Oleta Adams and the song Get Here became synonymous when her now classic debut album Circle of One was released in 1990. Her rich, smoky delivery of the Brenda Russell-penned tune captured a legion of fans, many of whom remain hard core devotees of the delightful down-to-earth artist who loves making music and “being a housewife.”
Making a rare South Florida appearance, Adams will bring her soulfully versatile show, which includes jazz, gospel, R&B, pop and more to the Miramar Cultural Center for one night only on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Interviewed by phone at her Kansas City home, Adams said South Florida fans should “be ready to jump up and holler and clap your hands, and cry a little bit, and laugh a little bit and be enlightened a little bit.”
Adams’ career has produced eight CDs and a satisfying performance schedule that includes extensive touring in Europe, corporate and private gigs and appearances at select U.S. music festivals.
She has been married to drummer John Cushon for 16 years, which allows the couple to work and play together. When not making music, Adams said that she and Cushon can be found on their boat relaxing, reading, taking pictures or playing a spirited game of Scrabble.
“I’m a bit of a ‘Scrabble-holic’” she confessed.
Adams said she and her husband value their private life and are still active members of their church.
“We travel together,” she added.
And they make music together. With Cushon on drums and Adams on piano and out front vocally, she said, “We make a mighty big noise.”
Adams’ vocal talent was noticed when she was a little girl at Pilgrim Rock Baptist Church, where her father was the pastor. By the time she was 11, she was directing and playing with four choirs.
She credits her success to her junior high school teacher, Lee Farrell, "the brilliant Julliard-trained teacher and voice coach who changed my life."
Adams’ serious approach to music has resulted in a masterful level of versatility that she says allows her to "have fun doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that” and avoid being pigeon-holed musically.
That versatility takes her, for example, to the Boston Pops for a gospel concert or to Holland to perform a smoking jazz show.
“We just got back from playing the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and had a fantastic time,” she said.
Of her success, Adams said, “I’m always pleasantly surprised. The hit songs that most people know me for are from 20 years ago. I’m still keeping very busy.”
Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: A Night of Smooth Jazz featuring Oleta Adams
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar
COST: $42 AND $55
CONTACT: For more information or tickets, call 954-602-4500 or log on to miramarculturalcenter.org.