Chicago-based jazz singer Elaine Dame to perform at The Mendel Center

Friday, 11 January 2019 - 7:00pm

Event:               Elaine Dame

When:               Friday, January 11, 2019, 7 pm

Where:              The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, Hanson Theatre

2755 E Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI

Mendel Center Box Office, (269) 927-8700, option 1, or

Tickets:             $15, $10 Mainstage & Economic Club members, seniors, students, and veterans



Chicago-based jazz singer Elaine Dame to perform at The Mendel Center as part of the Hanson Theatre Living Room Series Jan. 11


On Friday, January 11, at 7 pm, The Mendel Center welcomes Chicago-based jazz singer Elaine Dame to the Hanson Theatre Living Room Series. The Stevensville native returns to the area to delight the audience with an evening of selections from her albums Comes Love and You’re My Thrill along with jazz favorites that will warm a winter evening.

Dame, who Time Out, Chicagocalls a “jazz dynamo” and “a gem in the city’s vocal jazz scene,” has been turning heads for the past twenty years as a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene. From her headlining appearances at New York City’s legendary Rainbow Room and Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below, to her mainstage performances at the 2015 and 2017 Chicago Jazz Festivals, to her appearances at venerable jazz clubs all across the country, Dame brings her joyful, unique interpretations to vintage vocal gems and modern standards alike. 


Neil Tesser, Grammy award-winning jazz critic and author of The Playboy Guide to Jazzsaid, "Dame has risen to the top ranks of Chicago jazz singers. She possesses all the musicality you could want in a true jazz vocalist: centered intonation, an enviable command of rhythm and a translucent but powerful instrument.” 


While virtuosity is a given, it’s the joy she exudes with every note that makes Dame’s performances unforgettable. A graduate of The Theater Repertory Program at California State Northridge, Dame worked for years in Chicago’s theater scene before turning her whole focus to jazz. She is a singer who understands the importance of stage presence. It’s no wonder the Chicago Reader wrote, “Ms. Dame has a winning stage presence and a chameleon-like vocal flexibility.” 


Comes Love, Dame’s debut recording was released to wide critical acclaim and international radio play. “Dame combines a freshness of approach with an unaffected fondness for the music she sings. The result is a clear-eyed approach to her material that remains accessible to a broad cross section of listeners, potentially enlarging the audience for jazz,” said Jazz Improv Magazine.


In December of 2014, Dame released her highly-anticipated sophomore recording You’re My Thrillto rave reviews: “Dame’s interpretive gifts - which are through the roof - do what jazz is meant to do: turn these well-worn tunes into a revelatory and often very witty set of commentaries on each other. Her voice is capable of doing whatever she asks of it-from an extended staccato run to a single word teased by a beguiling melisma – but it’s the choices behind these technical feats that are the real story. Everything is in the service of the narrative; the beauty of her instrument is guided by the shrewdness of her instincts and her instincts are infallible,” said Robert Rodi of New City, Chicago.  


Dame is currently planning her third studio recording, a special project that will feature extraordinary jazz renderings of her favorite songs from the ‘70s with an all-star line-up of notable jazz instrumentalists.


For the past twelve years, in addition to her consistent work as a jazz singer, Dame has been a private jazz vocal instructor. She was honored to have been a 2013 teaching artist at Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Summer Jazz Academy, where she taught scatting master classes. She has also conducted jazz clinics at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Minneapolis Public Schools, Drake University in Iowa and the Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona, Spain.


A wine bar and craft beers from local makers will be available beginning at 6 pm for attendees to enjoy throughout the performance.


Tickets for Elaine Dame are $15 and available at, through The Mendel Center box office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, and in person weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the box office located in The Mendel Center, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. Discounts available for Mainstage and Economic Club members, seniors, students, and veterans.


The Hanson Theatre Living Room Series is sponsored by the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council.


About the Hanson Theatre Living Room Series

The Hanson Theatre Living Room Series is a live performance experience in the intimate setting of the 250-seat Hanson Theatre inside The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College. The venue is designed for maximum viewing and listening pleasure and provides audiences with the opportunity to connect more closely with the performers and the performances.




The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.


Find Elaine Dame online at:

Facebook @ElaineDameJazzSinger

Instagram @ElaineDame

Twitter @ElaineDame

YouTube @TheElaineDame


Find #TheMendelCenter online at:

Facebook @mendelcenter

Instagram @TheMendelCenter

Twitter @TheMendelCenter

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