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"It's a brand-new configuration of musicians for me so I'm expecting some pleasant surprises and magic to happen," says San Diego vocalist Sharon DuBois of her upcoming concert at Liberty Hall Theatre in National City, on Sunday, May 6, 7 p.m.

"It'll be a mixture of funkified standards and music from Here I Am," said the singer, referring to her 2011 CD release.

Most local jazz fans know Ms. DuBois, either from catching her sitting in at numerous jam sessions throughout the city, or from her appearance on KUSI last year.

The sultry singer with the smoky alto has also worked with jazz legend Marshall Hawkins, in his Seahawk Mojo (modern jazz orchestra).

Influenced by Joan Armatrading, Betty Carter and Carmen McCrea, DuBois studied voice at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

You can catch a preview tonight — the vocalist performs at Haritna on El Cajon Blvd.

The Liberty Hall concert will feature some of the musicians from Here I Am, an excellent example of jazz-funk with a sound at times reminiscent of Steely Dan or The Crusaders.

Gregory McKinney will man the drums, Stephen McKinney will play bass, Joey Carano on guitar, and Ian Tordella on saxophone and flute.

"I love playing with dynamics, so there will be a lot of changing up for this show," DuBois said. "Some pieces will feature the whole band and others with a trio, and perhaps a duet or two.

"I met Joey Carano when I volunteered for Daniel Jackson's Project Love, an outreach group that visits ill and in-need musicians. I instantly loved how he plays with sensitivity , adaptability and compassion while pulling out wild rhythmical innovations. His versatility and proficiency in jazz and funk are a great asset to this group.

"I've been hearing Ian Tordella around town and love his tone and sophistication while interpreting the great standards. Then, when I saw him with his own group, and that funky, moody style they had, I could instantly hear his sound in my music.

"Stevo," was recommended to me the day before we went into rehearsals for our recording. His groove is super funky and steady...unstoppable.

"Gregory came highly recommended by John Staten (producer/drummer on Here I Am). John is in New Orleans doing Jazz Fest with Karl Denson. John said he (Gregory), had a certain 'swagger'.

Tickets are $15 general public. $10 military with identification.

Photo courtesy Sharon DuBois

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