KANSAS CITY STAR, Joe Klopus “In the zone where jazz meets R&B singer and composer Carol Duboc is already a behind-the-scenes fixture…”

In the zone where jazz meets R&B singer and composer Carol Duboc is already a behind-the-scenes fixture. She’s a former Kansas Citian who has always written music. “Anything” from classical to R&B to jazz,” she says. “I’ve always liked the feeling of R&B, and I’ve made a living writing it for other people.”

On the phone from her Los Angeles-area studio, Duboc runs down a list of artists she has written for, Patti LaBelle, Stephanie Mills, Chante Moore…” “I’ve worked with Teddy Riley. He found me in the studio, and I started writing with him…It doesn’t get much better than that for that kind of music.”

But now it’s time for Duboc to strike out on her own as a performer and songwriter. The singer with the flexible voice appears Thursday at the Grand Emporium. It’s her first show in her hometown as a headliner.

She says she grew up across the street from Loose Park on 55th Street, and her musical talent emerged early. “I did whatever there was to do,” she says. “I did the musicals all through high school; I was the lead in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ And, of course, everybody has to perform in a mall, and I did that.”

After graduating from Pembroke Hill School in the ’80s, she headed for the music school at the University of Southern California. “I got in as an opera major, with a double major in composition. Then I got a minor in music engineering. I went back as a jazz major later, because the theory and approach were so different – I wanted to be able to talk to my band.”

After her behind the scenes success in the world of R&B, she still wanted recognition as a performer, and she wanted a change. “I wanted to do something where I can be freer – where you’re supposed to make mistakes and work with them, as opposed to the pop world, where everything’s supposed to be perfect.” Duboc said an epiphany came at an Al Jarreau concert. “I liked the way he was improvising but still has the R&B element. And Joe Sample was playing with him.

Afterward she started working with keyboardist Sample and got the vision for what she wanted to do next. Duboc describes her current musical offerings as approaching R&B as a jazz singer, with the instrumentation of a jazz band. “The whole time, my music had lots of jazz in it. I really like the chord changes. But the element of R&B is still there.”

JAZZ TIMES, Christopher Loudon “Those who believe that lightning never strikes twice are advised to lend an ear…”