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March 19, 2012


TICKET SALES:  805/756-2787;


R&B Singer Bettye LaVette Performs at the Spanos

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA –  At 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in the Spanos Theatre, Cal Poly Arts proudly presents R&B soul singer BETTYE LaVETTE in concert.  She will share some of her favorite renditions of songs that have become standard LaVette hits, as well as music from her latest release, INTERPRETATIONS: The British Rock Songbook.

Lauded by critics, these reviews only begin to capture what audiences are experiencing across the country:

"Ms. LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation's most vital soul singer." - The New York Times (2010)

"LaVette's gig…(is) the stuff of legends while her 'Interpretations' re-imagined music that we felt we knew by heart in unexpected and exciting new ways. In an age where the word ‘diva’ is often used freely, LaVette makes Aretha, Patti, Gladys, Chaka and, yes, even Tina, sound lightweight." - Windy City Times (2011)

A 2011 feature in The New Yorker regarding her standout performance of "Love Reign O'er Me," honoring The Who at “The Kennedy Center Honors,” explained: "Standing in a circle of light, LaVette began in a confiding tone and ended in a raspy, full-throated cry. The gestures she made – rolling her hands as if to gather momentum, letting her shoulders go slack in submission, slapping her hip as if to urge herself on, and raising her hands above her head to plead – were arresting, and her performance seemed startlingly authentic. Throughout, Daltrey and Townshend, and Streisand nodded and shook their heads, as if listening to a galvanizing preacher."

“LaVette has exquisite taste in songs…(wringing) every bit of meaning from their lyrics.” – Entertainment Weekly

Television appearances include “The Today Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Austin City Limits,” and “Good Morning, America.”

LaVette was chosen to support Robert Plant on select dates of his 2010 US Summer Tour: "It would have been nice to see Plant try to keep up with 64-year-old opener Bettye LaVette – the soul survivor who turned George Harrison's ‘Isn't It a Pity’ and The Who's ‘Love, Reign O'er Me,’ into pained, personal rafter- rattlers. If folks didn't know LaVette before this night, they sure do now. She was small but mighty, making the show unforgettable before the hirsute headliner even took the stage." - St. Petersburg Times

LaVette returned to Carnegie Hall in 2011 for a third time as a featured performer at the tribute event, “The Music of Neil Young at Carnegie Hall.”

Voted one of the Best Blues Artists of 2010 in Downbeat magazine's Readers Poll and named one of the Top Ten Blues Artists in the magazine's 2009 Critics Poll, one of LaVette’s true career highlights was performing in a duet with Jon Bon Jovi at The Obama Inaugural Celebration at The Lincoln Memorial, broadcast on HBO.

Student and adult tickets for the performance are $30 and $38 and may be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

To order by phone, call 805/756-2787; to order by fax: 805/756-6088.

24-hour on-line ordering is available at

10% discount offered to groups of 10 or more. (Not applicable to student rates)

Sponsored by Marty Claus & Chip Visci and KCBX 90.1 FM.

For more information on all Cal Poly Arts events, including audio and video samples, please visit

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