Paulette McWilliams

Music Hours:  6:30 to 10:30

Listening to McWilliams, it’s impossible not to be reminded of Sarah Vaughan: the same deliciously long notes, impeccable phrasing and round, full tone.  -Christopher Loudon, Jazztimes
Paulette is truly one of the best Jazz singers in our time!  -Cedar Walton

Paulette McWilliams is best known for her deep sultry velvety tones and her wide vocal range. You’ve heard her voice! The iconic voice behind Michael Jackson on “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” — Michael’s biggest hit; on Aretha Franklin’s No.1 hit “Jump To It,” Billy Idol’s No. 1 hit “Mony Mony,” Luther Vandross’s “Stop To Love” and “Wait For Love,”  and mostly all of Luther's recordings as Paulette was part of Luther's core group both in the studio and live..Paulette's Discography reads like the who's who in the industry...

She also toured, recordedand sang live with Luther Vandross for 20 years and sang all of the Tammi Terrell duets with Marvin Gaye on his last tour. She has worked with some of the best artists, performers and producers in the business, such as Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, Bette Midler, Billy Idol, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Lauryn Hill, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Patty LaBelle, Deborah Cox, Michael Jackson, Michael Buble, Steely Dan and many others.

Moving from gig to gig, Paulette worked feverishly and then, thanks to a sample recording, she was “introduced” to Quincy Jones. Phil Upchurch, the world-famous jazz guitarist, sent a home studio recording to Quincy. Shortly after that, Paulette became solo/lead singer with Quincy during his “Body Heat” tour and featured her on his Mellow Madness album – the title song co-written by Paulette. Next, they toured Japan to where one of Paulette’s dreams came true, singing a duet live with the legendary Sarah Vaughan while Quincy conducted the orchestra. A surprise for Paulette from her mentor Quincy Jones who told Paulette she reminded him of Sassie... 

Paulette’s numerous TV commercials (work) such as Folgers Coffee, McDonalds, Diet Pepsi (with Britney Spears), Cadillac, Cover Girl, American Express, Celebrex, MasterCard, United Airlines, Budweiser, Sears, Kellogg's, Ebay, Mercedes, Coca Cola and countless others is also why you know her voice!!!

Today, after 40 years of recording and touring, Paulette has hit her stride  “I was always destined to sing jazz, but it took me a long time to realize it. I've sung jazz all my life.. During the soundchecks on different tours when the other background singers were sing the popular songs I would always sing from the American Songbook... 

Paulette has been performing jazz all over Russia for 7 years now... She's made the wonderful trip to Russia over 13 times in the last 7 years to sold out concerts and wonderful Russian clubs..  I’ve performed at jazz festivals in Japan, clubs in London, or The Blue Note in Tokyo and other festivals like Monterey, Trinidad, Milan, Moscow and Bern, Switzerland. These shows were topped recently when she performed at the International Jazz Festival in The Netherlands in May and this June, the 16th annual Jazz Journalists Association Awards in New York City.