Bettye LaVette

Soul Singer-SongwriterBuy TicketsEnhance your Kate experience with Membership!

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“I ain’t got no f*cking other plan,” says the legendary Bettye LaVette. She’s talking about her 61-year storied career, beginning in 1960’s Detroit, with a resurgence in the mid-2000’s. For her latest LP, simply titled LaVette! (June 16), she teamed once again with producer Steve Jordan for a special release on Jay-Vee Records, the label founded by Jordan and Meegan Voss. An interpreter without peer, Bettye chose to record an album of songs written by Randall Bramblett. “I think he’s the best songwriter I’ve heard in the past 30 years,” says LaVette, “and I just discovered him eight years ago.”

“Bettye LaVette is like a combination of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis,” says Jordan. “When I prepare a band for her, I make sure we have it together. When she joins us, we’re only gonna get one or two takes, because she puts her heart and soul into each performance.” The late, great George Jones, called her "a singer's singer".

Born in Muskegon, Michigan, Bettye’s parents, Louisiana migrants, ran a club out of their home. They sold corn liquor and chicken sandwiches and spun records for the Black auto-parts workers and traveling gospel groups who didn’t have a hangout to kick back in and call their own. She was a toddler, listening in on old folks' business; learning old folks' ways. Some of that was conversation, observing the interactions, the repartee; some of it was the 78s that spun on the family’s jukebox — a trove of blues, gospel, country & western, and the latest R&B that filtered through AM radio playlists.

“When Bettye gets a hold of a song, it becomes her song,” Jordan explains. “It’s like she wrote it. She’s a great messenger, a communicator, an interpreter.

“I’m very happy with what we’ve done,” Bettye adds. “It is very, very difficult to please an old woman, but I’m nearly excited.”

She is a six-time Grammy nominee, has recieved a Pioneer Award from The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, has won several Blues Music Awards and has been inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame. Bettye is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 1960s and is still creating vital recordings today.

She and her full band will be presenting songs from the new album as well as some older favorites.

Parking

The Kate parking map - accessible parking is available on Main Street and in the parking lot behind the Kate

Parking at the Kate is free and easy! There is not one dedicated parking lot; however, there is ample parking surrounding the venue.

Parking on the street is limited and shared by all Main Street merchants. We ask that you consider one of the suggested off-street parking locations in blue where Kate patrons have permission to park.

Shows start promptly at the time posted to our website and printed on your tickets. Planning to arrive 15 minutes prior to the show is always a great idea—plus, it give you a few minutes to explore the Katharine Hepburn Museum!

Directions

The Kate is located at 300 Main Street in downtown Old Saybrook, a short distance from the I-95 corridor as well as the Route 9/I-95 interchange. Get Driving Directions

Concessions/Bar

The Kate’s Concessions/Bar area is open for most shows, offering bottled water, soda, juice, and a selection of movie theater candy. For those 21 and over, a selection of beer, wine, prosecco, and simple mixed cocktails are available.

Cash or credit cards are accepted and beverages purchased at the Kate may be taken into the theater.

Concessions/bar may not be available for all performances and selections may vary. For more information, contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453.

Nearby Dining Options

Consider one of the many great nearby restaurants for a bite to eat before or after the show. To explore options, check out our Dining page.

The Kate theater is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Cultural Arts Center. The orchestra level is accessible by elevator from the 1st floor lobby; the balcony is accessible only via stairs. Accessible seating locations may vary slightly by event and are clearly identified on the interactive seating chart for each performance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453. For additional information, please reference our Box Office & Theater Policies.

Seating chart

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Whether you are drawn to the Kate for a love of the performing arts or of Katharine Hepburn, we hope that each Kate experience is a great one. As a patron, you help to keep the arts alive in our community.

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The Kate’s Sponsors

  • Pasta Vita
  • Gowrie Group
  • Saybrook Point Resort & Marina
  • Sennheiser