"Valentine's Day Jazz Lounge" with Kevin Saint James
"I Left My Heart at Cafe Nine" - Annual Valentine's Day Cocktail Lounge-A-Palooza - Kevin Saint James with Steve Donovan & special guests - 8:30 show - No cover
GateHouse Music Presents:
"Valentine's Day Jazz at Cafe Nine"
Kevin Saint James
Once again, it's Cafe NIne - coming to your emotional rescue. Known as "The Musicians' Living Room", New Haven's oldest, coolest (and quite often, weirdest) venue for intimate live performance is proud to provide its own, particularly home-grown remedy for post-holiday season burnout - just the right thing for that all-too-blah, midwinter listlessness, with power enough to jump start your engine, so you can better navigate the left-over labyrinth of not-so-glistening-anymore glaciers that still inhabit most of the legal parking spaces around town. This is the time of year when thoughts of love and romance can fade from the hearts and minds of hopelessly preoccupied, snowed-upon and down-trodden souls. All you need to rekindle the fleeting flicker of passion in your overly-advertised-to brain, is a night of good old-fashioned Jazz and Cocktails at Cafe Nine.
The room will be a bit more civilized and subdued than one might normally expect on a Saturday night in there - with candle-lit tables and an elegant array of inspirational edibles, an all-star combo, complete with a genuine Saloon-Singer, will supply the suitable soundtrack to transport couples and singles alike back to the time when roses were red and Sunny got blue. A local favorite, singer Kevin Saint James has put together a trio of heavyweight Jazz sidemen to mark the occasion with more than enough style than anybody could imagine.
Back from many years on the West Coast, keyboardist Steve Donovan brings a lifetime's experience of accompanying singers at venues such as The Beverly Hills and Bel-Air Hotels, The Four Seasons and The Kodak Theatre. A composer and recording artist for film and television, as well - he heads up The Steve Donovan Trio here at better-known venues in the area. Bassist Mike Asetta is a graduate of the Yale School of Music who's played classical music and Jazz all around the world and his phenomenal talent has entertained United States Presidents and diplomats, as well as foreign dignitaries and heads of state, in concert halls like The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and The Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, England. Saxophonist and special guest, Herb Wilson is a longtime veteran and consummate professional who's experience ranges from classical recitals to big bands and smaller Jazz combos, up and down the East Coast. He's served as a board member and panelist for several state and local arts and music education organizations and was featured in the New Haven Jazz Documentary,"Unsung Heroes". His own Herb WIlson Quartet has also been showcased on the cable TV series "Bourbon Street".
Certainly no stranger to the Cafe Nine stage, singer Kevin Saint James is the founder and was the original lead vocalist of The Bernadettes, one of the area's more successful and longstanding R&B show bands. For many years now, he's been moonlighting as a lounge-lizard, while continuing to work the Bar-Band circuit with The Crown Street Orchestra and The GateHouse Band. His own considerable experience with Blues, Soul, Rhythm and Blues and Classic Rock give his performances a characteristically spontaneous quality that borders on "stylistic schizophrenia". His heart felt re-interpretations of classics from The Great American Songbook showcase a range of voicings from the most velveteen crooning to flat-out howlin' at the moon, and back again. His monthly "Monday Night Piano Lounge" gigs at the Nine have grown increasingly popular with an especially well-versed and appreciative regular audience. Working with the venerable Joe McWilliams on the keys, these shows are usually held on the first Monday of each month.
It makes perfect sense that an old-school revival of re-animated musical memorabilia such as this, would be hosted by Cafe Nine - long-established as the Elm City's room of choice for artists of the more extravagantly odd, or off-beat variety. Their regular schedule (which can be viewed online at www.cafenine.com) offers a veritable smorgasbord of perpetually paranormal project-bands that span an ocean of musical genres, attitudes and eccentricities. It's one of very few downtown attractions where local music-lovers can experience live music from touring acts that come here from all over the country and sometimes, from the other side of the planet. In this case, on Valentine's Day, they're takin' it back to the days of Cavaliers and Cotton Clubs - to a time when people sat and talked to each other and listened to great songs - and the only telephone in the room was bolted to the wall. You're invited to bring yourself and/or your significant other down to the Nine and come along for the ride