Saturday, June 22, 2024

Bob Dylan Gets a Jazzy Spin from San Francisco’s Paula West

Paula West is a San Francisco treasure. She hasn’t recorded a lot so when she plays in concert, it’s a show worth seeking out.

West will bring her jazzy smoky voice to San Francisco once again – this time in conjunction with the amazing San Francisco Performances.

For those thinking West will reach into her catalog when she plays the Herbst Theatre theatre will be surprised that most of her musical selections on Jan. 25 will be part of the Bob Dylan songbook.

West has made a career of revisiting old standards and making them her own. When you hear “Laura,” “Always True to You My Fashion” and “Don’t Fence Me In,” you might think of West’s renditions often before the original – whether it’s her recorded version or from a live show.  

But when you see her live, West captivates every time she sings – so it’s always a treat to see her perform.

Apparently I’m not the only one to appreciate her talents as this concert will be presented by San Francisco Performances, who has had a keen eye on presenting top talent since 1979.

West has been a mainstay in San Francisco since she was pulled out of the restaurant industry after she realized she had enough bookings and a fanbase to perform full time.

She’s been in most every jazz concert and musical benefit over the past few decades. Further, she’s often a go-to performer for many of the City’s cabaret venues as well as often being seduced away to perform in New York jazz clubs.

West has become a staple in San Francisco – not only for residency, but she often donates her talent to at the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s fundraisers (

While her focus on Dylan seems out of character for West, she has been more progressive than other jazz singers and has recorded some of his songs before.

So this will be a special treat for newbies and a nice change for her allegiance of supporters.

If you’re already a fan or realize you finally need to jump on the fan wagon, get tickets at

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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