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Lizz Wright 

When: Wed., June 2, 8 p.m. 2010
Price: $15-$65
www.lizzwright.net

One of the most remarkable jazz voices to emerge in the past ten years belongs to a young woman from rural Georgia. Roaming freely across genres to find her songs, Wright’s repertoire teems with soul, tenderness, and majesty. Presented by Spoleto Festival USA as part of the Wachovia Jazz Series.

A cool, Southern-styled mix
Vocalist and songwriter Lizz Wright is a rising star in the roots music and jazz scenes. She hails from the small Georgia town of Hahira (just outside of Valdosta and the Okefenokee Swamp), but her singing is far from rustic. Refined, passionate, and sultry, Wright finds beautiful balance while working a blend of Americana styles.

she'll grab you
Her latest solo effort — a warmly produced, 12-song collection titled The Orchard (Verve) — covers a lot of cool musical ground. Within her original love songs and heartbreak ballads, she mixes a few surprises. There's the slinky rendition of Ike Turner's "I Idolize You," as well as the spare and emotional cover of Zeppelin's "Thank You," featuring backing by John Convertino and Joey Burns (the rhythm section from Giant Sand and Calexico).

Southern standout
Every year, the Wachovia Jazz Series pulls all sorts of unique talent from across the globe — reaching well beyond the boundaries of classic jazz into more international realms. A Southern act like Wright and her band adds a nice balance to the program — and a touch of soul and grace which local music fans can easily relate to and enjoy.

— T. Ballard Lesemann
click to enlarge W. VINCENT SOYEZ

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