Popular Jazz Vocalist Returns To Rim Country

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One of the most popular artists brought to the Rim Country by the Payson Friends of Jazz and Jazz in AZ returns in March.

Judy Roberts, a jazz pianist and vocalist, is once again bringing her intimate and versatile style to Payson for a performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St. in Payson.

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Judy Roberts returns to the Rim Country in March, bringing her intimate style of music to the Community Presbyterian Church as part of the ongoing jazz concert series hosted by the Payson Friends of Jazz and Jazz in AZ.

Roberts creates a relaxed and entertaining rapport with her audience, often chatting with them about the origins of her music.

This is the fifth time Roberts has appeared as part of the ongoing series, and this year she will be accompanied by her husband, world-class saxophonist, Greg Fishman. Joining the couple in their March performance will be Ted Sistrunk on bass and local drummer Gerry Reynolds.

The Chicago Tribune has awarded Roberts, who is a Chicago native, the title of "Chicago's Favorite Jazz Woman." Roberts is also recognized as a worldwide jazz star, with success of both her international recordings and concert performances.

From the Midwest to Phoenix to Singapore, Roberts is best known for her fun-loving approach to an eclectic and extensive repertoire, her hard-swinging piano playing, her ability to combine lush and sensitive vocals with rapid-fire scat singing, and for her ability to communicate with her audience.

A multiple Grammy nominee, her 20-plus album/CD releases include vintage, bebop, swing, Cole Porter standards and the Bossa Nova of Carlos Jobim.

Downbeat Magazine said, "Roberts is a sensitive, articulate pianist, with depth and range. Her playing is laced with intense, freshly voiced choral passages. Her singing is delicate and breathy or worldly and sultry, in accordance with the mood."

The Washington Post said, Judy's accompanist Greg Fishman's "boppish dexterity isn't his only strength, as he brings a warm soulful, singing tone to several ballads that sometimes recalls the logic and lyricism of Stan Getz."

The Chicago Tribune said, "Fishman can play in a variety of styles, but he slips into the gently swaying rhythms of Brazilian music with particular charm."

Expect an outstanding performance on Saturday, March 10.

While the event is free, a donation of $5 or more at the door is appreciated. These contributions are the only means the Payson Friends of Jazz and Jazz in AZ have of bringing quality musicians to Payson. For planning purposes, leave a message with Gerry Reynolds at (480) 785-1278, or gerryr@cox.net giving the number who may attend. A few volunteers are needed to help with greeting and serving refreshments.

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