A Beautiful Blend of Motown, Jazz and Blues
If you’re feeling the weary dread of winter, I’ve got the cure. Find out where Shuvette Colvin is singing for the evening. Listen to her powerful, silky smooth voice, and let the sound waves move you through the memories of Motown and the timeless classics of Blues and Jazz. Embrace the banter of her partner and wonderful husband, Sterling. Giggle at her facial expressions as she plays straight lady to Sterling’s edgy jokes. At the end of the evening, your disconsolate demeanor will be history and replaced with passion, warmth, inspiration and a smile.
Shuvette grew up in Memphis. Her parents were both musicians and she caught the music bug by the time she was five years old. She was taking piano lessons and learning how to play several instruments. However, she knew the musical fire in her soul was kindled by her passion for singing. Shuvette sang in the choir during high school but wasn’t convinced that she had a potential career in music. She really shined as an academic and graduated a year early from high school. Shuvette headed off to Lincoln University, near St. Louis, chose a traditional major and minored in music. During her first semester, faculty at the university realized they had a student with a special gift. This young lady could sing! At the end of the semester, Shuvette was offered a full scholarship to develop the range of her marvelous voice.
Things were going well for Shuvette during the college years. “I was blessed in so many ways,” she said. Then her life got really interesting; she met Sterling. He was a working musician and they just got it together. After graduation and marriage, she followed Sterling as he pursued his musical career. Shuvette’s career was taking off, as well, as she did studio work and sang with several musical groups. The couple was living in Washington, D.C. when Sterling got the invitation that would bring them to Hilton Head Island. Bobby Ryder, a musical icon in the Lowcountry, invited Sterling to join his musical team. So 22 years ago, they came down with their two young children, Brooke and Steve, and made Hilton Head their home.
Shuvette’s voice revved up when she talked about performing “back in the day” on the Island. Her favorite venue was the Blue Note. “That place was off the chain.” Her adrenalized stories focused on the excitement of performing each night. “In the afternoon, I’d be watching One Life to Live and the actors would be talking about their upcoming trip to Hilton Head Island. In the evening, we’d perform, and meet amazing people like Sylvester Stallone, Richard Roundtree, Doctor J, and Gladys Night.” One of Shuvette’s favorite moments was when she and Sterling did a private party at the Crowne Plaza where Sterling dressed as Louis Armstrong and she performed as Billie Holliday. “It was a night of stars.”
Shuvette feels Hilton Head has mellowed since the early ‘90s, but she is far from thoughts of slowing down. She appreciates what is really important. “I love my gift, my voice. You have to take care of your instrument. As you get older, you have to work harder. You have to dodge the stumps in the way.” Sterling and Shuvette are as popular as ever and the couple has a large following. Each year, they’re invited to Canada and they are performing shows throughout the Lowcountry. Shuvette is also working with other performers, highlighting her amazing talents as a blues and jazz singer. The driving force now is helping their children launch careers. Brooke and Steve are off to a great start, performing as Stee and Ear Candy. Mom gushed with pride saying, “The kids are shooting for the stars and are heading straight to the top.”
Tim Singleton, owner of Ruby Lee’s and Ruby Lee’s South, who hosts Sterling and Shuvette to perform in both venues every week, said, “Shuvette is one of the best female singers in the area. She is sultry and soulful. Her voice makes you want to curl up with a loved one and enjoy the Blues. Her voice is the epitome of soul.”
There’s magic about being able to make a living doing what you love. Shuvette agreed, “Music has always been a part of our lives. We have touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way. It makes people smile listening to the songs, taking time out just to relax and enjoy. For me, that’s a very very very good feeling… it is priceless.”
Six things you may not know about Shuvette:
1. She ran track in college.
2. She is extremely shy.
3. She is an accomplished clarinet player.
4. She loves classical music and
is quite an opera singer.
5. She hates to drive.
6. She loves to collect antique furniture.
See her: at Ruby Lee’s. Check out their ad in Pink Magazine each month to see when she is singing! Stee and the Ear Candy Band also perform at Ruby Lee's.