Storm Large

Storm Large performs with heart and soul at a recent show in Toronto. In addition to performing with her own band, Large also sings with the renowned group Pink Martini, touring nationally and internationally.

Ready to celebrate the holidays with one of music’s most unapologetic rock and cabaret stars?

Storm Large is coming to Jackson for the first time in 20 years, and she’s bringing a whole lot of energy and spunk with her and her “Holiday Ordeal.” Known for her provocative charm, powerhouse vocals and larger-than-life personality, Large catapulted to national fame in 2006 after being a finalist on the CBS reality show “Rock Star: Supernova.”

Large, 50, has spent more than half of her life as a singer, musician, playwright and author, developing a passionate following in her now-hometown of Portland and around the world. Well-loved for her empowering anthems and electrifying performances, the performer is adamantly dedicated to being herself and helping others remember their shared humanity.

“When I sing and talk, I try to remind everyone who is listening about our commonality,” Large said. “We all want clean water, we all want gratitude, we want kids to put the phone down and listen, we want to date people we didn’t meet on our $1,000 rectangles, we all want to be loved and seen.”

Large discovered music at an early age, driven by a “deep loneliness” she felt, stemming from a mother with debilitating mental illness and a father who distracted himself with work. As the only girl in the house and the youngest in her troubled family, she realized she could mimic sounds with astonishing accuracy.

“I would entertain strangers, anyone who would listen, by imitating accents, re-enacting Monty Python and Mel Brooks’ skits,” Large said. “Anything to get people to smile and laugh.”

With her knack for imitation, Large taught herself to sing, first by imitating the Kinks, and later The Beatles, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Miriam Makeba, and Harry Belanfonte.

“I listened to everyone and tried to make my voice sound exactly like theirs,” Large said. “And then I would try to sing the harmony, then the guitar, and then all the other sounds. It wasn’t a formal education, but it was effective.”

Don’t expect the “Holiday Ordeal” to be your average, run-of-the-mill holiday performance, though it’s sure to be a night of music, gags, gifts and songs ranging from “Hallelujah,” to “Sock it to Me, Santa.” Some non-holiday anthems might make their way into the mix as well, including the Queen classic “Somebody to Love.”

“I don’t put on a furry muffler or a cozy sweater or jingle any jingle bells,” Large shared, “although I do love holiday music, I love the Christmas carols, the Santa Clause schtick.”

At its root, however, Large’s love for the holiday season has less to do with tradition and more to do with exuberance, joy, and an opportunity to take a break from reality. For her, some Christmas music captures a feeling of joy also found in songs like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Alphaville’s “Forever Young.”

“It’s the child-like, pie-eyed, actual belief in magic,” Large said. “They’re joyful songs, songs about love and family and togetherness.”

For Large, the holidays are all about hope: an emotion she’s excited to spread in her “Holiday Ordeal” concerts by performing with as much adrenaline, love, energy and light she can muster.

“It’s the darkest time of the year, it’s the solstice,” Large said, “but we celebrate it with light because one spark — one spark can absolutely destroy the darkness, even for a second, just to remind the darkness that it isn’t going to win.”

The “Holiday Ordeal” contains adult content and explicit language – parental discretion is advised. The show will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets cost $39 to $59, plus a $3 processing fee. 

Contact Hannah Habermann via 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

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