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Amanda King: Biography

"AMANDA KING was one of the last performers to appear at San Francisco’s once favorite cabaret, the Plush Room, before the doors closed forever in early 2008. The show was a total success. Amanda then went on to record Chanteuse, a collection of popular songs from the ‘30s and ‘40s now referred to as the [Great] American Songbook. This treasured material has Amanda’s name written all over it. Her tone is rich and sexy, her phrasing is smooth, the delivery balances carefree passion with subtle humor. Amanda King is the right girl for the very best in American songwriting." ~ Seán Martinfield, San Francisco Sentinel

With the sound and soul of a classic chanteuse, it's no surprise that Amanda King showcases a catalog of long-forgotten music from the 1930’s and 40’s, embodying many of the figures who made up the vivid tapestry that is American Popular Music and Jazz. Possessing a smoothness of voice and surety of style, she has been hailed by New York Times' critic Stephen Holden as one of the nightclub world’s “exceptional rising talents.”  Combining the best of the jazz and cabaret worlds by focusing on the words, the music, and the swing, Amanda masterfully interprets the music she adores and performs to rave audiences.

How It All Began

Amanda at the Chatterbox, IndianapolisAs one of the youngest apprentices at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the professionally trained and experienced actor segued into a career as a singer a few years after moving to San Francisco in 2000.  On a lark, Amanda entered the Bay Area Cabaret Competition in 2003 and became a 2nd place finalist, which led to appearances in showcases throughout the region, developing a devoted following along the way.  

Amanda's fan base grew substantially after her acclaimed one-woman show “It’s About Damn Time!” which ran at San Francisco's  New Conservatory Theater Center in 2007. The success of that show brought more opportunity, and the appreciation from audiences and musicians alike emboldened her to mount a show entitled “Chanteuse", which was met with great acclaim and solidified her reputation as a solo performer of note.  That show became the basis for her CD “Chanteuse,” which was recorded in 2008 at the famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California and featured her regular trio of well known Bay Area jazz artists, Shota Osabe, Jeff Neighbor, and Surya Nur Patri.

A devoted fan of movie musicals from the 30s and 40s, Amanda relishes diving into history to share the stories, songs and characters in the treasure trove of American Popular Music from 1900 to 1949.

Oh, The Places She'll Go and The Things She'll Do

Amanda has appeared at venues throughout San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, as well as in New York, Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

Her sophomore CD is slated for release in 2018.

Some Highlights

- Garnered critical acclaim as the title character Queenie in the Oakland Opera Theater's rendition of Duke Ellington’s incomplete and rarely performed jazz opera,“Queenie Pie”.  

-2010 & 2011 Performed in the New York Cabaret Convention presented by The Mabel Mercer Foundation at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

- Pops concert of Gershwin tunes with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.

- Created two full-length ‘edutainment’ lecture-performances that debuted as part of the SFJazz Discover Jazz Series. "Forgotten Women, Lost Songs” celebrates the lives of musical pioneers Blanche Calloway and Valaida Snow, and “The Melting Pot: Blacks, Jews and Jazz”, is a musical exploration of the evolution of jazz via contributions from black and Jewish culture. Both lectures received rave reviews from attendees.

- Performed with several big bands including: Harold Jones and the Big Bossmen; Starduster Orchestra; Desert Cities Jazz Band

- A featured performer with the Cole Porter Society.  Performed in “Les Revues des Ambassadeurs”, Cole Porter’s long-lost night club revue from his time in Paris in 1928 that was rediscovered in 2014 and hadn’t been performed in 86 years.

-Performed at the world-famous Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco as part of Bay Area Cabaret’s "Cabaret Spectacular" alongside the magnificent Amanda McBroom and others.

-Co-emcee of the 2017 ‘One Home, Many Hearts’ annual gala for Raphael House.

- Amanda has shared the stage/performed with a slew of great musicians, including: Amanda McBroom, Taylor Eigsti (piano),  Peter Erskine (drums), Paula West, Harold Jones (Tony Bennett’s drummer), Marilyn Maye, Mike Greensill (piano), Akira Tana (drums), Larry Dunlop (piano), Natalie Douglas, Laurence Hobgood (piano), Kitty Margolis, Marcus Shelby (bass), Mary Wilson, Jonathan Poretz, Nicholas King, Carole Bufford, Nicolas Bearde, Bill Bell (piano), Shota Osabe (piano).

- Venues, Festivals and Organizations: SFJazz, Fillmore Jazz Festival, IndyJazz Fest, Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel, The Herbst Theatre, Mabel Mercer Foundation, American Jazz Institute, Cole Porter Society, Vicky’s of Santa Fe, Yoshi’s Jazz Lounge, The Metropolitan Room, The Gardenia, The Rrazz Room, Sonoma Valley Jazz Society, Napa Valley Jazz Society, Richmond-Ermet AIDS Foundation, The Sound Room, The Battery SF, Chatterbox Jazz , North Beach Festival, Castro Street Festival