Lavay Smith &
Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Saturday, November 5, 2022
“A singular ensemble that puts a soulful stamp on a huge swath of American music” (Boston Globe), Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, bring a rollicking celebration of singing great Peggy Lee, performing her timeless songs with the joyous, dance-ready approach that blends swinging jump-blues and classic jazz.
Formed in 1986 and fronted by the sultry Smith, an alluring singer whose bluesy, brassy style draws on Dinah Washington, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Little Esther Phillips, the band is known worldwide for tasty arrangements of tunes from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, as well as their finely crafted original compositions.
Under the leadership of arranger and pianist Chris Siebert, the eight-piece ensemble features a rogue’s gallery of robustly swinging soloists from around the Bay Area who cut their teeth with everyone from Big Joe Turner to Ray Charles. They’ve released a trio of fine albums on Smith’s own Fat Note label, covering the gamut of legendary composers including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Irving Berlin, and Harold Arlen. For this performance, Smith and her band honor the legendary Lee and her hits, which include “Fever,” “Why Don’t You Do Right,” and “It’s a Good Day”
If you want to hear some Lavay’s performances, she has a YouTube channel.