Thursday, October 16, 2014

Joan Belgrave brings Dinah Washington to the Dennos

The +Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College will present the Detroit based Jazz vocalist Joan Belgrave in Joan Belgrave sings Dinah Washington: featuring the Lisa McCall Dancers on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM in Milliken Auditorium. Tickets are $27 advance, $30 at the door and $24 for museum members plus fees. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Museum Box office at 231-995-1553 or on line at, also at 1-800-836-0717 or

Calling herself the "Queen of the Blues” and considered “the most popular black female recording artist of the '50s,” Dinah Washington, was born Ruth Lee Jones (1924 – 1963). She was recognized mainly as a jazz vocalist, though she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music. Ain't Misbehavin, Unforgettable, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes, Teach Me Tonight, and Please Send Me Someone to Love were among her many hit songs.

Joan Belgrave (vocalist, producer, and songwriter) began her musical career like so many others, singing in the choir of the Baptist church. While her gospel roots run deep, (as did Dinah’s), her study of classical voice allowed her to perform in various genres of music from Jazz, Blues, and Gospel to Soul.

She has her own powerful jazzy/blues style, and lists Billie Holiday as her influence. On this, “Joan Sings Dinah Washington” show, she performs songs from Dinah’s hits’ on the Blues, Jazz & R&B charts. While Dinah was born in Alabama, later moving to Chicago, you will learn of Dinah’s deep Detroit connections in Belgrave’s tribute to her.

Joan will be joined on stage by her husband, the noted Detroit trumpeter, Marcus Belgrave, surrounded by an equally significant cadre of noted jazz musicians including Marcus Elliott - Tenor, Michael Malis -Piano, Marion Hayden - Bass, Gayelynn McKinney - Drums, and Al Chishom (The Contours ) - on vocals with special guest - Jeff Haas. Rounding out the production will be the Lisa McCall Dancers.

Joan Belgrave sings Dinah Washington has been reviewed as... "explosive",... "Joan has Dinah in her soul"...".. powerful soulful story of a great jazz legend"...."Joan brings Dinah's story to life"'ll laugh and you'll cry... a must see show!

What others are saying about her as a performer:
"The versatile jazz vocalist Joan Belgrave knows her way around a lot styles, and she’s a lively entertainer to boot" ---Mark Stryker Detroit Free Press

“Belgrave's voice is so soothing and sexy, she could give a pit bull goose bumps” -- Charles Latimer-
Detroit Metro Times

"a class act...gospel, jazz, blues and neo soul... Joan is the evolution of the blues" -- Afrikahn Jahmal
Dayvs, KKUP San Jose, CA

"Joan is a real treat, and together with Marcus Belgrave, this is an act that is a must see and hear.. a great voice, well trained, her voice is deep, smooth and polished...a class act and a beautiful talent" --Paul Youngman - – Toronto

"Vocalist Belgrave deserved the standing ovation in her tribute to Ray Charles with You Don’t Know Me, transporting patrons (of the theatre) to a smoky nightclub with her soulful voice."- -- NATANGA SMITH-Barbados, WI- Nation paper

The 2014-2015 performance season at the Dennos Museum Center is made possible with support from arts Midwest, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert T and Ruth Haidt Trust, and the Osterlin Performance Endowment with media support from WNMC 90.7, WCMU Public Broadcasting, Northern Express and TV 29&8 – 7&4. Housing for our performers is provided by the Cambria Suites and Country Inn and Suites.

The Dennos Museum Center is open daily 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday’s until 8 PM and Sundays 1-5 PM. For more information on the Museum and its programs, go to or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos Museum Center is located at 1410 College Dr., Traverse City, MI 49686, at the entrance to the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.

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