Jaimee Paul and jazz quintet plan to mesmerize community

The soothing sounds, passionate vocals and intricate jazz of a husband and wife duo will soon mesmerize the local community.

Jaimee Paul and the jazz quintet led by her husband Leif Shires, will captivate audiences in the Columbia Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

According to the Columbia Theatre’s website, Paul, a native of Illinois, performs jazz standards from the 30s and pop standards of the 70s for several audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.

Columbia Theatre Executive Director Roy Blackwood saw Paul at a regional conference in Nashville about two years ago, then again at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), a global performing arts conference and at a nightclub. Upon listening to her initial performances, Blackwood noticed that Paul was capable of entertaining a diverse audience despite their age, gender and music preference. 

“I think at this point in time, there’s not a lot of singers that have a deep, rich, voice of professional quality,” said Blackwood. “We were blown away.”

Blackwood also noticed the way that Paul’s voice blended with the jazz quintet and the emotional connection that she makes with the audience.

“She’s a fine performer and she works so well with her band,” said Blackwood. “Something that she does is she touches people in the audience. You’re going to have an enriched musical experience with her.”

According to Paul, performing in Hammond has a sentimental value to her and the jazz quintet.

“We are on a small tour through Louisiana,” said Paul. “Hammond was definitely one of the stops on the list. Our bass player Brook Sutton is from Hammond. He used to go see shows at the Columbia Theatre as a kid, so this is a special trip for us.”

Paul admits that even audience members who may not enjoy jazz may still enjoy the show. 

“The show is a lot of variety, but it’s a fun show,” said Paul. “We sing the standards, but it’s an enjoyable jazz. You can listen to it and be put at ease. It’s not a variety show, but it has a lot of variety in it.”

Blackwood described Paul as having an, “accessible kind of jazz.” He also believes that she will be a good fit for the venue.

“I think the community will react well to her,” said Blackwood. “My job is to put things on that stage that people enjoy seeing.”

Despite Paul being known for singing classic types of jazz, she will be singing newer music, according to Blackwood. Since the prices of student tickets are affordable, he encourages students to attend.

“We want to help students expand what they find enjoyable and entertaining in a memorable experience,” said Blackwood.

Ticket prices will be $34 for loge, $20 for orchestra/balcony and $15 for students. Visit Columbiatheatre.org or call 985-543-4371 for more information.