Delaveris plans last central Ohio performance June 21
Kelly Delaveris, the longtime jazz siren of the Columbus music scene, will perform her last local gig Thursday, June 21, as part of the City of Upper Arlington's Music in the Parks concert series.
But don't feel too bad for her. She has a gig lined up the following night in her new home of York, Pa.
Delaveris is relocating to southeastern Pennsylvania, where her husband, Steve, has taken a new job. She said she is excited about the move, that "the time is right."
Delaveris, who began singing professionally about 34 years ago, is a staple at central Ohio clubs, restaurants and halls. She got her first gig while attending Ohio State University and has been at it ever since, even while pregnant with her four children. (She also has one stepson.)
She was first hired to sing by Joe Noethlich for gigs at places like Captain Sam's on Morse Road and Cloisters in Hilliard. Her second regular gig was at the Hilton Inn North, where she sang six nights a week while attending OSU.
"At that time, all the hotels has live entertainment six nights a week," she said. "I was busy, but it was great because I was learning new tunes all the time."
She finished school with a degree in special education and worked in local schools while continuing to sing. This worked out for her, as she met Steve at a gig at Stouffer's in Dublin.
"He was at the bar, and someone introduced us," she said. "I thought he was awfully cute."
Delaveris stopped teaching while she was raising her children, but she kept singing. She said people still tell her they recall seeing her perform while "your belly was out to here."
Through the years, she has sung at any number of locations and with a variety of other performers. She is an affiliate artist of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, and she has performed with local Latin jazz outfit Brasileira since 1996.
About eight years ago, she went back to teaching, working as a special education tutor with Columbus City Schools. Most recently, Delaveris said she has been performing about six to eight times a month, which, she laughed, is the first time in her singing career that number has been about right.
"I've never been satisfied," she said. "I've either been singing too much or not enough."
A native of Upper Arlington and 1975 UAHS graduate, Delaveris graduated from OSU in 1980. Her family resided in Grandview for 22 years until last year, when they moved to UA.
The lifelong central Ohio resident balked once at moving away, opting at the last minute to attend OSU instead of Bowling Green State University. During school, she held dreams of moving to New York City for a career in musical theater, but again, her heart kept her close to home.
But this time, she's "really excited" about a move. She told ThisWeek her new home reminds her in equal parts of her childhood home on West Henderson Road and her grandmother's farm near Mansfield, Ohio.
And, she said, she is already making connections in York, where she will work as a tutor for a private school and has already scored the aforementioned gig, despite admonitions from a one of her husband's new colleagues that, "There's no jazz in York."
Delaveris spoke highly of the Columbus-area scene of which she's been an important part for so long.
"Everyone has their opinion about the jazz scene, but in Columbus, I think it's getting bigger and better," she said. "People from all over the U.S. have told me what a great local music scene we have."
Her June 21 gig at UA's Music in the Parks will begin at 7 p.m. on the UA Arts stage at the Amelita Mirolo Barn at Sunny 95 Park. Details are available at uaoh.net.
"We are honored to share her last performing moments in Ohio," said Lynette Santoro-Au, Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Division Arts Manager.
Delaveris will perform a varied set from the American songbook, and will be joined by a "dream rhythm section" of Mark Flugge on piano, Andy Woodson on bass and Jim Rupp on drums.