The power of blues is derived from the raw expression of heartbreak and pain—something Sista Monica Parker is no stranger to. “As a blues singer and songwriter, you know, I’m quite familiar with unrequited love affairs,” she admits, adding that her latest release, Living in the Danger Zone, “is classic original blues, and it comes from my own experience of being in a love affair that actually ran the full range of emotions, from really being happy and in bliss, to having it go wrong and feeling the heartache of a breakup.
That’s what it’s all about.” Where many may be too bashful to express their true feelings, Parker has been gloriously bold for 19 years—something her fans living around the world, from Paris to Switzerland, are extremely grateful for. But throughout her travels, she still hasn’t found a place more special to her than Santa Cruz. “I particularly like the bigger rooms in Santa Cruz just because they have had so many legends that have come through them, and the energy and spirit of those people,” Parker explains. “I did a concert with John Lee Hooker at The Catalyst, and one with B.B. King, and when I think back of one of my favorite moments in Santa Cruz, I have to say that I think of the sound and the roar of the crowd in The Catalyst.” With an earthshaking voice and sassy attitude to match, Parker and her award-winning backing band could easily command a stadium, but for her CD release party, Parker will look to Kuumbwa Jazz for an intimate connection with her audience: “What I’m looking forward to in doing this concert here is that I get to lower the volume and allow people to really hear me up close and personal where I’m coming from.”
INFO: 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St. #2, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $23/door. 427-2227.
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