Yvonne Washington

If you want biographical confusion, Google nimble, mellow-voiced jazz singer Yvonne Washington. According to one site, she was born and raised in San Antonio and began her career there. Another identifies her as an Austin product (she began to step out professionally during her college years there). Yet another talks about her six years in Houston. At least it seems fairly certain she didn't start her career in Dallas.

Yes, her artistic origins may be confusing, but there are also a number of cold, hard facts about Washington. Listen to the intro track on her Web site, and it's obvious she comes close to channeling Ella Fitzgerald. She was an important figure in the soundtrack to Richard Gere's Autumn in New York, and she's worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to local blues man Bert Wills. But the real ringer in all this is her brief listing as "vocals" on Calvin Owens's 2005 release Keeping Big Band Blues Alive. Now that's some serious street cred. Her Tuesday show will mark a rare small-club performance for a local who's been compared to everyone from Billie Holiday to Queen Aretha.


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