It's impossible to overstate the importance of Billie Holiday. Although her voice was small and raspy, she interpreted songs from Tin Pan Alley with a rhythmic and melodic inventiveness that transformed the tunes into highly personal expressions.
She made her first recordings at the age of 18 in 1933 and her last in 1959 shortly before her death. In between those years she changed the art of jazz and pop singing. She influenced everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra to contemporary singers Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones.
In its previous Jazz Curators series concerts, the JAS Quintet explored the music of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. For the fourth program, the Sioux Falls group is joined by special guest Jami Lynn for an exploration of the life and music of Billie Holiday. Performances are Friday and Saturday evening at Leonardo's Cafe in the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.
Jami Lynn and JAS Quintet trumpeter Jim Speirs joined Jazz Nightly for a conversation about Billie Holiday's musical legacy.