From Tim Gavagan "Singing Friends" review

See what Tim Gavagan, Founder of "Singing Friends" had to say about our Tribute to Natalie Cole show

Tim Gavagan 

Yesterday at 3:26pm · Centreville 

January 30, 2016 

The Stacie Steinke Trio was on the mark with her Natalie Cole tribute show last night at Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, Virginia. Her three set show included many songs that Natalie Cole recorded and helped make famous again. Her trio included two of the most talented Jazz musicians in the area. Multi instrumentalist Robert Vetter on trumpet, coronet, Flugelhorn, guitar and melodica and the gifted Michael Maher on piano. 

The evening was a tour de force of Great American Songbook Standards and Bossa Nova classics. Stacie opened with the perennial winter classic “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm.” It was the perfect opening song and matched the local landscape of post snowzilla armageddon in the Washington DC area. 

I love themed shows with lots of patter and Stacie met both expectations and more. I completely enjoyed hearing all the details about Natalie Cole’s musical career and accomplishments. Wow! All those Grammy’s! She may have started out in the shadow of her famous father Nat King Cole, but she soon became an independent and enduring musical force in the contemporary music scene. I was saddened by her sudden passing on December 31, 2015. She left a huge musical legacy that will endure forever. She will not be forgotten. 

Stacie created a dynamic and exciting show model with alternating musical presentations. Her vocals contrasted smoothly with the purely instrumental presentations. It worked well and was a creative alternative to extended solos within the same song. I’ve always wanted to hear bands play more and prefer to hear an entire song without vocals contrasted to songs with vocals. It’s easy to do that when you have talented instrumentalists such as Robert Vetter and Michael Maher. Nicely done Stacie. 

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the duet between Stacie and Robert. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” may be my all time favorite winter duet and Stacie and Robert did an excellent job with it. They warmed the room and stimulated the imagination with their playful treatment of the lyrics and music. They also did another favorite duet “Unforgettable.” This may be one of the most memorable duets all time. It was made famous by the miracle of recording technology and brought Natalie and her famous father Nat King Cole together in a very realistic way. 

I enjoyed many of the songs in Natalie’s repertoire that Stacie did with sensitivity and passion. Some of my favorites were “Orange Colored Sky, When I Fall In Love, Paper Moon and Smile.” These songs combined with Stacie’s other song choices truly created an unforgettable evening. 

Epicure Cafe has become a standard bearer for excellence in Jazz and other contemporary music in Northern Virginia. It has a very inviting music room with an elevated stage and a large open area just in front of it suitable for dancing. Both are covered in colorful Persian rugs that contrast harmoniously with all the artwork hanging on the walls. Yes. The artwork is for sale and all from local artists. 

The Stacie Steinke Trio presented an entertaining and professional show. This was Stacie’s second show at Epicure. She has another show scheduled for Sunday, March 6, 2016 between 6pm and 10pm. Make your reservations now for the best seats. Don’t miss it. 

Tim Gavagan 
SINGING FRIENDS (a Facebook group) 
Washington DC, USA 
tim gavagan productions llc

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