ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Patty Stephens loves jazz. Period.
The singer has been curating the “Women’s Voices” concert at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater for the past six years, though the event has been going on for 25 years.
“What we do is we present some of the premier vocalists in the area,” she says. “We present some newcomers and some singers that are established. There’s plenty of jazz for everyone who enjoys the genre. It’s a great way for people to learn about jazz as well.”
This year’s concert is called “Straight Ahead, Smooth & Soulful and Jazz All Ways.”
Along with Stephens, the bill also includes Zenobia, Tracey Whitney and Jenny Bird.
Stephens says it’s a difficult process to choose which singers will be invited to play.
“There’s huge talent here,” she says. “I try to give the bill a balance. I’m bringing a few singers who are relatively new and just doing different things within the genre.”
Stephens says Bird is a huge folk musician on the international scene who lives in Taos and is making her foray into the jazz genre.
“She’s doing some beautiful standards,” she says. “She’s got a great future.”
Whitney is from Los Angeles and comes from a line of singers. She brings “style and professionalism,” Stephens says.
Meanwhile, Zenobia was in the cast of the musical “Hair.”
“She moved to the state a few years back and she’s just really soulful,” she says. “There’s blues and gospel feel to what she does.”
And Stephens focuses on standards with an edge.
“I do a lot of Brazilian jazz in my set,” she says. “I’ve been able to travel the world by putting a twist on the standards.”