Swing into Spring

When: Mon., May 5, 6:30 p.m. 2008

You could arguably shoehorn Berkeley-raised R&B singer Zoë Ellis among the Mary J. Bliges and Keyshia Coles of the world -- women who sing in a language of emotional terms, with enough palpable fury and intensity of feeling to really manhandle their audiences. What separates Ellis from the pack (Blige excepted), is the sheer quality of her voice. She never fumbles a note or bobbles a phrase, and gives every line the depth and richness it deserves -- so that whether she's talking about a bad break-up or a good dinner, you'll think you're hearing something private and intimate. ZADELL, Ellis' group with her saxophonist brother Dave, will headline the "Swing into Spring Benefit for Central Works" at Downtown Restaurant (2101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley), hosted by Bay Area restaurateur Narsai David. Also featuring food and silent and live auctions, the fund-raiser for the theater ensemble happens Monday, May 5. 6:30 p.m., $85, $160 per couple. CentralWorks.org

Rachel Swan

Price: $85, $160

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