Stars are out! Davina and the Vagabonds play outdoor jazz fest

More than blues: Davina and the Vagabonds will perform under the stars on July 20 for this year’s exciting “Hot Summer Nights” jazz festival at Kingsborough’s Lighthouse Bandshell.
Garrett Born

You’re guaranteed a swingin’ good time at this jazz fest!

Lindy-hop down to Manhattan Beach this Saturday for the start of “Hot Summer Nights,” a free month-long concert series under the stars. The annual series will return to Kingsborough’s Lighthouse Bandshell on July 6, and then every Saturday this month, setting the irresistible strains of cool jazz, hot swing, and classic big band sounds soaring along with the waterfront breezes.

Among the outstanding hep musicians performing each Saturday, be sure to catch Davina and the Vagabonds, a rollicking quintet that is excited to play the summer series for the second time on July 20.

“I love the Brooklyn community and I’m excited to see familiar faces. It was welcoming the first time, and everyone was happy, and so kind,” said sultry songstress Davina Lozier.

The band will wow listeners with its rockin’ New Orleans-style charm, driven home by dueling horn players and a bayou-thick standup bass.

“It’s all heart and honesty, level-A musicians, high energy, and smiles,” said the band’s singer and piano player.

While her fingers tickle the ivories, Lozier belts out original, heart-thumping tunes that have a 1930s vibes. She paints her own musical picture, at times channeling old school jazz divas like Etta James and Billie Holiday, with her sassy, throaty singing style, then changing it up with a Betty Boop-goes-boom voice.

Lozier and her mother, a folk singer, would sing together to their favorite records while she was growing up in Pennsylvania. Those early sessions had a powerful effect on her sound, she said.

“I have a huge pond of influences. First being my main hero, my mom. She threw me to the wolves when it comes to performing,” said the singer, who now lives in Minneapolis. “I’ve been a little musical sponge since I was a child. My influences range from Fats Waller to Fats Domino, from Judy Collins to Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong to Led Zeppelin.”

She has taken those influences and blended them into a unique gumbo.

“We also have around 100 years of Americana music and originals that lend to the music as well,” she said. “I like to say it’s a ‘new spin to an old sound.’ ”

Playing outside, as she will on July 20, takes some getting used to, said Lozier, but it is always worth it.

“The sound is a little different and it can take a song or two for me to settle in, and sometimes my pin curls won’t stay curled, or I may need to wear a hat,” she said. “But it’s always fun.”

Davina and The Vagabonds at Kingsborough’s Lighthouse Bandshell [2001 Oriental Blvd. at Oxford street in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368–5596, www.onstageatkingsborough.org]. July 20 at 8 p.m. Free.

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