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KCUR's Band Of The Week: Oleta Adams

Courtesy Oleta Adams
Oleta Adams

A popular lounge singer in Kansas City in the 1980s, Oleta Adams had a massive pop hit in 1991 with the heartfelt ballad “Get Here.” She's back in town on Sunday for a main-stage performance at the Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Adams' distinctively dusky voice sounds as inviting as ever on Third Set. Her first album in eight years, it is intended to convey the relaxed atmosphere of a working band’s third and final set of the evening. The album's “Do I Move You?” is a fresh arrangement of a Nina Simone composition that the legend recorded on her 1967 album Nina Sings the Blues:

Fun backstory: The members of Tears For Fears “discovered” Adams as they relaxed in a hotel bar during a during a tour stop in Kansas City, and Adams is featured on Tears For Fears’ 1989 hit “Woman In Chains.”

The Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival, the latest incarnation of the American Jazz Museum’s annual large-scale event, begins Friday, May 26.  Adams performs on the main stage at 8:30 on Sunday, May 28. Among a lengthy list of local and national performers are the jazz legend Chick Corea and the neo-soul artist Lalah Hathaway.

Bill Brownlee’s writing appears weekly in The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine. He blogs about Kansas City’s jazz scene at Plastic Sax.

KCUR contributor Bill Brownlee blogs about Kansas City's jazz scene at plasticsax.com.
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