With a cocked hat, a dash of red lipstick, and vagabonds at her side, Davina Lozier has poured theatrical jazz into venues across the metro and world.
Davina and The Vagabonds is debuting its album “Sugar Drops” Aug. 5 at the Guthrie Theater. It is the band’s first album produced with Nashville’s Red House Records.
The Twin Cities-based jazz group was born in 2004. In its nascent years, the band played at events such as the Wayzata Summer Concert series. Lozier and her crew are known for gilding their music with an array of jazz styles, and for Lozier’s distinctive sweet ‘n’ smoky voice. Over the last several years, it has grown to have an international audience.
Ann Clifford was the owner of the former School II Bistro restaurant in Chanhassen. She started booking Lozier some 15 years ago.
“Davina doesn’t just sing. She shares her soul when she performs,” Clifford said. “Her performances have gotten stronger and stronger and stronger.”
Anticipation was tangible prior to Lozier’s performances, Clifford said. Loyal fans traveled to see the performances, and would sit in the cozy bistro long into the evening, listening.
“When she came in, it was such an exciting day. The whole day you could just feel it,” she said. “She is humble and she is loved. She is wanted in the places she goes.”
Two singles from “Sugar Drops” have been released: “Little Miss Moonshine” and “I Can’t Believe I Let You Go.” The second was listed as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now” earlier this July.
Red House Records describes the album as one that ranges the jazz eras.
“A distillation of bluesy barroom baritone and bravado, graveyard jazz grooves, and noir-ish confessional lyricism backed by boisterous piano, guitar, and strings, the music actualizes longstanding intent for Davina.”
Lozier has described the album as a representation of a century of Americana. “Sugar Drops” was recorded with her husband/trumpeter/string arranger Zack Lozier and produced by Garry West.
This band is on the go. After the Guthrie performance, they are dashing to Southern states such as Georgia and New Mexico, and traversing oceans — France, Austria and Brazil among the destinations.
Davina and The Vagabonds’ website is davinaandthevagabonds.com.