Singer Lulla Blue brings summer jazz cabaret series to The Rose

The performer discusses her major influences, love for the theatrical and what to expect from her summer series.
Lulla Blue performs at The Rose in downtown Jackson as part of her Jazz Cabaret summer series. (Courtesy of Peter Pilafian)

 

Featuring jazz standards from the the roaring ’20s, gay ‘30s and fabulous ‘40s, Lulla Blue’s Jazz Cabaret at The Rose is a unique addition to the Jackson Hole summer music lineup.

Starring Miss Lulla Blue and her eclectic band of musicians, the Jazz Cabaret plays Sundays this summer on June 19, July 3 and 24, and August 7 and 21.

In advance of the second performance of Jazz Cabaret on Sunday, June 19, singer Lulla Blue joined us for a conversation in the KHOL studios. The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.

JACK CATLIN/KHOL: How do you incorporate your influences, different styles, and I guess specifically Dita Von Teese into your act?

LULLA BLUE: I find it fascinating that in the space of burlesque you kind of know what’s going to happen, but you don’t know how it’s going to happen, and it’s kind of drawn out. And being unpredictable, it’s what keeps your audience awake. And when The Rose called me and asked me about the potential of putting in some entertainment, they wanted three hours. And usually, when I’ve done a cabaret, it’s been a 45-minute [or] one-hour cabaret. Three hours? That is a difficult task for any performer.

A singer, even in the land of opera, two hours max a day is about all you sing. So, I knew that I would have to shake it up a little bit. If I decide to put in “Teach Me How to Shimmy” then I’m going to shimmy for two minutes and 14 seconds straight. Then it gives my voice a rest. And it also inspired me to reach out to musicians that are onstage with me that also have some vocal talent as well as other talents. So, it’s not just me carrying the weight of the show. I can change my costume and know that the audience is in good hands with my friends onstage.

KHOL: That’s a good segue to my next question. You’ve been quoted as saying, “I believe in the mystery of being unpredictable.” Can you expand on that for us?

LULLA BLUE: A good artist will also, while they’re creating, put themselves in the audience’s seat and say, ‘How am I going to view this? How is this going to look to the audience? How are they going to receive this?’ And if you can engage in that process and go back and forth from the performer to the audience member, then sometimes there are choices that you can make that keep them engaged. Or even asking questions, you know, like, ‘Why would that be? Why am I laughing at that?’ I love it when they’re like, ‘I’m laughing and I don’t know why I’m laughing.’ And to have that kind of experience as an audience member, when I cannot predict what’s going to happen onstage, I love it.

It’s like, ‘Yes, I’ll sit there for much longer than I intended to see what else they’re going to do.’ And because I appreciate that ability to be unpredictable to stick around, I figured three hours at The Rose, let’s do it. Let’s do everything that can be possibly unpredictable between shark costumes and mermaid dresses and feather fans and anything else I had in my closet that’s been sitting there. Like, ‘Why not use it?’ I’ve got so much. It’s fun.

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Lulla Blue.

This coverage is funded in part with an Arts For All grant provided by the Town of Jackson and Teton County.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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