San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
A deeply soulful R&B vocalist with jazz undertones, Chicago-born Ada Dyer delivers an emotional and sultry style that's just as assured as that of revered talents like Whitney Houston. She has backed such artists as Steely Dan, Cher, Sting, Luther Vandross, and Lenny Kravitz.
Ada Dyer (given name Adaritha) made her recorded debut on eminent jazz drummer Norman Connors's album Invitation (1979) after her drummer discovered her talents singing the title track. In addition to "Invitation," she was also featured on "Handle Me Gently." Connors invited the vocalist back for his next album, 1980's Take It to the Limit, on which the two scored a Top 30 R&B hit with the title cut. After returning home from a tour with Connors, Dyer auditioned and was promptly hired as the understudy to the lead in a production of The Wiz. In 1981, she relocated from Chicago to New York City, where she continued her work in both jingles and recording. Notably, she became part of the lineup of electro-dance trio Warp 9, best remembered for their trend-setting club hits "Nunk," "Light Years Away," and "No Man is an Island."
In 1983, Dyer took a break from recording to do yet another production of The Wiz. Soon after, she began a prolific career as a background vocalist, both on tours and recording sessions. Her first prominent road gig with Chaka Khan led to interest from James Anthony Carmichael, noted for his work with Lionel Ritchie, the Commodores, and Atlantic Starr. Carmichael had an ongoing relationship with Motown Records, which promptly signed Dyer. By 1987, the two commenced work on what would become Dyer's debut solo album, Meant to Be.
Released in spring of 1988, Meant to Be quickly picked up steam, driven by the single release of "I Bet Ya I'll Let Ya," which reached No. 33 on Billboard's R&B singles chart. A second single, "I Don't Feel Like Crying," penned by Babyface and L.A. Reid, served as the follow-up. Dyer was soon given a chance to record a second album under Motown's new presidency. Unlike Meant to Be, on which she had been given no creative input, she selected all of the songs and co-wrote several for her eponymous 1990 release. This album effectively showcased Dyer's abilities as an across-the-board singer, equally at home with powerful soul and pop ballads, jazzy R&B tunes, and funk jams.
Since that incredible start to her career, Dyer has gone on to work with such artists as Sting, Roberta Flack, Lenny Kravitz, Cher, the J. Geils Band, Boz Scaggs, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, just to name a few.
When & Where
B.B. King Blues Club
Conveniently located in the heart of Times Square near Penn Station and Port Authority, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill offers music fans a unique experience. Owned by the Bensusan Family, proprietors of the world renowned Blue Note Jazz Club, the club features world-class musical talent and consists of two distinct spaces: the Showcase Room & Lucille’s Grill.
The breathtaking main space is classical in form and spirit: two-tiered, horseshoe-shaped seating (booths & tables) centered around a 30-foot stage presents up close and personal views of all performances. The 40-foot bar is a haven for the reserved listener. The atmosphere is enhanced with two 8-foot big video screens on either side of the stage.