Not too many singers have performed the lead role in Cavalleria Rusticana, toured as a Rae-lette with Ray Charles and sung with and been mentored by Von Freeman. But for Chicago jazz (and gospel and classical) singer Tammy McCann, those experiences have proven to be mere stepping stones in a career that has people buzzing about her in New York as well as the Windy City. Having recorded an album with the much-admired pianist-arranger Laurence Hobgood at the helm, she is poised to turn that buzz into a roar.
“Man, I would love to write for that voice,” Hobgood was quoted as saying after he listened to the MP3s McCann sent him last year, after contacting him on Facebook, out of the blue. Kurt Elling’s former right-hand man got his wish and today, the festival audience likely will get to hear some of the songs they worked on together. Hobgood will lead her fine supporting band from the piano. He’ll be joined by vibraphonist Justin Thomas, bassist John Sutton and drummer Sam Jewel