-, Virginia, US
Versatile cabaret-jazz vocalist Becky Livas has been a favorite of Virginia music audiences for twenty-five years; she is at home in front of big band audiences or in intimate cabaret settings. Her Great American Songbook covers periods from Tin Pan Alley to the late 20th century. Her official start was with Lynn Summerall’s 1920’s style Hotel Paradise Roof Garden Orchestra in 1992. .
In the early 2000s, Livas paired with guitarist Flip Hoopes, and later with pianist Pamela Hines, at Sterling’s Restaurant in Norfolk; then with Hines at Main Street Jazz in Suffolk, releasing a 2007 CD FOR ALL WE KNOW. She rejoined Hoopes with bassist Eddie Edwards for trio gigs at the Chesapeake Sterling’s through 2009.
A 2011 CD with Hines, IF I HAD YOU (in memory of ODU professor Dr. Leon Francis Bouvier) added well known New Englanders bassist John Lockwood (Berklee) and drummer Les Harris, Jr. Available on CD Baby, it sold at Veneziano Restaurant to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Earlier CDs include The Stars Come Out for St. Jude, produced by “Uncle Pete” Decker and Bye, Bye Blues (Hotel Paradise).
The Becky Livas Trio with pianist Keith Nesbit and saxophonist Joey Placenti enjoyed a 22-month run at Orlando’s Diversion in Norfolk’s Veneziano Restaurant in 2013. The most recent Becky Livas Jazz Trio included Keith Nesbit and guitarist Flip Hoopes. In April, 2016, Livas did a benefit for the Las Vegas Jazz Society, working with the Tom Hall Quartet, top “Strip” musicians from the Las Vegas casinos.
A 1997 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Symposium Fellow, Livas was mentored by cabaret-Broadway and movie legends Margaret Whiting, Julie Wilson, Max Showalter, Carol Hall, and Julie Halston; by musical directors Paul Trueblood, Tex Arnold, Shelly Markham, and Christopher Denny; and costume designer Fred Voelpel (NO STRINGS).
A native of Philadelphia, Livas was reared mostly in Hampton Roads, VA. A graduate of Hampton University, she was the region’s first African-American female news reporter and later producer/host of daily TV shows at WTAR-TV in the 1970s. After being a“band wife” in Las Vegas in the early 1980s, Livas returned to become the producer/host of WHRO-WHRV-FM Jazz Excursions, a show she created. Livas retired from teaching middle school World History and Geography in 2013.
Soothing voice suitable for overnight jazz program I created.
Articulate enough to be a credible newscaster and radio broadcaster, as well as public speaker on issues related to history.
HISTORY OF MUSIC GROUPS AND VENUES
Aug 2017 to present … VARIA at the Hilton MAIN in Norfolk
April 2016 … Benefit for Las Vegas Jazz Society with Tom Hall Quartet @ the Bootlegger on the Las Vegas “Strip”
*(Phone hidden)… Lynn Summerall’s HOTEL PARADISE ROOF GARDEN ORCHESTRA, from (Phone hidden) CABARET @ UNCLE LOUIS’S BAR AND GRILL; the Elderhostel @ THE CHAMBERLAIN HOTEL, (Phone hidden): Sunday JAZZ at THE JEWISH MOTHER; and the NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Restaurant.
* 2003- --AROMA CAFÉ … JUST BEYOND PARADISE with pianist Rick Eldridge, drummer Rick Jebavy, bassist George Wilson.
* (Phone hidden) – STERLING’S, Granby Street; SUNDAY BRUNCH, with Guitarist Flip Hoopes; then pianist Pamela Hines.
* 2006- 2007 Opening “House band” with Pamela Hines, 13 WEEKS … MAIN STREET JAZZ RESTAURANT, SUFFOLK, VA
* (Phone hidden) … MAIN STREET interspersed with PRIVATE PARTIES
* 2007 … CD w/ Pamela Hines, FOR ALL WE KNOW… release performances at MARY HELEN’S ,Hampton, VA; ACTON JAZZ CAFÉ, Acton, MA; and DUPLEX Cabaret Lounge, Greenwich Village, NYC
* (Phone hidden) -- STERLING’S RESTAURANT in Chesapeake… JAZZ TUESDAYS w/guitarist FLIP HOOPES and bassist EDDIE DWARDS
* Spring 2010-present… Featured singer with the ORIGINAL SUPERBAND founded by trombonist Leonard Barks ; mentored by world famous saxophonist Frank Foster until his death, currently led by Count Basie Orchestra saxophonist and road manager Doug Miller.
*Summer 2011 … new CD with Pamela Hines, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Les Harris, Jr., IF I HAD YOU; dedicated to the memory of ODU Professor Leon Francis Bouvier. CD proceeds donated to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Peter G Decker, Jr.
* Fall 2011-Summer 2013… Becky Livas Trio (Keith Nesbit, p. Joey Placenti, sax) regular weekend house band at the Veneziano Italian Restaurant in Norfolk, VA and private parties.
1990s –2011 other bands … Now and Then; Dave Jacobson’s ROYAL ATLANTIC DANCE BAND and DIXIELAND BAND; GRACE STREET BAND
2013 - Present … performances at SENTARA HEART PAVILLION with Dr. Gad Brosch
OTHER VENUES AND PRIVATE PERFORMANCES:
• CHRYSLER MUSEUM … the Art of Jazz Wednesdays
• D’ART CENTER … show opening receptions
• HARRISON OPERA HOUSE
• JOHN KNOX TOWERS
• OCEAN VIEW BIG BAND
• WHRO-TV, Public Broadcasting … Fundraising on-air VOLUNTEER
• CITY OF NORFOLK hosted PARTIES
CDs available on CD BABY … For All We Know (2007) and IF I HAD YOU (2011)
Becky’s Repertoire includes the music of Great American Songbook through to the 2016 compositions from movies TED and La La Land. Standards by composers Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jerry Herman, George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Fats Waller and Andy Razaf, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Lerner and Loewe, Jimmy Van Heusen, Jerry Herman, songs written and recorded by Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder and many more. Songs that have been performed and recorded by Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, Tony Bennett & kdlang, Barbra Streisand. Dianna Krall, etc
*Bachelor of Arts, HISTORY and ENGLISH, Hampton University
*Former TV and Radio Announcer
*1997 intense singing training as a Eugene O'Neill Cabaret Symposium Fellow ... I was one of only 30 out of 300 who auditioned to be accepted. Teachers were world-renowned singers, musical and stage directors from Broadway, etc.
*On-the job_ training in twenty-five years of professional singing
*Current DOCENT at the CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART in Norfolk, VA which required a year of intense art education equivalent to an associate degree and ongoing training throughout the years after graduation.
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