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Off-Hours Soul: A Sultry Appeal 

click to enlarge news30_sharon_rae_north.jpg

As a spokeswoman for Richmond's Department of Public Works, Sharon Rae North isn't always the easiest to track down. (We've been waiting a month for a call back on our last query about why the city's fleet replacement project is moving so slowly despite being fully funded.)

But it turns out as a jazz vocalist, she's sultry, smooth and simple to find, playing venues across the region and the country. Style Weekly jazz critic Peter McElhinney has written of her "big, charismatic soulfulness." According to her website, North is singing at the Ohio State Fair, which starts today. Then you can find her at the Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont, Aug. 7-10. She also has performances scheduled in New York.

She's also working to pay for her next album, titled "I Am the Song." To do that she's launched an online fundraiser at gofundme.com/sharonraenorth, which has brought in about $3,300 of her $10,000 goal.

"It's going to be a kind of smooth jazz, straight-ahead jazz, kind-of bluesy, with a Sharon Rae North stank on it," she says in a video promoting the project.

Don't worry, North. We won't start crashing your gigs to pester you about potholes and road construction.

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