Whitney James at The Velvet Note
Listen HERE. On a picture-perfect, mid-October evening, jazz singer Whitney James made her way up from Tampa, FL to perform in our Acoustic Living Room. And she brought an extra-special treat: her band consisted of the members La Lucha, one of our favorite acts of all time. Last year, Mark Feinman (drums), Alejandro Arenas (bass) and John C. O’Leary, III (piano) were awarded several performance accolades as their CD entitled Standards, Non-Standards climbed the charts to critical acclaim. Whitney James–a former theater arts major– laid down clear, straightforward vocals with a lyrical command and stage presence that blew our audience away.
But the true breakout star of the night was pianist O’Leary (pictured far left), whose solos throughout the night convinced you that this might be the last day of his visit to Planet Earth before venturing out to other parts of the solar system. Dr. O’Leary– a PhD neuroscientist and a leading Alzheimer’s researcher by day– was celebrating his 30th (gasp) birthday, and his hands were on fire! When he got off the stage, a dear couple intercepted him to inquire about his interest in meeting their daughter, who they would love to see married off to a great talent such as his. But, alas, Dr. O’Leary had to deliver the heartbreaking news that he’s already married. Ahhh…such is show business. Thunder only happens when it’s raining….Players only love you when they’re playin’…… Enjoy O’Leary’s solo on this beautifully-re-imagined arrangement of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” HERE. And catch more recordings of live performances at The Velvet Note at http://thevelvetnote.com/radio.