Calysta and the Paul Schmeling Trio will perform this week at Martino's Restaurant & Bar and Alex's Plaza Restaurant in Ashland. - Photo courtesy of Michael Barth

Calysta and the Paul Schmeling Trio

A 1940s lounge act, Calysta and the Paul Schmeling Trio are at the forefront of Southern Oregon's jazz scene.

Calysta Rupert-Anderson, an 18-year-old Ashland High School senior, joined the trio one year ago, adding a vocal accompaniment to the trio's jazz standards.

"She has the voice of someone at least 10 years older than her," says saxophonist Paul Schmeling. "It has a timber. It's not just a high-girl voice, but has fullness and low-tones in it, too, and she has a good command of jazz style."

"She's going to be famous, I think."

Calysta will be leaving in the fall to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and the group is trying to fit as many gigs into the summer as possible.

Calysta and the Paul Schmeling Trio, including bassist Michael Barth and guitarist Tim Church, will perform this week at 8 p.m. Monday, May 31, at Martino's Restaurant & Bar, 58 E. Main St., Ashland, and at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 35 N. Main St., Ashland.

The group's traditional repertoire features covers dating back to the 1930s. Some of their favorite artists include Sarah Vaughan, Etta James, Nora Jones, Nancy Wilson and Frankie Valli.

Besides jazz standards, the group plays swing, Latin, ballads and torch songs, aiming at keeping their act "nice, tight, soulful and quiet," says Schmeling.

"We try to be pretty, that's how we like the band — quiet and pretty," he says.

The trio has produced a demo, and hopes to work with Calysta this summer to produce a full-length album.

For more information about the Ashland shows, call Schmeling at 541-324-9763.

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