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The Fruit presents

In the Jazz Tradition: Nellie McKay

  • $25; $10 Duke Students

Nellie McKay arrived on the music scene like an exclamation mark. 'Get Away from Me' -- her astounding 2004 debut, believed to be the first double-disc introduction to any jazz singer -- upended the norms of piano-backed jazz with tempestuous bits of reggae and rock, bursts of hip-hop and pop, and a seamless merger of musical erudition and thematic irreverence. It was, as The New York Times observed, "a tour de force from a sly, articulate musician." With a voice that can be boisterous and bold or soft and breathy, McKay harnesses the agility of a superstar athlete from the piano bench. She has maintained that adventurousness -- starring on Broadway in 'The Threepenny Opera,' recording a dazzling tribute to Doris Day, and producing a series of musical biographies of female iconoclasts. Her splendid 2018 album, 'Sister Orchid,' turns standards into muted, moody late-night escapades: "Willow Weep for Me" becomes a boogie-woogie sprint, "The Nearness of You" a showcase for romantic melancholy. One of her generation's most original performers, McKay remains delightfully unpredictable.

The Fruit

305 S Dillard St.

Durham, NC 27701

  • Wednesday, 5 December

    7:00 PM

  • Wednesday, 5 December

    9:00 PM