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Another Reason To Celebrate at Dizzy’s NYC Oct 17-19 written by Elzy Kolb for Hot House Magazine

An autumn date at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola has been an annual Diva Jazz Orchestra tradition. In fact, three of band’s last four albums were recorded there. This year, listeners are in for a double treat when the band hits the stage at Dizzy’s Oct 17 -19. Besides celebrating the release of Diva’s new CD, A Swinging Life (MCG Jazz) parts of which were recorded at the club, there will be the added pleasure of hearing vocalist Cynthia Scott making her debut with the band.

“I’ve wanted to work with Cynthia for years but there’s alway’s been a scheduling conflict. I’m thrilled that this time it worked out.” says Diva bandleader/drummer Sherrie Maricle. The new CD features performances by vocalist Nancy WIlson and Marlena Shaw. But Wilson has retired and Shaw has back surgery scheduled. “ I wanted someone at Dizzy’s who will bring the level of swing and soul.” Marcile says. “Cynthia is very soulful and has a rich beautiful voice.

Singing with a big band is familiar territory for Scott, who worked with Ray Charles for years. “When I left Texas and went on the road with Ray, that was my beginning,’ she says. “Fronting a big band, you have all this harmony under you, all this support that you don’t get with a trio - you get to ride, you get to paint. You don’t compete with the horns; the lines are all written: you say one thing and they say one thing and it all melds together to tell a beautiful story with a lot of voices speaking.

In choosing material for Diva, Maricle says. “It’s got to swing, it’s got to challenge the band, and it got to be accessible to the audience. And the artistic focus - everyone in the band gets to blow at least one time in two sets, so the listeners get the full experience of all 15 of us, the diversity of the soloists. The Dizzy’s gig will feature standards, blues, tunes by Burt Bacharach and Diva founder Stanley Kay, and at least one Scott original. The vocalist says, “We’re gonna have a ball honey. What’s the purpose of getting up on the stage if you’re not gonna have a ball? I believe in having fun. I’m tired of fighting the world. I just want to ride.” Sounds like the right attitude for Maricle’s stated mission: “Playing great music and keeping the tradition of great straight-ahead swing.

Cynthia Scott photo by Clare Ascani

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