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Acclaimed Local Singer Dee Bell Returns to Spotlight with Throckmorton Show

Once one of the most acclaimed jazz singers in the Bay Area, Mill Valley resident has maintained a low profile for two decades. Saturday night’s show is a benefit for Camp Create.

For the past two years, Dee Bell has lived a life that anyone would consider busy: wife, mother, graphic artist, music teacher for the Mill Valley School District and singer, among other things.

But for many Bay Area jazz music fans, Bell kept an exceedingly low profile on the latter of those pursuits over the past 20 years, performing live infrequently. That changes Saturday night, when Bell takes the stage of for a benefit show for Camp Create.

"I stopped doing nightclubs," Bell, 61, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I was not able to maintain that late-night thing," she says. "For a long time, they wanted four sets for 50 bucks, 9 to 1. I just couldn't and be present for my (now 20-year-old) son."

When Bell appeared on Alisa Clancy’s KCSM Desert Island radio interview show in March, producer Michael Burman greeted her as “the Once and Future Singer, referring to the once-prominent Bell’s low show profile over the past 20-plus years.

Bell will perform with the Marcos Silva Band. Silva, a composer, arranger, and former music director for Flora Purim and Airto as well as for Toninho Horta, currently teaches Brazilian music at the Jazz School in Berkeley. 

The concert will partially benefit the arts camp, Camp Create – July 16-22, an arts immersion experience at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Belvedere that provides professional art teachers, storytellers, music and transportation for youth from the Canal (San Rafael) and Marin City, as well as for youth from Marin who can afford to cover their own costs. 

The 411: Dee Bell performs with the Marco Silva Band at 142 Throckmorton Theatre at 8 pm. Sat. $25-$35. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. (415) 383-9600. Go to the Throckmorton’s website for more info and to buy tickets. www.142throckmortontheatre.org.

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