Modern day jazz and blues diva Lavay Smith stands on the shoulders of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith when she sings. Leading her band, the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, she also evokes a time of jazz divas and sexy pinups.
Part of it is Smith's stage presence and the other part is Smith and her band's repertoire of jazz and blues classics.
Lavay also writes and sings some of her own songs from albums including “One Hour Mama” and “Everybody's Talkin' ‘Bout Miss Thing.”
The Red Hot Skillet Lickers are a prestigious bunch as well. Members of the band have performed and recorded with famed singers and musicians including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles, Taj Mahal and others.
The band's stop in Omaha for Jazz on the Green is only one of many concerts they'll play this year. Smith and her band typically keep busy with more than 200 concerts every year, including several regular gigs at San Francisco night spots.
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