Monday, December 30, 2013

Faces of the Artists Quarter #30

Debbie Duncan (2011)

© Andrea Canter

The Artists Quarter has long  been home to instrumental jazz. Vocalists? Not so much.  Owner Kenny Horst has presented vocalists, including out-of-town guests Diane Witherspoon, Tessa Souter, Teri Roiger, Judi Silvano, and Kendra Shank. Local singers who have managed to get a gig now and then have included Lucia Newell, Vicky Mountain, Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, Nicola Miller, Patty Peterson, Maud Hixson, Bruce Henry, Maurice Jacox,  the Phil Mattson Singers, and -- especially on New Year's Eve--Kenny's mother-in-law, Carole Martin.  The fact that Debbie Duncan has appeared on a number of weekends throughout the years is a tribute to Debbie's popularity as well as Kenny's (accurate) perception that she is a true jazz singer. Of course Debbie sings with plenty of blues and soul, scats as if it is her first language, and is simply an engaging entertainer, whether singing a ballad or wise-cracking with the band or audience.

Debbie Duncan (2011)
Debbie carries some of her native Memphis blues and adopted hometown Detroit grit into every song. Leigh Kamman once noted that "Debbie is a master messenger deserving wider recognition." And she still reigns high among the master messengers of the Artists Quarter.