The JAC’s Leah Suárez leads the cream of the crop

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Charleston vocalist/musician Leah Suárez is also the head of the JAC
  • Alice Keeney
  • Charleston vocalist/musician Leah Suárez is also the head of the JAC
Piccolo Spoleto and the Jazz Artists of Charleston secured a mighty fancy spot for the buzz-inducing local jazz series Upstairs at McCrady’s at McCrady's Restaurant.

The 13-night run kicked off this weekend in the elegant Long Room on the second floor with sets from The Pulse Trio and Station NY/CHS (featuring guitarist Lee Barbour of Gradual Lean). This evening (Sun. May 30), in the larger Gallery Room overlooking East Bay Street, JAC’s president Leah Suárez swaps her administrative and promotional duties for a spot on stage with her backing combo.

Suárez and her band — Gerald Gregory on piano, Nick Jenkins on drums, Kevin Hamilton on bass, and David Linaburg (back in town from N.Y.C.) on guitar — will perform two shows, one at 7 p.m. (that one’s already sold out) and one at 10 p.m.

“I feel honored to be a part of Jazz Artists of Charleston’s third annual JAC Jazz Series,” Suárez says. “Each set will be a little different, and will feature some of my dearest friends and bandmates. It is such a privilege to have an opportunity to share the stage with such talented musicians. It’s an incredible time to be able to be a featured performer in a listener-friendly environment and intimate setting.”

“This year, I’m playing a bit more of a straight-ahead set with some jazz standards, some bossa nova, and the debut of a couple of my original tunes,” she adds. “I have a very special guest joining me for both sets.”

The Upstairs at McCrady’s series continues this week with performances from Kopaja on Mon. May 31, a variety of players during the Holy City Homecomin’ showcase on Tues. June 1, the Tommy Gill Trio on Wed. June 2, and from Morimoto+1 on Thurs. June 3. There’s even more to come as well.

Advance tickets for the other Upstairs at McCrady’s events are available for $20/set. Call the JAC box office at (843) 641-0011 for info.

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