben Zwerin bass
Ivan Edwards drums
“Sweet Feeling” by Candi Staton, Clarence Carter, Daniel & Rick Hall
“Walk With Me, Lord” Traditional
“Chasing Strange” by Marc Anthony Thompson
“I'm Confessin' That I Love You” by Doc Daugherty
“Blue Rose” by Lizz Wright & Kenny Banks Sr.
“The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” by Ewan McCall
“Seems I'm Never Tired Loving You” by Nina Simone
“Freedom” by Toshi Reagon
“Stop” by Joe Henry
“Salt” by Lizz Wright
“Grace” by Rose Cousins & Marc Erelli
“New Game” by Lizz Wright, David Batteau & Larry Klein
ABOUT LIZZ WRIGHT
With a luxuriant voice redolent of the red soil that sustained her growing up in Georgia, Lizz Wright sanctifies every song she sings. While the highly-acclaimed vocalist first gained attention delivering Swing Era standards associated with Billie Holiday, she’s continued in recent years as a singer/songwriter whose music eludes definition. For this special 2023-24 Season Opening Week concert, Wright will be performing music from her forthcoming new album Shadows, which blends together jazz, blues, R&B, Indian-rooted strings and house music. The performance will also include a wide range of cover songs from Cole Porter to Candi Staton and more.
A quartet of albums on the Verve label, beginning with 2003’s Salt and concluding with the gospel-infused Fellowship from 2010, established Wright as a major artist whose reach wasn’t bound by the limits of any one genre. Since the release of Fellowship, Wright has been continually working in varying settings with a number of sublimely talented women including drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s GRAMMY-winning Mosaic Project and a touring tribute to Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta featuring fellow vocalists Dianne Reeves and Angelique Kidjo.
After Wright’s GRAMMY-nominated 2015 Concord Records album Freedom & Surrender and the 2017 follow-up Grace, her newest venture is the establishment of her own label, Blues & Greens Records, and its debut release, 2022’s live date Holding Space. In describing the inimitable voice of Lizz Wright, JazzTimes enthuses: “(her) soul-jazz lilt – soft as peach fuzz yet iron-sturdy – is the musical equivalent of a protective hug from a keenly empathetic friend.”