L’Tanya Mari sings the American songbook

WTA’s Gateway’s Custin Jazz Series presents inventive jazz singer, arranger, songwriter and educator, L’Tayna Mari in a celebration of the songs that are the hallmarks of the popular American songbook.  The L’Tayna Mari trio will perform at 8 pm on Saturday, November 10 at 329 West Main in downtown Waynesboro. The performance is supported by a touring assistance grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

L’Tanya grew up in Philadelphia, surrounded by jazz. “I remember hearing Charlie Parker’s recording of ‘April In Paris’ early on. Noticing that I was resonating more with fusion in my teen years, my father tried to tip the scales a bit by buying me some of the earlier recordings of Sarah, Ella and Carmen. That did it! By the time I was 17, I was out at record stores looking for other jazz vocal albums.”

Of the standards of the American Songbook, L’Tanya says, “I particularly love ‘You Go To My Head.’  It connects with and means a lot to many people even though it is decades old. It tells a story that is still relevant and has a life of its own, qualities that I hope are true of all of the songs that I perform.”

While earning a Bachelors Degree in Music Business at Howard University, L’Tanya began her career in jazz.   Her private study of the celebrated drummer-singer Grady Tate influenced her phrasing and pushed her to connect with an audience by really feeling the lyrics. Residing in Washington D.C. and sitting in at jam sessions helped L’Tanya Mari to secure gigs, hone her skills, and expand her repertoire. After gaining a Masters degree in Jazz Studies at the University of the Arts and coming into her own as a jazz singer.  L’Tanya has become an active music educator in addition to performing regularly throughout the Philadelphia and Washington, DC metro area. ”

Tickets for the November 10th performance are $10 in advance or $12 on the day of performance.  They are available online at www.wtagateway.com or by calling 540-943-9999.

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