When jazz singer Julie Kelly takes a stage, she does so with authority. A local veteran, she has the ease of control in her presentation. Indeed, for the jazz-listening public, it's hard to imagine the tall, imposing Kelly doing anything else in her life.
It's not a studied pose. "At this point," she states, "I don't do a lot of formulating." That ability to trust her instinct is the result of a career that has bred her artistic convictions. Kelly will bring that sure-footed quality to Mambo's in Glendale on Tuesday.
She's not so affixed in her modus operandi that she doesn't make room for surprises, though. "There are a lot of intangibles to music," she points out, "but you have to be open to new things. That's why I listen to the young singers."
Asked whom she appreciates of the new crop, Kelly replies: "I love Gregory Porter, Kenny Washington, Gretchen Parlato and Esperanza Spaulding. I like local singers too: Kathleen Grace, Sara Gazarek, and of course, the established ones like Bill Henderson, Sue Raney and Tierney Sutton. There's always something to learn."