All-female Diva jazz band plays today in Severna Park

September 17, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Not for nothing do the jazz musicians of Diva refer to themselves as "No Man's Band."

For, defying stereotypes, all of the 15 members of this New York-based, hard-swinging big band are women.

Led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, Diva will bring its varied repertoire and zest for music to the Severna Park High School auditorium at 8 p.m. today under the auspices of the Anne Arundel Community Concert Association.

The idea for this ensemble, which has been known to mix standards like "Caravan" and "Stardust" with novelties like "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead," came from Stanley Kay, a former manager and relief drummer for the Buddy Rich Big Band.

In 1990, Kay was conducting a band with Maricle on drums. Impressed by her gifts, he wondered whether there were other women of similar caliber who could staff a big band. He put out an audition call nationwide, and Diva began giving concerts in 1993.

The group has performed at prestigious venues here and abroad. It sold out Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra. Also to its credit are engagements at the Kennedy Center, the Teatro de Sistina in Rome, the Hollywood Bowl, the Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany and the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland.

Diva released its first CD, "Something's Coming," on the Perfect Sound label. A second disc, "Leave It to Diva," came out last year on an independent label.

"We truly love to play," says Maricle, "and we hope that our love of the music is passed along. Pleasing the audience pleases us."

For information, call 410-647-6873.

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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