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    For music lovers who need a break from March Madness, the best bet for next week is Tuesday's show at the Mercury Ballroom featuring fiery rock-jazz-caberet singer Storm Large and her band, accompanied by Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams on piano. Large, who recently sang with the LO last September, returns to town for a night that promises to be a showcase for her multifaceted vocal talents.

    Large was with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra when I spoke with her, and after Louisville, continues a busy schedule that will take her to Carnegie Hall in New York for a show that celebrates Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. The down side of being so much in demand is that she will have little time to indulge in Louisville's food scene. "You guys have fantastic bourbons...your food scene is wonderful. I love your restaurants. I had a really fantastic time the last time I was in Louisville."

    Large began by playing clubs in San Francisco and Portland before becoming well-known as a contender on the CBS reality show Rock Star in 2006. In addition to her several bands and solo projects, Large has begun singing with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the New York Pops. She sang in Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the LO this season -- a plum role that won her significant praise as a "show stealer" from the New York Times when she performed it at Carnegie Hall with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It was during this time that she first met Abrams, who invited her to perform with the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, OR, and then brought her to Louisville last Fall. "I love working with him because he is such an exuberant energy and just made of music the way he conducts and the way he thinks."

    Even though she has become somewhat renowned as an interpreter of Weill, who she calls a "weird, deep genius," Large admits that she doesn't fit into the classical mold. "I'm weird--I'm not a classically trained diva -- chanteuse -- I'm an old rock and roll person.... The orchestras who book me, who want me, tend to be a little more free-spirited and a little more fun. And Teddy absolutely exemplifies that." 

    Tuesday night's show brings them together again with a little help from their friends. "Teddy's gonna jump up with my band a couple times, and I think we're going to have  a string quartet for a part of the show from the Louisville Orchestra, and it's just going to be fun."

    "You'll get some rock and roll, you'll get some selections from the Amerian Song Book, you'll get some contemporary standards...and there probably will be some surprises. I'm going to put some songs in a hat and let Teddy pick 'em and try to figure them out." 

    As a testament to Large's all-embracing musical background, the songwriters and bands she names as important and influential are all over the map. You might hear just about anything when she takes the stage: Bad Brains and Black Sabbath share time alongside Cole Porter, Randy Newman, and Tom Waits, as well as her own songs and those of friends like Chicago's Adam Mackintosh

    Tickets for the March 24 show at the Mercury Ballroom range from $30-75. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. All ages are welcome. You may also purchase tickets from the Louisville Palace Box Office, 625 South Fourth Street. 

    Listen to Storm sing "I've Got You Under My Skin," from her latest release, Le Bonheur:

    Selena Frye's picture

    About Selena Frye

    I'm a writer and editor living in Louisville since 1996. I'm originally from the Blue Ridge of Virginia.

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