Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tallahassee Jazz Singer Attracts International Attention

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tallahassee Jazz Singer Attracts International Attention

Article excerpt

Pam Laws, a 49-year-old single mom putting her son through

college, was a great singer who was ready to quit singing.

She wanted to retire her perfectly pitched 4 1/2-octave voice

professionally and settle back into her 20-year career as a

Tallahassee Community College teacher of jazz history.

But a persistent and insistent patron believed deeply that

Laws' voice ought to be heard around the world and wouldn't

allow her to quit.

In fact, the fan/agent, Tallahassee arts patron Margaret Van

Every, helped raise $20,000 from other Tallahassee believers

last year to pay for a compact disc recording of Laws. The jazz

disc, Sweet Fire, long ago paid for itself and is still making

money. Another disc of gospel hits, Let It Shine, was issued a

month ago.

The signs are that persistence and insistence are beginning to

pay off big. Laws' son graduated from college this month, and

Laws, 51, has graduated into international attention in the jazz

field.

She has been invited to sing at the Copenhagen, Denmark, jazz

festival July 1, and she leaves Monday for the Sligo, Ireland,

Arts Festival and follows that with a date in London. She's

booked for concerts through February.

Tonight, North Floridians have a chance to find out what all

the "in-Laws," fans who have known her for decades in

Tallahassee, are fussing about. Laws is one of the featured acts

in the kickoff blues festival at the Florida Folk Festival in

White Springs. She has a 30-minute set scheduled to start at 9:20

p.m.

"I'm really pretty amazed by all of it," Laws said. "I'm not, I

don't think, what you would call an exceedingly ambitious

person."

Van Every, her volunteer agent, is not amazed at all.

"I have so believed for so many years that she's really hot

stuff," said Van Every, a classical violinist. …

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