"Just Like A Woman"

w/ Rhonda Benin, Ashling Cole, Destiny Muhammad, Lady Bianca, MZSwitched, Valerie Troutt, Veronica Klaus, and Tammy Hall

Saturday, March 8, 2014, 8:00 pm
(doors open at 7:00 pm)

$23 advance / $25 door

Purchase tickets online
March 08 8:00 pm

In honor of Women’s History Month, an all-star lineup of Bay Area musicians – featuring Rhonda Benin, Ashling Cole, Destiny Muhammad, Lady Bianca, MZSwitched, Valerie Troutt, Veronica Klaus, and Tammy Hall – takes the stage at the Freight to celebrate women: the achievements, the challenges, and the continuing struggle for an equal voice in the music business and in all walks of life.

Rhonda BeninRhonda Benin, the producer of the show, is known for her satiny voice, magnetic stage personality, funny sense of humor, and fine dance moves. She sings blues, big band, soul, pop, and African American folk. Since moving to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1989, she’s sung with Mal Sharpe’s Big Money In Jazz Band, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and her own band Soulful Strut. Her distinguished career has included performances and recordings with such legendary artists as Taj Mahal, Wilson Pickett, Richie Havens, Al Green, Jackson Browne, Hugh Masekela, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. She currently serves as Artist in Residence at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito and is on the teaching staff of Jam Camp West, Healdsburg Jazz Festivals, Operation Jazz Band, The San Francisco Arts Project, and Girl Blues and Jazz Camp, working to empower girls and young women and nurture dynamic musicians.

Ashling ColeAshling Cole started singing in the San Francisco Girls Chorus at the age of six and has gone on to perform with such artists as the Rolling Stones, Jeffrey Osborne, Patti Austin, George Clinton and P-Funk, and Jimmy Cliff. She’s currently touring with Larry Graham and Graham Central Station.

Destiny MuhammadSinger-songwriter Destiny Muhammad covers the vast musical territory from Celtic to Coltrane. She has headlined the Women in Jazz series in San Francisco and shared the stage with such artists as India.Arie, Narada Michael Walden, Marcus Shelby, John Santos, and author Alice Walker. She is currently expanding her musical horizons with the Destiny Muhammad Project.

Lady BiancaThree-time Grammy nominee Lady Bianca excels as a singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist. She came up in the Bay Area rock and roll scene, singing with Sly and the Family Stone, Frank Zappa, and Van Morrison, and going on to pursue her love for blues, gospel, and soul. The Bay Area Blues Society crowned her as New Queen of the Blues in 2009, and her sixth and latest solo album, Servin’ Notice, won praise from Blues Blast Magazine as “a nice little package of soulful blues goodness.”

MZSwitchedUpSisters Millenia and Zandra Kay, ages 14 and 11, respectively, are MZSwitchedUp, a talented and funky duo that plays songs like “Too Tight” and “Boogie Nights” as well as their own compositions. Both sisters sing and play multiple instruments. They’ve performed at the McClymonds High School Mother’s Day Breakfast, the Alameda Summer Concert Series, and at the Empress Theater in Vallejo.

Valerie TrouttOakland native Valerie Troutt sang her first church solo at the age of seven, dove into the world of jazz at Berkeley High, went deeper at Howard University, did time in New York City at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and eventually found her way back to the East Bay, where she performed with Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and currently teaches at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. Her second album, The Sound of Peace, features a mix of jazz standards and compelling originals that reflect her commitment to promote social change and self-acceptance.

Veronica KlausSan Francisco jazz and cabaret vocalist Veronica Klaus has recorded four albums, including last year’s Something Cool, which the San Francisco Chronicle called “a sizzling collection of stylish standards,” and the brand new Lee a la V, which pays tribute to the songbook of Peggy Lee. Veronica has had long-running gigs at Enrico’s, the Rrazz Room, and Martuni’s Piano Bar, and co-wrote Family Jewels – The Making of Veronica Klaus, a full-length, autobiographical theater piece that she performed at Theatre Rhinoceros.

Jazz pianist, organist, arranger, and composer Tammy Hall is a Bay Area treasure. She’s worked with such artists as Houston Person, Marcus Shelby, Etta Jones, and most recently Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers. The San Francisco Chronicle profiled Tammy in an article titled “The Soul of Jazz Piano” – “with an uncluttered, telegraphic style marked by her classical training and deep roots in the Baptist church, she gracefully combines elegance and grit.”


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