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The sixth-grade soloist

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Posted: Friday, January 16, 2009 10:00 pm

Cell Block Seven - a California jazz band favoring the West Coast traditional jazz sound of Lu Waters, Turk Murphy and the Bay City Jazz Band of the '50s - will be performing in Lodi on Jan. 22.

Local band Cell Block Seven has been together 10 years and is able to produce sounds from fast, exciting trios to smooth and mellow blues, all in great low brass. Their upcoming performance will include Big Bear Stomp, Cakewalkin' Babies, Doin' the Hambone, Golden Eagle Strut, Tin Roof Blues and Mood Indigo.

Thursday's program will feature soloist Natalie Tout - the sixth grade granddaughter of tuba player Tom Downs. Her first appearance as guest singer with Cell Block Seven was at the 2007 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. Since then she has appeared at festivals and jazz clubs throughout California and Oregon.

Tout talks about her life now and what she hopes it will be.

Q: How long have you been singing?

A: I've taken lessons for three years and have sung with a band for about a year.

Q: What's your singing style?

A: I sing traditional jazz and classical.

Q: What's your favorite song to sing?

A: That's probably "Big Butter and Egg Man." It's about this girl and she's lonely and she's poor and works all day and is tired and just wants someone to take care of her.

Q: You'll perform in Lodi with Cell Block 7? Have you performed with them before?

A: Yes, they were the first band I ever sang with.

Q: What's it like performing with your grandpa, a Cell Block 7 member?

A: It's really fun. I like being able to sing with people I really know.

Q: What do your friends think of you singing with a real band?

A: They think it's really cool.

Q: Do you ever write your own music?

A: Yeah, I've been working on that. It's a work in progress. I write about how I'm feeling.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: In my free time, I like to listen to music. I tend to listen to Ashley Tisdale, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus.

Q: Is Miley Cyrus someone young girls should look up to as much as they do?

A: I do look up to her. She writes her own music and she's one of the people who her fans are very important to her and that's something we have in common.

Q: What are your favorite things to do with friends?

A: I like to sleep over and listen to music with them.

Q: What's your favorite movie?

A: I really like the movie "Anastasia."

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: I want to be a veterinarian and do singing on the side.

Q: What tips do you have for young people who want to pursue singing?

A: If you want to pursue singing, then do it and don't let other people tell you that you can't do it. If you believe you can, then you can.

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