Rene Marie Set for Kennedy Center w/Eartha Kitt, Today

Rene Marie Set for Kennedy Center w/Eartha Kitt, Today

Never before has there been a vocal recording tipping the hat to the divine Ms. Kitt and her fiery, sensual and clever interpretations of songs. With her incredible range of vocal ability, her powerful emotional resonance and strong independent streak, René is the right artist to conceive of this historic project, which was released on November 12 on the adventurous, multi-Grammy®-nominated label Motéma Music. I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt) is René's third recording for the label and her 10th career album. René, a vocalist/writer/actress from Virginia, knows just how to evoke the memory and legend of Eartha while making it her own.

Eartha Kitt's daughter Kitt Shapiro, who maintains her mother's legacy via and the company Simply Eartha, expressed her appreciation. It's wonderful that such a talented artist like René Marie has recorded the first tribute album to my mother, helping to keep her memory and spirit alive. These classic songs deserve to be heard and loved by all generations.

This brilliantly entertaining album burnishes René's reputation as the most provocative risk-taker among today's jazz divas. Featuring star turns by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeterEtienne Charles and Australia's Adrian Cunningham on saxophone, clarinet and flute, I Wanna Be Evil opens with a cackle of mischief and features such Eartha gems as "Peel Me A Grape," "C'est Si Bon" and the holiday favorite - "Santa Baby." René's slow burn version is sure to become a new holiday favorite. Lesser-known barn burners like "I'd Rather Be Burned As A Witch," and "I Wanna Be Evil" immediately signal the melding of the spirits of these two audacious women. She closes with her haunting original, "Weekend." Produced by René, veteran producer/writer/programmer Mark Ruffin, I Wanna Be Evil features René's longtime band: Quentin Baxter (drums, percussion, washboard); Kevin Bales (piano); and Elias Bailey (bass). Baxter also co-produced.



4/26 - New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA

4/26 - Snug Harbor, New Orleans, LA

5/14 - Side Door Jazz Club, Old Lyme, CT

5/15-18 - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC

5/22 - World Café Live at The Queen, Wilmington, DE

5/23 - Westminster Canturbury, Richmond, VA

5/24 - The Kennedy Center - Mary Lou Williams Festival, Washington, DC

5/26 - Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC

6/26-27 - Little Nell Hotel, Aspen, CO