Swingin’ Tribute Bands ·· Ladies In The Day at Union Stage

DC-based jazz tribute band pays homage to the music of jazz and blues legends from Ella Fitzgerald to Etta James at Union Stage on 12/27

Before Beyonce, Billie Holiday was the Queen Bee.

What would the fabric of American music look like if it weren’t for jazz? Long before Aretha, Tina, Whitney, Janet, Brandy, Alicia, and Mary J. Blige, a group of pioneering jazz and blues vocalists fashioned the blueprint for the record-breaking feats enjoyed by some of music’s biggest names.

Though sometimes not as trumpted as their male counterparts, the history of jazz has always included remarkable women. From Ella Fitzgerald, the first African-American woman of song, to Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Etta James and countless others, these trailblazing women defined a genre, setting the stage for many of today’s pop princess and R&B divas.

Thanks to jazz tribute bands like DC-based Ladies in the Day, you can take a trip back in time and experience what these trailblazing songstresses sounded like back in the day when they played the hottest jazz and blues clubs that used to line U Street.The quartet performs classic renditions that celebrate the legacy and soul of the genre’s most influential black women.

Jazz, with its emphasis on individual expression and improvisation, may be the last genre one would expect to spawn tribute bands. But as the home of favorite son Duke Ellington, jazz is a part of the city’s DNA. And with the evolving music scene, local jazz musicians are exploring opportunities beyond the usual hot spots and playing gigs in unexpected locations.

While some tribute bands prefer to stay true to a song’s original arrangement and structure, Ladies In the Day is known for putting their own twist on the standards. [Ladies in the Day perform “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Billie Holiday].

Says award-winning lead singer Sheila Tolbert, “Jazz tribute bands offer music fans a window into jazz history.” She continues,” Ladies in the Day started as a side project that allowed us to perform the music we love, but as fans and musicians, we also feel that it’s our responsibility to keep the legacy of these of women alive and share their contributions to the music we love and play daily.”

The group is comprised of award-winning vocalists who have performed with such names as multiple Grammy-award singer Sting; Grammy and BET-award gospel singer Donnie McClurkin; renowned jazz, soul, and funk musician Lonnie Liston Smith who played with jazz artists Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis; just to name a few.

LADIES IN THE DAY vocalists:

  • • Carmen Craven
  • • Tori Ylon
  • • Asia
  • • Sheila D

Members of the band:

  • • Ricardo Abbott – Saxophone
  • • Dave Marsh – Bass
  • • Jordan Williams – Keyboard
  • • Earl Ivey – Drummer


LADIES IN THE DAY play Union Stage on December 27 at 8pm (doors open at 6:30pm) for a special night that promises an evening of jazzy and bluesy tunes reminiscent of the big band era. The joint will be jumping! Tickets available here.