Wesla Whitfield

"This wonderful singer thrills me when I hear her." -- Tony Bennett

"Whitfield's sense of phrasing a lyric or a melody is often unconventional, with a surprising little
pause just when you don't expect it. She has a cunning way of reinventing a ballad with torchy finesse,
and it's akin to hearing them for the first time." -- Variety

"Wesla Whitfield has brought back a lost art by making old songs sound new every time she sings them.
Perched on stools in rooms still dark but no longer smoky, Whitfield performs songs as conversations
with her husband, arranger-pianist Mike Greensill; with the other musicians; with the composers and lyricists;
with the emotion as a leaf in the wind, and sweet as sap. Whitfield sings it like it is; she has known despair
and hope, and she's come out a cockeyed optimist. As she sings "When You Wish Upon A Star," you
believe your dreams will come true because she does, and hers did." -- Boston Globe

"For Whitfield, it's always the words, delivered as if she's just chosen them herself.
Is she the best singer -- jazz or whatever-around today? No disagreement here." -- Village Voice

"These extraordinary mini-dramas are accomplished within musical frameworks filled with sly musically
and an unerring sense of swing. Greensill, immensely aided by the virtuous bass playing of John Wiitala,
accompanied in a fashion that both supports and challenges Whitfield's musicality, producing results as in
a Schubert song. Working in combination as a trio, they are brilliant, an incomparable blending of musical
intelligence and dramatic sophistication." -- Los Angeles Times

"Wesla Whitfield's back in town: the best cabaret singer in the world. She knows how to point up every lewd
nuance in a Cole Porter lyric. But she can also swing as hard as Nat Cole, and her way with a torch song is
as devastatingly unsentimental as Frank Sinatra at his late-50s best." -- New York Daily News

"Ms. Whitfield has evolved from a conventional jazz-influenced pop singer into a stylist whose distinctive
vocal quirks serve expressive ends. At Wednesday night's show, she sustained an ideal balance between
playful intimacy and raw feeling." -- The New York Times

"A lovely instrument, a sure technique, a novel way with phrase, a deep understanding of lyrics - these
elements rarely come together in the work of a single vocalist.
Where other singers choose histrionics, Whitfield consistently opts for understatement. Where lesses
vocalist emphasize one register of their instrument over another, Whitfield produces lean, even, utterly
controlled vocal lines top to bottom." -- Chicago Tribune

Wesla Whitfield is an indoor landmark. Every great city deserves a signature chanteuse, and
San Francisco is fortunate to have Whitfield as its resident voice. Much like the city itself,
Whitfield keeps an amused and affectionate eye on the glories of the past, while living entirely
in the present. -- San Francisco Chronicle

"When Wesla Whitfield sings, it's with the zing of a brushed cymbal, a quality that invigorates her
entire repertoire...Is she the best singer -- jazz or whatever-- around today?
No disagreement here." -- The Village Voice

"Light up the skyrockets and put out more flags: Wesla Whitfield's back in town." -- N.Y. Daily News

"Whitfield is, in short, a singer so good that she doesn't have to shout, she doesn't have to overdramatize,
and she doesn't have to be anything other than what she is
-- a nonpareil musical artist." -- The Los Angeles Times

"There simply isn't a more captivating artist in the field than Whitfield, whose radiant interpretations of great
American songs -- familiar and forgotten -- combine a reverielike intensity and pop-style immediacy
...She pours the light of personal intimacy through them. Their stories become hers." -- Chicago Sun Times

"Whitfield internalizes a song so that she can share it as an aspect of her own resilience, humor,
and hope." -- Boston Globe

"Wesla Whitfield renders song classics with such imagination that her interpretations can't be confused
with anyone else's. Her technique is distinctive, too: she spins out the longest phrases in the business,
sometimes saving intense surges for the very end, where others would be completely out of breath.
..Even modest shadings of color or mood pack a wallop." -- The New Yorker

"...ability to stay true to the composer's intentions with unusual grace and empathy." -- The Washington Post

"One of the finest masters of popular singing, Whitfield should be scrutinized by anyone attempting
to learn the subtleties of the vocal arts, and treasured by listeners who value beautiful music, beautifully
done. Her voice is pure yet as malleable as a jazz horn, and she uses it with meticulous attention to
detail. The result is superb jazz singing." -- The Los Angeles Times

"My idea of the best of all possible musical experiences might well be Wesla Whitfield...her use of
dynamics, often with a dramatic, personal flair...convert virtually every one of her renditions into a
distinctive, personalized classic." -- San Franscisco Examiner

"Being a singer first and foremost gives her edge in the studio too. She knows how to make recordings that
people want to listen to, even if they haven't caught her show at the Algonquin Hotel." -- The New York Times

"Wesla Whitfield's pointedly sorrowful 'How Deep is the Ocean?' -- the series' single most
compelling moment -- brought down the house." -- The New York Times

"Whitfield is a singer who's got it all: clarion pitch, delicious tone, textbook enunciation,
priceless timing, quick wit, and a lot more." -- Jazziz Magazine