Paula Harris is an award winning singer with a truly world-class band, many of whom hold Grammy Awards! Offering band combos from 4-10 pcs, they're seasoned professionals who've performed the world over and Yoshi's, Biscuits & Blues, Blue Note, Top of the Mark and more. Unique blends of Jazz, Soul & Blues will be the perfect foil for your event and can be tailored towards your needs, be that an elegant background or as funky and danceable as you desire! Paula has been compared to Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin. She can be Elegant, Soulful or Bluesy, and is always FUN, with years of experience Paula can provide exactly what YOU need to make yours the PERFECT impressive event!
Price Range: $900-$10K (includes travel within US)
Gig Length: 45 - 240 minutes
What to Expect
With a degree in Event and Meeting planning, Paula understands both the planning and performance side of an event. She has performed at literally thousands of Weddings, parties, corporate events, Galas, festivals and other venues. She understands how to make an evening flow perfectly through the requirements of each event. She can also accommodate special requests such as toasts, announcements etc and work them seamlessly into the show.
"Paula's show was the first time in years that all the managers had smiles on their faces because the music was perfect! The crowd was happy and dancing yet the seated patrons were able to easily hold conversations without having to scream over the band. The vocals were easily discernable over the music and the musicians and song selections were top notch. A totally professional act that knows how to put on a show without taking over the venue"
Bilal Hodge- Manager, Top of the Mark- San Francisco.
"I hire world-class National and International acts on a nightly basis and Paula is much better than most of them. She is a Bay Area Treasure" Steven Suen- Owner, Biscuits and Blues-San Francisco.
"Paula is Hands down the best vocalist to ever grace our stage and the crowd loved her! We're looking forward to having her back" Denton Morrell- Booking Manager- Blues on Whyte, Edmonton Canada.
Paula offers several band formats from her trio plus vocals to her 8pc funky blues band and her 8pc 70's Dance Band. She also offers all acoustic options, as well as a variety of extremely versatile additions to tailor your show to be exactly what you are looking for. She can bring in horn sections who all hold Grammy Awards, Soul and funk male vocalist Fred Ross- who is also a bay area icon after his stints at Harry Denton's Starlight Room, and tours with Pee Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Tower of Power, Sly & the Family Stone as well as the Soul Soldiers. She can even accommodate Jazz lovers with the addition of 2 time Grammy winning violinist, Mads Tolling- should your needs require. Paula can also accommodate special song requests for things such as a "First Dance" or a special arrangement of a theme song or other requirement. *One free 4pc rhythm section arrangement will be provided per event. If special arrangements for strings or horns are required- a nominal fee will be charged to chart the songs.
Paula's normal setlists can run the range of jazz from the great American Songbook to more modern smooth jazz, Blues, from the great chanteuses of the 40's through the 60's, to original contemporary styles, as well as classic soul, disco and R&B material that fits Paula's unique vibe. Should you desire- set lists can be weighted more heavily towards one genre than others to meet your specific needs. It is a tremendously versatile group that can accommodate almost anyone's needs.
All the musicians Paula hires are professional, prompt, dependable, and no use of drugs or alcohol at shows. Music can make or break an event or party and Paula understands what these special occasions need and how to give it to her clients. Her communication and professional outlook make her a delight to work with.
Multiple Blues and Music Award Nominee, Paula Harris, is one of those rare “Genuine singers” who can authentically sing the full spectrum of both Jazz and Blues. Raised in South Carolina, Paula is a classically trained vocalist who has performed with Multiple Symphonies and Orchestras. After stints as a beauty queen, compulsive talent show competitor, and finally a corporate band "Hired gun", Paula decided to launch her career as a musical artist as a 40 something. A feat many said was futile at her age. All were proven wrong.
After forming her funky blues band, The Beasts of Blues, in 2012, She burst onto the scene, winning the Golden Gate Blues Society's Battle of the bands, the Monterey Blues festivals "Battle of the Bands" and then bringing home top honors in the largest Battle of the Bands competition in the world, The International Blues Challenge. This competition is held annually in Memphis TN and featured more than 150 bands from 40 states and almost that many countries. She then branched out with a corporate Dance band, called "The Big Funkin Dance Party" with a Grammy-winning horn section, that specializes in all the brass laden hooks of your favorite dance music from the 60's and 70's. This band has sold out every show they have done and kept the dance floor packed at each event! Paula also has a Jazz acoustic trio called "The Sons Of Swagger" This trio plus vocals delivers a surprising amount of punch for a smaller combo. They dish out a mix of original music, popular covers of jazz, soft soul and blues, and have a new album coming on in 2018! Paula Has been busy with these acts and since 2012 she has been written up in numerous magazines, newspapers, and reviews and has also received airplay on a global level on more than 3000 stations. Her accolades include being called “The Rightful Heir of Etta James”(At the Crossroads Magazine), Compared to Ruth Brown (The Monterey Herald), The great Sarah Vaughan (Blues Blast Magazine), and called “A Force of Nature” (Cashbox Magazine) “She’s a sassy singer with a remarkably wide range, near-perfect intonation, and astounding breath control. She knows the value of subtlety when the material calls for it and she achieves an uncanny balance between tenderness and virtuosity” (Living Blues Magazine) She's obviously hard to describe and the list of iconic names used in the press and media in attempts to do so include not only the previously mentioned names but also those of Aretha Franklin, Bessie Smith, Beth Hart, Gladys Knight , Gloria Lynn, Marlena Shaw and even Phyllis Hyman and Diane Schuur, two of Paula's admitted influences. As you can see the list covers the full gamut of Jazz, Blues and Soul genres- as does Paula.
She has Southern Charm, an Earthy Sassy personality, a monstrously large voice and an impish sense of humor. She tends to run the gamut of emotions in a show and frequently, at appropriate venues, intersperses personal stories of how her original songs were inspired as well as hilarious recounts of incidents from her rich life and small-town southern upbringing.
Her repertoire pulls from classic gems of the 40’s to present day, as well as original material that blends seamlessly with her, shows vibe. Her off-the-beaten-path song selection bursting with humor, passion, and soul, delivered with stunning vocal prowess as well as the unique arrangements and the unbelievable energy these four musicians deliver all stand to justify why their shows are always packed with an ever-expanding fan base. “Paula is a superb vocalist, songwriter, and interpreter of the music she sings. Her ability to take and hold center stage is amazing indeed. Her live performances are heady, slinky and downright sexy! She mixes Jazz & Blues with ample attitude and sheer joy. There is no room for disappointment when this lady sings the Blues! (Blues 411)
Paula Has performed at The Blue Note, Yoshi's, The Montalvo Performing Arts Center, Lesher Center for Performing Arts, The Orpheum Theater- Memphis,The Fox Theater, Atlanta, The Peace Center- Greenville SC, as well as with the Long Bay Symphony(SC) , the Atlanta ”Pops” Symphony, and a 10 year stint fronting the Carere Orchestras (GA). She was a 2 year resident vocalist at San Francisco’s famed “Top of the Mark” Jazz Club who has worked with Oleta Adams, Rick Stevens(Tower of Power) , Cold Blood, Tom E. Politzer(Tower of Power), Mic Gilette (Tower of Power/Santana) Joe Gransden, William Bell and dozens of other acts.
Additional Booking Notes
Paula and her band can provide all equipment, cords, microphones and instruments required for any show. There are some case where a backline is provided such as a festival etc. Paula and co. can be flexible when these situations arise.
In cases where there is no house PA/sound in place, One can be provided for a minimal additional fee should it be required.
Lighting is never supplied and adequate electrical outlets must be present near staging area.
Upcoming Booked Events
|March 24, 2018 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Civic Auditorium- Liberty SC|
Past Booked Events
|March 23, 2018 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Civic Auditorium- Liberty SC|
|December 31, 2017–January 01, 2018 • 9:00pm - 12:30am||PENDING|
|December 29, 2017 • 9:00pm - 11:55pm||Smoking Pig BBQ|
|December 08, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:00pm||Savanna Jazz|
|November 15, 2017 • 7:00pm - 11:00pm||ANgelica's Bell Theater|
|November 04, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:30pm||Savanna Jazz|
|October 27, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:30pm||Savanna Jazz|
|October 26, 2017 • 7:00pm - 11:00pm||Top Of The Mark|
|October 25, 2017 • 7:00pm - 11:00pm||Fox Theater|
|October 21, 2017 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Corporate Event|
|October 17, 2017 • 7:30pm - 11:30pm||Biscuits and Blues|
|October 14, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:30pm||Savanna Jazz|
|October 06, 2017 • 8:00pm - 11:00pm||Private Party|
|October 01, 2017 • 7:30pm - 11:30pm||Biscuits & Blues|
Keep in mind I have Several band formats. So here are some sample setlists.
JAZZ TRIO TUNES:
Blues In the Night
Betcha By Golly Wow
Caught a Touch of Your Love
Don't Get Around Much
Fly Me To The Moon
Forever And A Day (Original)
Good Morning Heartache
Is You Is or Is You Ain't
Just the Two Of Us
Mercy Mercy Mercy
My Aunt Jean( Original)
What You won't do
Very Thought Of You
What a Difference a Day Makes
You Don't Look A Day Over Fabulous ( Original)
DANCE BAND TUNES:
Ain't No Stopping Us Now
Boogie Oogie Oogie
Back In Love
Can't Get Enough of Your Love
Could it Be I'm Falling In Love
Chain of Fools
Got To Use My Imagination
Hold On I'm Coming
I Will Survive
I'll Be Around
It's Your Thing
Let's Stay Together
Midnight Train To Georgia
Pick Up The Pieces
Rock With You
So Very Hard To Go
Shake Your Body Down
Touch of the Blues (Original)
Trouble Maker (Original)
What's Going On
Will It Go Round In Circles
BLUES BAND TUNES:
Cast the First Stone (Original)
Damn Your Eyes
Don't Do Me At All(original)
Dust My Broom
I Play Dirty
I will Survive
Long John BLues
Just Don't Look Good Naked (Original)
Learn From My Mistake(Original)
Million Dollar Secret
Nothing Good After Midnight( Original)
Nick of Too Late ( Original)
One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
Scratches On Your Back(Original)
Something Wicked( Original)
So Very Hard To Go
Soul Sucker ( Original)
Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues
Times Have Changed ( Original)
Too Much Butt
Turning On The Naughty(Original)
Valentine/Back in Black Mash up
Wanna Hate Myself Tomorrow(original)
Box Of Blues(Original)
Baby It's Cold Outside
Christmas is Special to me ( Outside)
Christmas Eve Round Midnight
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Just a Little Snow
Let there Be Peace On Earth
Let it Snow
Man with the Bag
Most Wonderful Time of Year
My Favorite Things
Please Come Home For Christmas
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
There Was Santa(Oiginal)
What Are You Doing New Years Eve
Influences & Inspiration
Phyllis Hyman, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan and Diane Schuur influenced my vocal tone and style. I also love the musical approach- especially in regards to song arrangement that Marlena Shaw, Gloria Lynn, Etta James and Etta Jones, and Della Reese all have. To be honest most modern singers don't do much for me- though I do like Amy Winehouse, Adele and a few others.
I grew up listening to everything from Motown to Funk, Soul, Disco Blues, Jazz, Rockabilly, Swing, Big Band, Pop and even House music. I am a true musical mutt. And even though my overall vocal sound is very soulful- the songs I sing can be of almost any genre. But I also really dig the retro-hip vibe of 60's and 70's soul and jazz as well as the modern bass-driven sound of smooth jazz. I also love the swampy greasy vibe of Soul- blues! I also love the way the simplicity of a blues form allows me to vamp various melodic options over them.
I tend to gravitate towards songs that have interesting intervals- such as are found in Jazz, But I love the funky hip-shaking rhythms of the funk and soul genres and the passion and forms of blues. And I also love the interesting syncopations and rhythms of the big band genre.
I am a true musical mutt! But I can say you will never hear "Canned" or synthetic instrumentation in anything I do. Nor will you ever hear cheesy overdone arrangements with no thought or creativity. I surround myself with the best musicians around and we allow our creative juices to dictate what we play and how we play it. The result is one-of-a-kind and unforgettable!
This changes with each event. TBD on a case by case basis
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