There’s More than “Band of Gold” To Jazz Singer Freda Payne
By Skip Sheffield
Freda Payne recently recorded a new album, and she’s making a live performance to promote it at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30 at Jazziz Nightlife in Mizner Park.
Freda Payne is best known for her 1970 hit “Band of Gold.” As actress she understudied for Leslie Uggams in “Hallelujah Baby” and appeared in the Equity Theatre production of “Lost in the Stars.” In 1981 she briefly hosted her own TV talk show “Today’s Black Woman” and has found work in movies, on Broadway and off theater productions through the 1980s and 1990s.
The Detroit native has never given up on music, and in fact she is in a new phase.
“We played the Detroit Jazz Festival, and that resulted in an invitation to play at the Dirty Dog in Grosse Pointe,” reveals Payne by telephone. “Despite the name it is a classy place and it’s owned by a lady who is an heiress. The second time we played there Gretchen (Valande) came up to me and asked if I would like to record an album on her Mack Avenue label. I said we would be delighted.”
The result is “Come Back to Me Love,” a 14-song album produced by pianist-arranger-composer Bill Cunliffe, and featuring new songs by Gretchen Valande and Tom Robinson as well as jazz and big band favorites.
“We are using local musicians for this date,” reveals Payne. “I know we are in conflict with SunFest, but we will have a good time. I have heard great things about Jazziz.”
Tickets are $35 general admission, $55 stage left and $75 VIP. Call 561-300-0730 or go to www.jazziz.com.