Heart-felt entertainment

Priceless jazz

Janice Price and her trio, Priceless, will perform a special Valentine’s Day concert at Pack Place’s Diana Wortham Theatre. Last summer’s Bele Chere-goers might remember Price: She thrilled audiences with her fearless, dynamic vocal range on the Pritchard Park Stage. Besides her singular style as a jazz singer, Price is known nationally as an actress, dancer and choreographer — taking the stage at such renowned venues as Blues Alley and the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. And she’s shared the stage with a host of luminaries — Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck and Natalie Cole among them.

In addition to her concerts, Price is winning acclaim throughout the Southeast for two dramatic roles: She plays the legendary Billie Holiday in the one-woman show Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill — a bio-musical set during one of Holiday’s last performances. And at the Broach Theatre in Greensboro, Price recently debuted Josephine, another one-woman bio-musical, in which she portrays the flamboyant chanteuse Josephine Baker.

The Valentine’s Day concert, co-sponsored by Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues, is the first in a series of jazz performances slated for the Diana Wortham Theatre, according to Managing Director John Ellis. Hopefully, Ellis says, Diana Wortham can become an important jazz venue in western North Carolina. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 ($10 for members of Tressa’s and the new Asheville Jazz Society). To order tickets by phone, call 257-4530.

(You can catch Price again on Feb. 19 at Flat Rock’s Blue Ridge Community College, where she and Priceless will present An Evening With Billie Holiday at 7:30 p.m. in the college’s auditorium. Tickets are $6. Call 692-3572, ext. 260, for more info.)

Doctors love the French Broad

This year, RiverLink’s Fall in Love with the French Broad Cabaret is garnering some serious medical attention.

Lots of the fun things you can do along the river — such as boating, walking, biking and hiking — are downright healthy, so boatloads of pros in the medical field will kick up their heels in this year’s celebrity can-can line. Hospital doctors, presidents and chiefs-of-staff — among others — will be led by Susan and Giles Collard, directors of the New Studio of Dance.

Decorations will reflect a springtime theme (“Springtime in Paris,” to be exact); entertainment will be top-notch (rumor has it Elvis is gonna show — and you’ll hear some red-hot torch songs by Frank Stevens and Pamela Eden, plus the magic fingers of David Bates on piano and Joe Tomcyk on accordion); the food will be French (think vichyssoise, fromage and mousse); the auction will be silent (arts and crafts up for grabs); and a raffle winner will be announced (the grand prize includes two nights at the Grove Park Inn, and din-din for two at the posh Horizons restaurant).

The cabaret will run from 6:30-11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort. Tickets cost $75 per person ($55 for RiverLink members). For more info, call RiverLink at 252-8474.

A musical Valentine

The Asheville Symphony offers the city a special Valentine on — you guessed it — Valentine’s Day: The Symphony’s 37th season continues when Musical Director Robert Hart Baker conducts a Valentine-themed concert featuring the music of Tchaikovsky, John Williams, Sarasate and Sibelius.

Guest artist for the evening will be Chapel Hill’s Sandy Yamamoto, a second-year master’s student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Yamamoto has won numerous competitions — most recently, first prize in the highly prestigious Darius Milhaud Performance Prize Competition. She will play the well-known “Gypsy Airs” of Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate, one of the great violin virtuosos of the late 19th century.

The symphony will begin the program, appropriately enough, with the original version of Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture” (the piece is somewhat different from the more familiar third version, which the composer wrote some 11 years later).

The concert will be held in Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Tickets range from $12 to $34, with discounts available for seniors, students and subscribers. Tickets are available at the Civic Center box office. To charge by phone, call (800) 693-8499.

[Compiled by Marsha Barber and Jill Ingram]

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