Sue Carney is an accomplished singer, vocalist and instrumentalist with musical experience that ranges from performing in bands in Los Angeles to composing music for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Shows. - Photo by Christopher Briscoe

Time to sing

Jazz singer Sue Carney has all of the skills and talent of a true musician. She composes and directs music, has a great voice and sense of timing and her experience ranges from musical theater to pop. But her first love is jazz.

Carney's vocal influences include many of the great jazz singers — Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae and others, she says.

"I didn't open my mouth to sing until I was 30," Carney says. "I already played 25 instruments. My goal was pure musicianship, and that evolved into becoming a jazz singer."

Carney and longtime musical collaborator Michael Vannice will perform with Opus 3 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, and Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Avalon Bar and Grill, 105 W. Valley View Road, Talent. Opus 3 features David Scoggin on piano, Jim Calhoun on bass and Theresa McCoy on drums. Vannice will join the trio on saxophone and clarinet.

Carney worked for 24 years as a music director and performer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She was one of the forces behind OSF's Green Shows and composed many arrangements during her last 10 years at OSF for the modern dance pieces.

"My talents were used in many ways at the festival," Carney says. "I had to ask myself what exactly I wanted to do after I stopped working at OSF. And now I want to sing."

She's created her own company, Under the Wave Productions, to promote her vocal work, her compositions and other musical endeavors on a national level, she says.

Carney is co-founder and artistic director of the award-winning Terra Nova Consort, which tours internationally and has recordings that have been released in 57 countries. The consort's appearances in the U.S. are heard on National Public Radio's "Performance Today."

Cover for the shows at the Avalon is $12. Reservations can be made by calling 512-8864.

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