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August 15th, 2012

Lindsey Webster Band plays jazz series

Lindsey Webster provided vocals during a performance at the Newburgh Jazz Series on August 8, 2012. She is pictured with bandmates Keith Slattery (keyboard), Gary Kelly (bass) and Dan Hickey (drums).
MONTGOMERY - Just how good is the Lindsey Webster Band?

“They are such a great band that it was the first time ever I have invited musicians to come back and play twice at the Series in the same season,” Aquanetta Wright, “The Ferry Godmother,” and Coordinator of the Newburgh Jazz Series, told an impressive crowd on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old Webster, swaying to the melodies of her bandmates (including Grammy Award winning keyboard player, Keith Slattery), belted out an assortment of melodies, ranging from jazz and blues to R&B and Motown. Her raspy, authentic voice skillfully carried tunes by such legendary artists as James Brown, Al Greene, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

For close to two hours, Webster, who hails from Woodstock, brought the musical goods. It’s a passion she’s owned since early childhood.

“I have always just sung,” recalled Webster, who has also played cello since third grade. “I can even remember singing to my mom, ‘Can I have a fork?’ at the dinner table.”

Over time, Webster found herself gravitating toward a certain type of singer; “any voice doing acrobatic stuff.” Mariah Carey, Brian McKnight and Chaka Khan emerged as her guiding influences. It wasn’t long before she was sharing the stage with some big names in the business - Michael Bolton, Tommy Cash, Gary Puckett and Jimmy Sturr. Her resume also includes a warm up for Vonda Shepard.

Most recently, it was an e-mail from Wright that got her energy flowing. The Ferry Godmother had been tantalized by the tunes of the Lindsey Webster Band, and immediately wanted them to join her new Newburgh Jazz venue at the Arboretum, located at Thomas Bull Memorial Park. Accepting the offer, Webster and company took the stage for Wright back in mid-June; she was instantly hooked.

“It’s absolutely beautiful here; a very magical place,” said Webster about the Arboretum backdrop. “I feel like I’m dreaming when I’m here, just so surreal.”

Webster was equally impressed by Wright, the Jazz Series’ leader.

“Aquanetta is such a great person to work for; she is just always so happy and positive,” said Webster. “She truly believes in what she is doing, and that’s just amazing to be a part of.”

Wright, who is in her eighth year of spearheading the popular, free outdoor summer Series’, is quick to cite the motivation behind her work and passion.

“We are affecting a lot of people with music,” Wright told Wednesday’s crowd, reclined on lawn chairs. “I really want to help these musicians and push their careers.”

There are two more weeks still remaining on the Summer Jazz Series circuit, which has multiple sites. This week, two theme days come to the Arboretum: Earth Rhythms on Wednesday, August 15th, followed by Veteran’s Appreciation Day, on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

To find out more about these upcoming dates, or about locations and musicians, log on to
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