Nashville Jazz Workshop showcases the stylish vocals of Dara Tucker

daraLess than 5 minutes into Dara Tucker’s double-set at the Nashville Jazz Workshop on Friday night, it was apparent that despite her young face she’s just as charming and elegant as the great female jazz vocalists of years gone by.

Her performance was part of a concert series dubbed “Snap on 2&4,” which showcases Nashville’s top jazz artists on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at NJW’s Jazz Cave.

Following a brief introduction by NJW’s development director, Larry Seeman, Tucker took the stage sans band, sat down at the waiting piano without a word and opened the evening with an original song about her deceased grandmother, entitled “Mighty Giant.”

Upon completing the song, Tucker stood up and grabbed the microphone. With a soft-hearted, “Well hello there,” she greeted the audience, thanked them for coming to see the show, and introduced her band for the evening: Mason Embry, piano, Greg Bryant, bass, Joshua Hunt, drums, and James DaSilva, guitar.

With all introductions made, Tucker and her remarkably talented band dove headlong into the (occasionally stormy) waters of their first set with the classic standard, “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”

After the up-tempo standard was finished, Tucker invited to the stage Rahsaan Barber, a local saxophonist and member of NJW’s advisory board. The interaction between Tucker’s voice and Barber’s sax was magical; every time she’d turn a phrase, he was right behind her with a saxophone fill that ran full circle into her next one. Barber played three songs before exiting the stage—though his talents were required several more times during the performance.

Throughout the evening, the music wove in and out between original songs—both slow and up-beat—and classic jazz standards brought to popularity by everyone from Nat King Cole to Louis Armstrong. Tucker’s original tunes exhibited a mesh of R&B, soul and contemporary jazz.

Tucker’s stage demeanor was calm and inviting, her eyes expressive and her voice crystalline and precise. She took several opportunities to thank the audience for coming, to acknowledge and appreciate members of her band individually and to say hello to friends and family scattered about the room.

The atmosphere was warm, the sound was flawless and Dara Tucker was, without a doubt, a totem to the charm and class so often attributed to her predecessors.

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About Quinton Parker

Quinton Parker is a Nashville native, an upright bassist and has been an active part of the local music scene for seven years. He is currently in his last semester in MTSU's School of Journalism.


  1. Glissanda says:

    Thank you so much for articulating so beautifully just how beautifully Snap on 2& 4 was this weekend, Dara took the stage with so much quiet class all she had to do was to open her mouth and allow that first note to waft out and engage a captive and awaiting audience. Each artist on the stage brought the right amount of what was needed to not out shine one another but they each complemented each other so well you did not know where one began and the next ended.

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift!!