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Lena Sunday 

When: Thu., Aug. 2, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: $20, $25
Few female singers can use vibrato and tremolo as delicately as Lena Sunday, a Bay Area-raised mezzo soprano who sang backup parts on keyboardist George Duke’s albums while consolidating her own career. Trained in gospel, blues, jazz, and spirituals, she lends emotional depth to standards like the Tanya Alexander blues “Feelin’ Good” and Billie Holiday’s melancholy love ballad “You’ve Changed.” Never content to merely drape her voice over a piano, Sunday tends to lean into each lyric, grasping for its original sentiment while adding her own operatic varnish. Her voice seems to have coarsened a bit over the years, but it’s still wonderfully flexible. At Yoshi’s (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) on Thursday, Aug. 2. 8 p.m., $20, $25. Yoshis.com
— Rachel Swan

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