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Jaimee Paul Trio to launch new season of concert series
The Arts Council to begin Evenings of Intimate Jazz
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From the moment she earned a solo in her youth choir, Jaimee Paul fell in love with gospel and blues music. She then transitioned into singing jazz. She will kick off The Arts Council’s series Evenings of Intimate Jazz on Jan. 23.

Evenings of Intimate Jazz featuring the Jaimee Paul Trio

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23

Where: The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St. SW, Gainesville

Cost: $30

More info: 770-534-2787 or www.TheArtsCouncil.net

A new year leads to a new round of Evenings of Intimate Jazz, sponsored by The Arts Council. And launching the 18th season will be the Jaimee Paul Trio.

The concert will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St. SW, in Gainesville.

Tickets are $30, and discounts are available for groups of six or more. Tickets for the entire series, which runs through May, are available for $125, a savings of $25 off individual tickets for the five shows.

For tickets or more information, call 770-534-2787 or visit www.TheArtsCouncil.net.

The Nashville-based trio is led by Jaimee Paul, who has made a name for herself in the jazz community with renditions of songs from the past mixed with new favorites from today.

The band is working on a new album, which features the music heard at all of its shows.

“What you hear is what you get on stage,” Paul said. “If you liked the show you’ll like the album.”

Paul took a break from the recording studio to answer a few questions for The Times before her show next week.

Question: With so many musical avenues out there, what drew you to jazz?

Answer: As a junior high student, I was in the youth choir in church and they were having auditions for this solo. They were going down the line and I thought I really want this solo because it was a gospel, a blues gospel song, and I thought how can I just make this so different enough that they’ll pick me? So every time someone would sing it, I would try to pick a different note that still sounded good, just a little embellishment here and there. So when it got to my turn I did that and they said oh well OK, you’re going to sing the solo.

From that moment on I just really loved the gospel side of things and blues. So there’s blues and gospel then there’s a natural ease into the jazz, and the swing, and you can integrate bluegrass into that. 

Q: What is your favorite song and why?

A: In the show we save “At Last” for the very last part of the show, and that’s obviously one of everyone’s favorite songs. It’s such a fun song to sing, it’s such a classic. But then for an encore, if you want an encore, we will do “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” That one to me is almost more of a favorite than “At Last” because it brings everybody together. It brings these memories to your mind of your childhood, maybe a simpler time, a happier time, it just takes you home. Those are probably my top two, “At Last” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Q: What has been your favorite place to perform, home or abroad?

A: I love Japan, I mean I love Japan. We performed at this venue a few years ago called the Cotton Club, super well known in Tokyo, and that was fantastic. But then it kind of ties with this other gig that we were randomly called to in Poland. That was a super great venue to perform in, although it wasn’t a venue for performances at all. It was a business award show, but the place was so beautiful and the acoustics were so great and it was just so fantastic. 

Stateside I have to say my favorite venue is the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colo. The Vilar is acoustically perfect. It’s wonderful and we’ve been there several times and it’s fantastic.  

Q: What do you like about performing?

A: I like making people happy. That’s been my lifelong daily goal. To bring a smile to somebody’s face, to make somebody laugh, to make their heart happy. So when I get to have my dreams come true by performing in front of these people and making them happy, it’s a simpatico relationship. It’s wonderful to be able to bring a little bit of sunshine, or a little bit of joy, into somebody’s day. 

Q: Do you think your degree in music business has helped? What advice would you give to upcoming musicians regarding education?

A: I would definitely say to go get an education first of all. I did major in music business with an emphasis in marketing from Belmont University and I would strongly encourage anyone to seek out the business side of the music industry first because the performance side is always going to be with you. You can always hone your craft, but if you get duped along the way because somebody pulled the wool over your eyes because you don’t know what you’re talking about contractually or otherwise, then you’re out of luck. To me, I would strongly advise anyone to at least minor in the music business side of things if they want to seek their performance career. I think that it has helped me and my career. Because one, I know how to market myself somewhat ... I know what mechanical royalties mean. I know who I have to pay for what. So I don’t think I’m going to get duped.

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