Description of a live-streamed Shelley Burns concert presented as part of the B Street Theatre at the Sofia’s “virtual party” offerings.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced all types of local businesses to adapt to what is now, at least temporarily, our new reality. The B Street Theatre at the Sofia has risen to the challenge by launching a series of “virtual events”.
One such event, dubbed “Six Feet Apart”, was launched in support of the local music scene. Sacramento musicians are provided with the opportunity to create an intimate, virtual concert – live from their homes.
The events are free to patrons of B Street Theatre, but viewers are given the opportunity to make a donation to the musicians who have lost their source of income.
I decided to “attend” the Shelley Burns concert this past Friday to check it out.
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
Who is Shelley Burns?
According to her website, Shelley Burns has been performing professionally virtually all of her life. A jazz vocalist, her recording have been heard on jazz radio stations across the U.S., and she has appeared at many jazz festivals both in the U.S. and internationally.
As an aside: I did not recognize Shelley by name, but when I saw her I realized that I had seen her perform previously more than once at the Sacramento Music Festival – likely with Avalon Swing.
See related blog post: Sacramento Music Festival
B Streets’ Lyndsay Burch greeted the attendees, and co-founder Buck Busfield made a few comments. Jerry Montoya, the host for the event, announced that the evening would feature the music of Jerome Kern and be followed by a Q&A.
Jerome David Kern
Jerome Kern, who died in 1945, was an important American composer in the early 20th century. Over the course of his career he wrote over 700 songs, often collaborating with other leading composers/lyricists of the era. His works include classics such as:
- Ol’ Man River
- Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
- A Fine Romance
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
- The Song is You
- All the Things You Are
- The Way You Look Tonight
- Long Ago (and Far Away)
Many of Kern’s musicals and musical films were big hits at the time. Today, perhaps his best known work is the musical Show Boat.
Shelley Burns Concert
Shelley Burns and her husband Bill Dendle welcomed us to their “living room/art gallery”. The backdrop, a wall painted an attractive dark green, was the perfect color to show off their collection of colorful works of art – large and small.
Shelley was accompanied by Bill on the guitar as she sang tune after tune. They interspersed the songs with a bit of background about the songs performed, and the adaptions they had made. Several times one or the other of them opined that Kern would “hate” or “disapprove” of the changes made to his compositions. For example, Shelley performed They Didn’t Believe Me to a bossa nova jazz beat.
Twice during the performance Bill shifted from guitar to the banjo to perform an instrumental solo. During his rendition of All The Things You Are and Ol’ Man River Shelley had a chance to take a bit of a break from singing.
Before the end of the performance Shelley announced that the two of them were going to donate any proceeds from that evening to the B Street Theatre at the Sofia. They had of course lost all of their scheduled “gigs” but were still “all right for now”.
After about 50 minutes the performance concluded with what Shelley called a “song of hope” – Look For A Silver Lining.
That was followed by a Q&A with questions from the audience for Shelley and Bill. Unfortunately I had to miss the Q&A. At that point my dog Mickey made it very clear that he had to go potty – and he had to go NOW. So, off we went for our last walk of the evening.
I enjoyed the virtual concert experience – and likely will “attend” another one or two in the next few weeks.
Are you a fan of Shelley Burns?
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