FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Peter Frisch, Executive Director; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATALIE COLE HEADLINES THE GRANADA “PREVIEW SEVEN”
SANTA BARBARA, CA—November 29, 2007—On March 14, the famed American chanteuse Natalie Cole ushers in a new era of classic performance at The Granada. The Granada Star Night Featuring Natalie Cole, presented by The Granada and Jacalyn Kane Productions, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the newly restored Granada. Tickets are currently available as a part of The Granada’s “Preview Seven” Subscription Series, by logging on to HYPERLINK "http://www.granadasb.org" www.granadasb.org, or calling The Granada Box Office at 805-899-2222. Single tickets will go on sale in January.
Cole’s performance coincides with the official Grand Re-Opening of the 1924 theatre, renowned for historic performances from greats including Eddie Cantor, Will Rogers, Helen Hayes, Martha Graham, Sir John Gielgud, Henry Fonda, Al Jolson, The Berlin Philharmonic and so many more.
Cole kicks off seven dynamic events in The Granada “Preview Seven,” a subscription series that marks the return of live performance at the treasured Santa Barbara entertainment venue in more than five years. The Granada, which will reopen in March, 2008 after a three-year restoration, recently announced its complete lineup of seventeen “Preview Season” events, a short season from March to May showcasing an array of performing arts genres.
For a full lineup of The Granada’s first season, log on to HYPERLINK "http://www.granadasb.org" www.granadasb.org.
As well as Cole, The Granada “Preview Seven” Subscription Series also includes the following shows: Jacalyn Kane Productions presents America on Sunday, April 6; The Granada presents Mandy Patinkin In Concert with Paul Ford on piano on Friday, April 11; Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular, a Steve Love production, follows on Friday, April 25; Jam Theatricals presents The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller, arrangements and groundbreaking music from Composer Chip Davis, on Wednesday, April 30; The Granada presents Diavolo, a technological world of dancers, gymnasts, actors and athletes on Saturday, May 10; and the series concludes with State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society as they present Carmina Burana, a world premiere, on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1. For subscription information log on to HYPERLINK "http://www.granadasb.org" www.granadasb.org or call The Granada Box Office at 805-899-2222.
The Latest On Natalie Cole
Now with Leavin’, which Cole collaborated on closely with famed R&B producer Dallas Austin (TLC, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Janet Jackson, etc.), the 8-time Grammy Award winning, chart-topping vocalist has managed to make a decidedly eclectic collection of cover songs her own. The outstanding tracks include a vivid update of the 1972 Aretha Franklin classic “Day Dreaming” (already the first hit from the album) to more surprising covers from a wide range of contemporary artists including imaginative interpretations of songs by Fiona Apple (“Criminal”), Shelby Lynne (“Leavin’”), as well as surprising takes on Neil Young’s classic “Old Man,” and the Isley Brothers’ sexy bedroom jam “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love).”
Leavin’ does not represent the second coming of Natalie Cole, more like the third or fourth coming, actually. Cole, the daughter of the late great Nat “King” Cole, first made her own good name with a series of fine albums for Capitol Records in the Seventies and early Eighties that found her working with the writing and producing team of Marvin Yancy and Chuck Jackson. Albums like Inseparable, Natalie, Thankful and Unpredictable included an impressive stream of hit songs, including no less than five #1 hits on the Black Singles chart: “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable,” “Sophisticated Lady (She’s A Different Lady),” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind” and “Our Love.” In 1975, Cole won the Grammy® for Best New Artist as well as the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The next year she won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Sophisticated Lady (She’s A Different Lady).” During the remainder of the Eighties after leaving Capitol, Cole worked with a number of different labels and producers, and continued to record more hits like “Miss You Like Crazy” and a left-field smash cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” that effectively reinvented a retro rocker into a major dance smash.
Cole’s career again took a major turn with the release of Unforgettable: With Love, an album that rightly went to #1 on the Billboard Album charts and won the Grammy® Awards for Album Of The Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, while the song “Unforgettable,” which used groundbreaking technology to allow Cole to duet with her late father’s voice, received the Grammy® for Record Of The Year. Following this wildly popular and influential release, Cole’s career took a jazzier turn, and her recordings won further Grammy accolades during the Nineties, including Best Jazz Vocal for “Take A Look” in 1993 and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “When I Fall In Love” in 1996. Now once again with Leavin’, Cole has taken a great creative leap forward only this time in a direction that feels both familiar and fresh.
“I do keep reinventing myself,” Cole says with a good-natured laugh. Unforgettable gave me a new career and the kind of opportunities that few artists ever get to have. It put me on the map as a jazz singer and put that album on the map as a musical phenomenon that only happens from time to time. But now I’m ready to do something else because that’s just me.”
And so Cole decided to go back to her future. “I started incorporating my R&B material back into my live performance,” she explains. “I’d start with “Unforgettable” then make the turn with some song and then go over to the R&B stuff, so by the end of the show with something like “This Will Be,” people would be on their feet. I missed that energy.” Cole says that the real spark for recording Leavin’ was desperation. “Good things come out of desperation,” she says. “I really wanted to make another album, something different, but the material just wasn’t there for me. My tour manager said, ‘Why don’t you do some covers?’ and I said, ‘That’s all I’ve been doing.’ And he said, ‘No, take some contemporary songs, and cover those.’ And I said, ‘That’s an idea.’ In a way, that’s part of the reason why this record is called Leavin’. For me, it represents a departure, a move towards something new.”
Part of what makes Leavin’ so moving is the creative partnership that Cole enjoyed with Dallas Austin. “In the beginning, we started talking about him just doing three or four songs. He said fine. He was also challenged because he had never done cover songs either — he’s a songwriter and a producer. But he said that he wanted to work with me. The next thing we knew 4 songs, 5 songs, 6 songs and he ended up doing the whole thing with me. We were blown away, but we were having such a good time. It was just three musicians, including Dallas, guys from there in Atlanta, and it was magical. Going to Atlanta sparked something in me. It took me back to when I first went to Chicago to make my first Capitol records. It was so nice. It was so creative — we were in the studio 12-14-hour days and we couldn’t wait to get back in the next day. Everybody was really on the same page.”
“What Dallas did was to give me a playground in which to experiment and then we’d decide what worked,” said Cole. “He never said no. He was just so supportive, which was really important to me. The session for this album has a great energy to it and part of the reason is the consistency of the musicians. There’s a lot of love and vibe on these tracks, and I think that comes through loud and clear.”
What comes through loud and clear on every track of Leavin’ is not just a lot of love and vibe, but also an infectious sense of excitement and rediscovery. “You can call it a comeback,” Cole says with a laugh. Indeed, Natalie Cole’s latest musical statement shows her coming back to contemporary material with the passion of a new artist and the skill of an artist very much at the peak of her powers.