ALAMEDA -- Another great season of live music at Alameda's Main Library will wrap up with a performance by jazz cabaret singer and Bay Area favorite Paula West on Nov. 17.
West follows a September show put on by Kenny Washington and Jonathan Poretz's October performance.
"West is a terrific singer who performs with her own special style," said Ruth Belikove, a co-producer of the shows, which are put on by the Alameda Free Library Foundation as fundraisers. "She's worked hard and come a long way from being a waitress taking singing lessons to reaching the heights of her profession."
West, who performs tunes such as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Don't Fence Me In," was born and raised in San Diego as the daughter of a Marine and became more familiar with jazz when she moved to the Bay Area in the late 1980s.
For the past several years, she performed with noted pianist and arranger George Mesterhazy, who accompanied the late Shirley Horn. She's also sung with Mesterhazy's quartet in San Francisco and New York and is set to sing in the Big Apple with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in February 2013.
The audience is in for a treat, Belikove said, because West has a lot of fun on stage.
"She's got such a sense of humor and courts the audience much differently from our other performers," Belikove said.
"She does everything, like appearing at the Algonquin Hotel in New York when it was open, which
It took over two years to get her committed to a performance at the Alameda Main Library.
"We are so happy to have her come. It's a coupe for us," she said. "Paula is a very sweet lady. Audiences have been enthusiastic about the first two shows in the series, and the crowd should be so again this time."
Over the past four years, the Live at the Library series of events and a larger show featuring opera singer Frederica von Stade at the Alameda Theater have raised approximately $60,000 for the library.
"You — the community — did it and deserve the applause," Belikove said. "And we're so glad that everyone who comes to the shows enjoys them."
Community sponsors of Live at the Library include Books Inc., Cairdea Design & Marketing, Dewey's Friends Café, Friends of the Alameda Library, Alameda Free Library Foundation, the Alameda Library Board Art Committee, Piedmont Piano and R&B Cellars.
Tickets for the shows, $35 each, have been sold at Dewey's Friends Café in the Main Library, Books Inc. on Park Street and online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Refreshments, including wine, will be available for purchase before the concert.