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Jazz at Nelson’s features Suzanna Pittson

Staff reports

Suzanne Pittson, a noted jazz vocalist in northern Nevada as well as San Francisco, where she is based, brings her trio to Nelson’s in Gardnerville on Saturday.

The trio includes Jeff Pittson on organ and Steve Self on drums. They will play from 7:30 until 11:30 p.m. at the popular night spot, located at 1435 Highway 395.

Pittson is acknowledged by instrumentalists as a musical equal, improvising and interacting with an ensemble. She is always redefining her role of the jazz singer as a more active, improvising instrument in the modern rhythm section, and her reputation for performing challenging material supports Down Beat magazine’s observation that “the singer is the one to watch for.”

In 1996, Pittson released her debut CD entitled “Blues and the Abstract Truth,” which Rapport magazine called a “magical recording that every jazz fan should have in his library.”

Her husband Jeff Pittson has been acknowledged for his amazing technical command and his melodic and harmonic inventiveness since his 1980 debut with the Mayard Ferguson Band and his collaboration with drummer Mike Clark, bassist Paul Jackson and saxophonist Kenny Garrett on the 1990 CD “The Funk Stops Here.”

Philip Elwood of the San Francisco Examiner said that “Jeff Pittson is a superb pianist, both as a soloist and accompanist.”

Suzanne and Jeff Pittson have performed several times for Reno’s jazz society annual concerts, For the Love of Jazz – three times at Walley’s Hot Springs. Her parents, Ron and Betty Haight, have lived in Gardnerville since 1979.

Wayne Saroyan of the Contra Costa Times, Calif., called Suzanne Pittson, an “adventurous and wondrously talented singer, whose accomplished artistry carries her far beyond the bounds of garden-variety jazz singers.”