By Patte Purcell
We went to see Keisha D perform at Wang’s when she sat in with Kevin Miller for Laurie Abramson’s birthday party. To my delight I discovered a songstress that sings show tunes including some of my favorites by Barbra Streisand. Her name is Kelly McDaniel. I invited Kelly and Kevin to sing a couple of songs at Jazz at the Mansion next Sunday Jan. 29 in Palm Springs. Her voice is as smooth as silk and can she croon!
Kelly started singing as a child in church. She was encouraged by her middle school teacher to enter a state competition and eventually entered the Alabama School of Fine Arts and majored in opera. When she moved to California and entered the LA County for the Arts she continued to study opera while singing pop tunes at every coffee shop or gig she could find.
While attending California State University, Long Beach, she decided to change her major from vocal performance to music education when she realized that opera was not the music that moved her. She began auditioning for musical theatre. She got a part in Sweeny Todd and did some Gilbert and Sullivan shows as well. Along the way she stopped to have children and she met the love of her life Brian McDaniel, a conductor and musician himself. He totally supports her in her musical career.
After she moved to Palm Springs, she performed in “Jekyll and Hyde,” “A Little Night Music,” and was nominated for a Desert Theatre League award for her role as Golde in “Fiddler on the Roof” at the McCallum. During her performance run she discovered that she was pregnant and decided to devote time to her family (now 5 children). She’s easing back into it and has been performing with Kevin Miller. She extolled the virtues of the couple (Kevin and Laurie) she says they have taken her under their wing.
Her husband and she devote their time to the Boys and Girls Club Heatwave Jazz Band, Painted Hills Middle School music program, and their own live performances.
They seek to help these young people stay in the tradition of one of the oldest forms of employment, being a musician. Kelly says that “Jazz is Life” and sites it as one of the beginnings of popular music.
Kelly would love to find a little supper club she could do a monthly cabaret. She’s working on that. For now, she’s introducing herself through Kevin Miller at Wang’s (she’ll be there again on March 4 with Kevin). As I mentioned she will be sitting in and doing a couple of jazz standards at the Jazz at the Mansion, Sunday Jan. 29- from 4:20-7:30.
It is a private party and “420 friendly”. Sponsored by Atomic Budz/NestEggg they will be giving out swag bags along with our other sponsors.
If you’d like to come we still have about 20 tickets left. Text me your email address and name to 1-702-219-6777 and I’ll send you an invite to attend.
To reach Kelly contact her at KellyMcDaniel@outlook.com