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OLETA ADAMS

A little bit of Seattle soul

by Mariko Kato

Grammy-nominated American songstress Oleta Adams performs at the Cotton Club in Tokyo on Jan. 14-18. Celebrated over two decades for her resonant contralto voice, Adams will treat audiences to her sophisticated mixture of soul, gospel and jazz under the spotlight at one of Tokyo’s premier live houses.

Born in 1962 in Seattle, Washington, as the daughter of a preacher, Adams interacted with gospel music from an early age. Her career took off in 1985 when she was discovered singing in a bar in Kansas City by the members of the popular British pop band Tears for Fears. The band subsequently featured Adams’ captivating vocals on its 1989 album “The Seeds of Love,” contributing greatly to the album’s success.

Soon after Adams launched her professional solo career, and in 1991 she was nominated for a Grammy for her sultry cover of Brenda Russell’s “Get Here,” which became one of the decade’s best-loved ballads.

Since then, Adams has been experimenting continuously with different genres. In 1995, she tried her tonsils at R&B with the album “Moving On.” Then two years later she returned to her Christian roots with “Come Walk With Me” and released a Christmas album in 2006, further nailing her colors to the mast. Adams will bring a well-honed flexibility to the Cotton Club stage.

Oleta Adams will perform at the Cotton Club in Tokyo on Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Jan. 15, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Tickets are ¥8,400-¥9,450 per person. To reserve a table, call the Cotton Club on (03) 3215-1555 or visit www.cottonclubjapan.co.jp