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  When Jazz meets Blues

When Jazz Meets BluesWhen Jazz Meets Blues, (could easily be renamed 'When The Stars Came Out'), is a concert with one goal, to benefit the organization ROW (Redevelopment Opportunities for Women Inc.). This was the 20th 'When Jazz meets Blues' concert, but ROW has been helping women for 25 years. The other benefit of the evening was for all the fans on hand to enjoy the performances of two of St. Louis' finest divas - Kim Massie and Denise Thimes.

Gene Dobbs of Jazz on the Bistro, and Debbie Alexander of Smooth Jazz opened the evening by introducing the evenings entertainment. This years honorary chair was once again Vicki Newton of Channel 4 - KMOV.

Kim Massie was then introduced, and as the band laid down a strong backbeat, Kim made a spectacular entrance, to a very enthusiastic audience response. As the crowd shouted out their approval, Kim asked with a smile, "is that all you've got for me?"

Kim MassieThose faithful followers of Kim would have really enjoyed this set, as Kim was backed by her stellar band of sidemen AND 4 outstanding backup vocalists. Kim began her intro by thanking Debbie Alexander and Vicki Newton by awarding them each a very special Kim Massie lapel pin. She remarked to the crowd "I can't tell you what they say, but make sure and try to have these ladies show them to you". As STLBlues had a prior knowledge of the pins, the humor of the moment was definitely there. What do the pins say? Drop on by one of Kim's shows to find out in person!

Kim began her set with a Stephen Stills classic 'Love the one you're with', and then slowed the tempo down with 'One Night'. Kim, as many blues/jazz divas are, was raised singing the gospel in church on Sundays. We at STLBlues believe that Kim's career will bust loose any day, and one day the Grammys will be calling her name. She's Aretha and Etta rolled into one, but very much has her own style, evident when she starts with a slow ballad, and transforms the same song into a multi-octave crescendo!

Following a short set change, the Jazz diva Denise Thimes was introduced by none other than her father, Lou "Fatha' Thimes, a famous St. Louis radio DJ for many years, now retired. Denise has helped keep St. Louis Jazz music on the map. You may remember the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feature on Denise's stop on the New York Jazz scene several years ago. Denise took her golden voice to the limit, as she crossed over the Jazz divide to cover a great Etta James track 'Damn your eyes'.

Denise ThimesBacking Denise were some of the finest musicians you'll find anywhere, notably Amos Brewer on the tenor sax - can this cat ever wail - and Tony Simmons on keyboard. Denise closed the night by getting everyone to their feet and filling the dance floor with her uptempo cover of "It's all right", bringing the evening to a powerful close.

Waiting backstage to greet Denise after her set was her 'Fatha', who remarked "when did you start doing Etta James? With a smile Denise replied "do you know who I'm the daughter of"?

A fantastic night of night of Diva's showing just how powerful the St. Louis music scene is! Don't miss this event next year, it's a 4.83 on the STLBluesometer.

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