Now that Clairdee rolled up her sleeves for 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, she will roll up her sleeves and get again to touring as an acclaimed jazz vocalist.
“I’m ready till issues are little safer to get out and mingle with people,” she mentioned.
So, for now, it’s a pre-recorded streamed occasion Sunday, April 11, 5 p.m., on behalf of the Vallejo Jazz Society as Clairdee is joined by her pianist and husband Ken French and bass participant Ron Belcher.
April is Jazz Appreciation Month and April thirtieth is Worldwide Jazz Day.
“With that in thoughts we determined that an April streaming live performance is certainly so as,” mentioned Kevin Ingraham, president of the VJS.
Clairdee’s final real-people-in-the-audience gig was March 8, 2020 for her album launch, “Love Letter to Lena Horne.”
Her live performance the next evening on the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley was canceled — and all the pieces else after that.
“My final efficiency with an viewers. Bizarre,” Clairdee mentioned by telephone from her San Francisco house.
Clairdee did a “streaming factor” for the Freight & Salvage final December, and a vacation present in Washington state to carry out with the Vancouver Symphony in an empty auditorium.
“Me on one aspect and plexiglass in all places,” recalled Clairdee. “It was laborious to listen to.”
Positive, there have been considerations about flying. So she was handled to First Class air and a lodge suite together with her personal kitchen.
“I felt good as soon as I received there,” she mentioned, emphasizing that the music “was therapeutic for me.”
Fortuitously, Clairdee mentioned, “Washington considers musicians important staff. They did take each security measure potential. I felt actually secure.”
Why California doesn’t contemplate musicians important “is an effective query,” Clairdee mentioned.
“Let me name (San Francisco) Mayor (London) Breed and the governor,” she quipped. “We’re important. Folks want music.”
The pandemic undoubtedly triggered Clairdee to go the longest with out publicly showcasing her pipes. There was that point she went “a month or so” with out a efficiency “solely as a result of I needed to take break day. This has been so unusual.”
Sure, she sings at house. Day by day.
“I’m at all times singing. Nevertheless it isn’t the identical. You want that interplay with musicians and the depth of the music,” she mentioned.
Due to the layoff and fretting her allergic reactions, Clairdee was cautious of that live performance with the Vancouver Symphony.
“I bear in mind sitting there attempting to heat up and the voice was not there,” she mentioned. “I used to be actually afraid. ‘What’s going to occur if I get there and I can’t sing?’ Fortuitously, that didn’t occur.”
Clairdee’s grateful that she doesn’t need to enterprise far for her accompanist, residing and all that with French, her husband of 21 years.
“I’m very lucky,” she mentioned. “Not solely does my husband play superbly, he loves accompanying singers. The beautiful factor about our relationship is that he could be training and it may be so soothing.”
She doubts it’s reciprocal.
“I’m singing round the home on a regular basis. No matter pops into my thoughts. It should drive him loopy,” Clairdee mentioned, grateful there’s “an actual simpatico of how we strategy the music from an association standpoint. We’ve this nice connection.”
Not surprisingly, music introduced the 2 collectively although it took a decade for a date to materialize.
Clairdee was headlining an AIDS profit on the Fairmont Lodge in San Francisco in 1988 and French was pianist for an additional vocalist.
French later admitted that Clairdee caught his eye at that occasion.
“I didn’t know any of this till 10 years later,” she mentioned. “He mentioned he gave me his card however I don’t keep in mind that.”
For a decade, French and a colleague would catch Clairdee’s performances, finally evaluating feminine vocalists to her.
“They’d go hear another person and say, ‘She’s good, however she’s no Clairdee.’ I had no concept,” Clairdee mentioned.
It was 1998 and she or he returned from Paris needing a piano participant. And French walked by. He did the gig. And the connection wasn’t historical past, however the future.
“I wasn’t conscious he had a crush on me,” Clairdee mentioned. “He was such a pleasant man and a gentleman. I needed to know him higher.”
Lastly, the primary date: Dinner and a play. Once they arrived on the theater, it was the identical musical director Clairdee had on the Fairmont 10 years earlier. It was future.
And right here they’re, doing a streamed recorded present and nonetheless making music collectively, together with the tribute tunes to Lena Horne.
Clairdee recalled that she was 4 listening to her mother and father discuss Horne.
“My mother and father, beloved, beloved, beloved her. Not as a result of she was beautiful and so they beloved her singing. They actually revered her civil rights and social justice actions,” Clairdee mentioned. “That made her topnotch for them. They took her instance and shared it with their kids.”
Horne died in 2010 at 92. But when Clairdee may have ever met her, “I requested if I might be her daughter,” she mentioned laughing.
Severely, “I don’t know. I did a lot analysis on her; studying her books and her biography and many critiques,” Clairdee mentioned. “I might simply have appreciated to be in her presence.”
Clairdee would have hugged Horne, little question. It’s simply her factor, which makes social distancing much more troublesome.
“I’m a hugger. I give nice hugs and I miss that,” Clairdee mentioned. “The human contact is actually necessary and giving somebody a hug is a splendidly therapeutic expertise. I miss the cuddling.”
The Vallejo Jazz Society presents Clairdee in a streamed live performance, Sunday, April 11, 5 p.m. Free. Donations accepted.
For extra, go to vallejojazzsociety.org.