Mara Hruby Revitalizes Standards

Oakland singer performs at Mezzanine on Feb. 14

Josh Farria

Much like acclaimed jazz vocalist Jose James, Oakland artist Mara Hruby is bridging the gap between cabaret-era jazz-pop and alternative soul. It’s led to appreciative profiles in Wax Poetics, where she discussed her association with New York soul artist Jesse Boykins III and his Romantic Movement, and contributing to his recent album Zulu Guru; and the East Bay Express, where she noted her love of '50s singer Julie London and post-millennial electronic iconoclasts like Little Dragon and Björk.

With luck, all the attention will lead to a major reception for Archaic Rapture, a soon-to-be released EP that pays tribute to Julie London standards like “Cry Me a River.” It’s her first recording since 2010’s From Her Eyes, and she’s building momentum for it with a short tour that winds up at Mezzanine on February 14, a Valentine’s Day event headlined by Canadian R&B vocalist Melanie Fiona.

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