The lower level of Ciao Amici’s restaurant in downtown Brighton will once again resonate with live music in the second season of Kittens & Crooners, a three-concert series presented by Foguth Financial Group focusing on songs made famous by jazz vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat ‘King’ Cole – the Great American Songbook.
Those standards, sung and played consistently over multiple generations, are “an enduring canon of the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards that began in the early 20th century and continues to be written today,” according to five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein.
The first Kittens & Crooners series, held earlier this year, was such a success that promoters Whitney McClellan-Stone and husband Cal Stone (aka 2 Stones Events) decided to do it again.
“We followed up each of those three concerts with a short survey emailed to the attendees,” said McClellan-Stone, “and we knew we had a winner when we saw the responses.”
“One aspect that attendees really loved is the way we make the room look like a jazz nightclub or speakeasy,” said McClellan-Stone. “There are only about 100 seats for each concert, so it’s a very intimate setting – unlike any other live music show in Livingston County.”
The lineup for the 2023 season includes Paul King, Feb. 18; Sky Covington, March 18; and TBone & Camille, April 15. Pre-sale tickets were offered to 2022 attendees on Oct. 29 and are now available to the general public.
Doors for the early shows will open at 5:30 pm with the two-set concert from 6-7:30 pm. Seating for the late show will begin at 8 with two-sets from 8:30-10. There will be a ‘cash-only’ bar and tickets are priced at $25 at www.2StonesEvents.com.
“Attendees can enjoy dinner and drinks upstairs before or after the show, too,” said McClellan-Stone, “but you better call the restaurant ASAP because these concerts sell out and reservations book quickly.”
One particular attendee was impressed with the concert and told her daughter, Laura Quillen, events manager for FoguthFinancial Group, who in turn reached out to 2 Stones Eventsabout working together. Her firm is now the presenting partner for Kittens & Crooners 2023.
“We love it when a local business understands what we do and how we do it,” said Stone. “We’re passionate about music and how it relates to economic development in communities — the importance of building and branding a live music series, festivals and other music-related events, as well as the impact it has on the well-being of a community, its residents and business owners.”
2 Stones Events has been booking live music in Brighton for two decades, including Brighton’s Smokin’ Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival, Taste or Brighton, WAM Fest, Turn Up The AMP! and numerous local venues like Brighton Bar & Grill and Single Barrel Social.
ABOUT THE SINGERS
Paul King, born in Bay City, Mich., began singing early in life with his father in the church choir and community variety shows. His musical journey continues today with a passion for fine tuning his style, technique and jazz chops, but always with a nod to the swingin’ crooners of big band era. Today, King regularly sings with his swinging and award-winning big band, the Rhythm Society Orchestra (RSO), loved by dancers and swing music fans throughout the Midwest. You can also find King singing with many of Detroit’s best musicians throughout the Motor City area, including the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Cliff Bell’s and the London Chop House.
Native Detroit singer-songwriter Sky Covington –- an 11-time DMA Recipient for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, and DBMA recipient for Best Jazz Vocalist -– is known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills. Along with her deep love for traditional jazz, her phrasing is unique and intoxicating, enrapturing her audience with every single note. This year, she celebrates 20 years of performing her jazz production, The Billie Holiday Revue, and the release of her first jazz CD, Club Crescendo Vol.3. Sky also shares a residency with the jazz greats on Club Crescendo at the Woodbridge Pub in Detroit.
John “TBone” Paxton is a veteran trombonist and vocalist professionally active in southeastern Michigan for many years. He is the featured singer and trombone soloist with an award-winning jazz ensemble, Planet D Nonet. A second-generation musician and a son of the Jazz Age, his soulful sense of swing, phrasing, and his ability to interpret and bring personal meaning to a lyric allows him to connect to his audience at an emotional level, both as a vocalist and as an instrumentalist. Paxton will be joined by vocalist Camille Price, providing an impressive duo that is well known in the metro Detroit area.
KITTENS & CROONERS
WHERE: Ciao Amici’s restaurant lower level; 217 W. Main, downtown Brighton
WHO: Paul King, Feb. 18; Sky Covington, March 18; TBone & Camille, April 15
TIME: Two-set shows at 6 and 8:30 p.m. (doors open 30 minutes prior)
TICKETS: $25; limited to 98 per show; http://www.2StonesEvents.com (When ordering tickets be sure you receive them via email and add the Eventbrite email to your contacts.)
QUESTIONS: 586-484-8797 or info@2StonesEvents.com