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Kevyn Lettau is celebrating the release of her brand new CD, Drawn To You, at Anthology in Little Italy at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.

The new disc features pop-jazz superstar Russell Ferrante of the fusion group, The Yellowjackets on keyboards, Mike Miller on guitar, Scott Mayo on saxophone, Glen Fischer on bass and Matt Starr on drums.

Lettau co-wrote the core of the album with Ferrante a few years back, but didn't have the opportunity to record them until this year. The disc features a mix of mostly contemporary jazz with one Brazilian-flavored tune and a slow cover of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles.

Lettau grew up in Germany, and came to San Diego when she was 14. While still in her teens, she joined a band, Dance Of The Universe, led by guitarist Peter Sprague.

Dance Of The Universe soon became a local jazz phenomenon, playing in clubs and concerts throughout the area. They released several self-produced records including You Make Me Want To Sing, and The Space Between Two Thoughts.

In the early 80s Dance Of The Universe took up a long term residency as the house-band at a nightclub located on the top floor of the Hotel La Jolla, then called Elarios. The band's unique blend of Brazilian music, straight-ahead jazz, and covers of tunes by Chick Corea and Weather Report had really gelled by then, and the shows were often unforgettable.

Lettau definitely came into her own as a singer at this point. In addition to her instrumentally astonishing voice and crystal clear articulation, she has the innate ability to connect emotionally with the lyrical meaning of the songs she performs.

When she's singing an up-tempo piece, Lettau soars above the harmony with a joy that's infectious, and she can break your heart on a ballad.

The singer got a huge break in 1984, when she was "discovered" by Brazilian superstar Sergio Mendez. She would spend the next eight years in his ensemble, which won a Grammy Award for his album, Brasileiro.

In 1992, she signed with the important JVC Jazz record label, recording several albums, including two classic discs, Simple Life and Another Season.

Lettau got married and moved to Los Angeles with her husband, musician Michael Shapiro for more than 20 years. While there, she developed the vocal curriculum for the LA Music Academy, and taught at the Musician's Institute, in addition to recording and performing regularly.

After a divorce, she moved back to San Diego two years ago. In 2008, she and Sprague recorded an intimate duo release called What Is Enough on Sprague's SBE records. The two have a monthly gig at the Roxy in North County, and she continues to teach and perform.

Photo by Michael Oletta

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