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Jackie Gage Brings Jazzy Soul To City Lights Stage

In Music
South Bay native Jackie Gage puts a new twist on classic soul, R&B and jazz sounds.

South Bay native Jackie Gage puts a new twist on classic soul, R&B and jazz sounds.

For many twentysomethings electronic dance music is the latest and greatest form of musical expression. Producers like Kaskade, Skrillex and Avicii pack festivals full of college-aged men and women with their high energy, synth-based beats.

But for 24-year-old San Jose denizen Jackie Gage, horns, upright bass and analog, brush-beaten drum kits are where it’s at.

Gage was born in Mountain View and raised in Sunnyvale by parents who loved soul and jazz. She grew up listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.

For much of 2014, Gage served as the co-founder and host of Fatale, a weekly series spotlighting local female soul, R&B and jazz vocalists at Blackbird Tavern and the Pagoda Bamboo Lounge in downtown San Jose.

A singer since childhood and a songwriter since college, Gage says that the women she saw singing at Fatale inspired her to write an entire album of original material and take her show on the road.

Gage played the final Fatale last week at Pagoda and then embarked on a short California tour, which took her to Oakland, San Rafael, Sacramento and down to Los Angeles, where she spoke with Metro on her cell phone about the upcoming release of two singles from her forthcoming LP, Ladies—named for the women singers who inspired her to take on this challenge in the first place.

“I really want as many ears as possible to hear this,” she says of Ladies, which she hopes to release in full some time in 2015. “I want the world to hear these stories and this music.”

For those who want to hear Gage’s material sooner, she will be performing at City Lights Theater Company in San Jose on Sunday, Dec. 7. It’s the second-to-last show of her brief tour, which will wrap up with one more stop in Los Angeles on Dec. 9—the same day she’ll be releasing two singles from Ladies.

Gage’s voice has been described as “velvety,” like a “smooth wine,” and indeed, her vocal ability is impressive, as she has shown in original songs like “Let Me Know,” a live version of which can be found on YouTube, and her jazzed-up cover of Rihanna’s hit “Umbrella.”

Jackie Gage plays the City Lights Theater Company on Dec. 7 at 7pm. More info.

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