Benefit raises funds for KCSM
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 11:04
KCSM hosted a benefit on Saturday, April 14 to raise about $15,000 for the station and to celebrate women songwriters of the Tin Pan Alley era. Singer, performer and song- writer Pamela Rose presented her acclaimed show, Wild Women of Song: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era. She also wrote a book of the same title, which sold out by the end of the event.
Rose performed jazz and blues for a packed house of about 350 fans at the CSM Theatre. She performed with an eclectic ensemble of jazz musicians who have been featured on the KCSM jazz station.
The musicians included Tammy Hall on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, Kristen Strom on sax, Jeff Massanari on guitar, and Kent Bryson on drums.
The multimedia performance by Rose and the band paid tribute to the ladies of jazz by incorporating songs written by the artist. The performances were accompanied by images from their past, pictures of them performing and at leisure, and a list of the most well known songs they composed.
The crew was able to accompany the music with flare. Lights flashed and dimmed to a deep red to accentuate the music and sound from the instrumentalists bellowed as Rose whaled throughout the room.
Some of the artists featured Maria Grever, Bernice Petkere, Mary Lou Williams, Lil Harvey Armstrong and Peggy Lee. These women worked with and wrote songs for artist such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong. This performance put a perspective on their lives by telling stories of struggle and sacrifice these women had to go through to play a part in creating the American Jazz Movement.
Mary Lou Williams grew up in poverty in Philadelphia and with no formal training became the main supporter of her whole family by the age of 16. Lil Harvey Armstrong, also known as Hot Miss Lil introduced jazz to the nation and helped Louis Armstrong become a household name. Ida Cox was known as the uncrowned queen of the blues and was Paramount’s very first recording artist.
Massanari rocked the guitar by rip- ping a solo on one of the night’s final songs, a tune written by Cox “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues.” Rose invited everyone to get up and dance and everyone obliged as she wailed, “Wild women don’t worry, wild women don’t have the blues.” The audience continued to dance for the last two songs. One “wild woman” danced right into the very last song. “It’s in my bones,” said Georgia Guido, the dancing woman.
“I’ve been coming here for several years and always have been participating,” said Victor Rodriguez.
“KCSM puts on a good show, they had a good arrangement, and to see very empowering women who made a difference in music is just wonderful,” said Rodriguez.
Everyone snapped and yelled “fever” as Rose’s voice sang a few bars of Peggy Lee’s famous hit. There was audience participation as Rose sang the song she wrote. The crowd chanted “I am not, missing you,” as she wailed out the final notes of her own original song. The theme of the show was the spitfires of the jazz scene who proved that in a male dominated workforce women can rise above stereotypes and become predominant business women in the music industry.