Smithsonian Tribute Honors Mildred Bailey

Are we seeing a Mildred Bailey revival?

First, a four-CD box set of her career, “Mildred Bailey: Sunday, Monday or Always,” is out on the Quadromania label.

Also, word comes from Washington, D.C., that local jazz singer Julia Keefe has been booked to perform a tribute concert, “Thoroughly Modern: Mildred Bailey Songs,” at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on April 11.

Bailey, born in Tekoa, Wash., and raised in Spokane, was a hit-making jazz star from the 1920s through the 1940s. You could easily make an argument that she was the second-most famous singer ever to come out of Spokane, next to her young pal, Bing Crosby.

Bailey was a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe; Keefe is a member of the Nez Perce tribe.

Local musician Tom Molter is developing the Smithsonian show with Keefe, a 2007 Gonzaga Prep graduate who’s a sophomore vocal jazz major at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Word has it that Keefe and Molter might even do a warm-up show in Spokane. Stay tuned for developments. 

Article courtesy of The Spokesman-Review

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