Singer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and producer Rhonda Vincent (pictured) has been playing music for as long as she can remember, joining her family's group, the Sally Mountain Show, at the age of 6. Although she can pick about anything with strings, these days Vincent is primarily known for her singing and fine mandolin playing--she was voted 2000's Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Association. After doing the Nashville thing, both as a country artist and as a session musician, Vincent returned to "pure" 'grass in '99, when she put together her backing band, The Rage (all top-notch pickers in their own right). Their subsequent Rounder release, Back Home Again, saw Vincent welcomed back into the bluegrass community with open arms--the disc topped both the Gavin Americana and Bluegrass Unlimited charts. See Vincent and the Rage, with local pickers the Steep Canyon Rangers, this Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. Call 967-9053 for details.
Blue Note recording artist Diane Reeves pays tribute to one of her inspirations on her Grammy award-winning latest disc, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan. Besides containing a Reeves-penned homage to Vaughan, "I Remember Sarah," Reeves covers such classic tunes as "Lullaby of Birdland" selected from throughout Vaughan's career. Reeves recorded the tracks live with a studio orchestra in order to re-create the spontaneity that Vaughan brought to her sessions. Heir to the tradition of Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Ella Fitzgerald, Reeves will be performing at N.C. State University's Stewart Theatre (as part of their Center Stage series) this Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. Call 515-1100 for ticket information.