Jazz band to take Shelton’s Center Stage

Center Stage Theatre will be ushering in the new decade in style with the Kevin Saint James Band’s performance on Jan. 17 and 18 as part of the theater’s cabaret series.

The Kevin Saint James Band is an all-star collective of New Haven-area jazz musicians that features, an announcement said, the Elm City’s premier “saloon-singer” Kevin Saint James, who will present “Classics from the Great American Songbook.” The two-night engagement will mark the band’s first appearance at Center Stage.

The band will play classics from such favorites as Cole Porter, Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, Billy Strayhorn, Jerome Kern. Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Bobby Darin, Louis Prima and Ray Charles.

Benefiting from their many years of shared collaboration and familiarity with their chosen material, the band has a unique capacity for working spontaneous experimentation into their respectful reinterpretations of familiar popular standards that transport more mature audiences back in time to the sounds of days long ago, while recreating, reintroducing and perhaps even endearing these precious melodies to younger listeners at the same time, the announcement said.

Kevin Saint James has been a regular fixture on the live local music landscape of the New Haven area for more than 25 years. Widely recognized as an infinitely versatile vocalist and characteristically charismatic entertainer, he has worked with some of the area’s finer bands and musicians in a wide range of musical genres — from blues to roots-based Americana and soul music, to classic rock and rhythm & blues — and always throughout — singing traditional, old-time, stone-cold straight-up jazz.

Over the course of the last 20 years, in various combinations, the respective members of the Kevin Saint James Band have performed together in and around the greater New Haven area at Cafe Nine, Christopher Martin’s, Owl Shop, Cave A Vin, The 9th Note, Old School Saloon, Trinity Bar and Park Central Tavern in Hamden. Several years ago they played on the grand stage at historic Lyric Hall in Westville — a video of which is available to view on YouTube and on Facebook.

For tickets or more information, visit http://www.center

stageshelton.org or call 203-225-6079.