ARTS COUNCIL OF BIG SKY

BIG SKY – The Arts Council of Big Sky is hosting its second annual fundraising gala, Crawfish and Cornbread, on March 28, at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.

In addition to a “quick finish” session featuring Montana artists and a live art auction, which begins at 5 p.m., there will be a Cajun-themed dinner catered by Buck’s T-4. At 7:30 p.m., jazz singer Eden Atwood, along with the Glen Johnston Swing Band, will take the stage.

Born in Memphis, Atwood relocated to Montana at age 5, and then to Chicago at age 19 to attend the American Conservatory of Music. Eight years of classical piano had provided her with a solid musical foundation, but Eden wanted to able to write and arrange her own material. She produced a demo tape that caught the attention of Bill Allen at Chicago’s legendary, now defunct, Gold Star Sardine Bar, and at 21, she became the headliner, staying for eight years with breaks to accommodate acting and modeling jobs in New York, Los Angeles and Paris.

In 1993, Marian McPartland of Piano Jazz fame heard Atwood’s self-produced album, “Today,” and forwarded it to Concord Records President, Carl Jefferson. He signed her immediately to a three-record deal, and she remains the youngest artist ever signed to the label. She produced four albums for Concord, all of which received critical praise. Since the release of Atwood’s last Concord recording, “A Night In The Life,” she has performed all over the world sharing bills with Gene Harris, Joshua Redman and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band. She has been featured on NPR’s Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland and Ms. McPartland appears on three tracks of Eden’s CD There Again. Starbucks Coffee, Eddie Bauer and Brooks Brothers have all put tracks of Eden’s on their compilation CDs along side Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson.

Atwood signed with Groove Note Records and made “Waves, The Bossa Nova Session,” a recording of bossa nova standards and Brazilian flavored standards from the Great American Songbook. Her upcoming album is titled “True North,” and she is working on a memoir, “The Last White Horse.” She currently lives in Missoula, teaching private vocal students, working with attachment-disordered children and touring.

The inaugural Crawfish and Cornbread sold $23,000 in original artwork, with half of the auction proceeds going to ACBS to help offset the costs of producing its events.

Tickets are now available via phone at (406) 995-2742.