Natalie Cole performs in Beaver Creek on Friday
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – R&B jazz vocalist Natalie Cole will appear on the Vilar Performing Arts Center stage at 8 p.m. Friday as the eight-time Grammy Award-winner opens the 2010 Vilar Summer Concert Series.The daughter of jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole has forged her own prolific career. Before she captured 1975’s Best New Artist Grammy, Cole appealed to fans and critics alike with her versatility as an R&B, pop and jazz singer of the first order.Her canon includes such No. 1 hits as “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable,” “Our Love,” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” “Pink Cadillac” and “Miss You Like Crazy.”Her 1991 album, “Unforgettable … With Love,” captured six Grammys, including Album and Record Of The Year, spent five weeks at No. 1 and sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S.”I wonder if there was any music fan that wasn’t aware of or somehow touched by ‘Unforgettable … With Love’,” said Kris Sabel, director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “Aside from pairing her with her late father on the title track, the recording was universally acclaimed for its heart and soul. Seeing her in the intimate setting of the Vilar Center is going to be a very special experience.”After that album, Cole took a step back, devoted herself to several other projects, including her autobiography.She released “Still Unforgettable” in September 2009 and the album won two Grammys, one for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and the other for Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocalist. It also earned Cole a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist.This time, she was reunited with her father on the delightful “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,” first recorded by Cole’s father in the early ’50s.”If there was going to be another ‘duet’ with dad, I felt it should be something more whimsical, fun and light,” Cole said. “At the same time, I was looking for a song that would also be familiar to a certain type of audience. I think this worked just as well. It’s adorable and loving between parent and child. It feels like he’s right there with me. How do you top that?”On “Still Unforgettable,” Cole looked beyond songs made famous by her father.”I decided to go deeper into the American songbook and not just get songs from my father, but also from Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peggy Lee,” Cole said. “The lyrics of these songs are about life. As a singer, they take me and the audience on a winsome journey.”Tickets for Cole’s show cost $135, $150 or $165 and are available online at vilarpac.org, by phone at 888-920-ARTS (2787) or in person at the Vilar Center box office in Beaver Creek. Tickets are available online 24 hours a day; the box office is open Monday through Friday from 11a.m.-5 p.m., with additional hours on performance days.