``I've done very well for myself in this business,'' she has said. ``I've traveled the world, made many friends, and the music . . . ah, the music. It's my life.''
The 63-year-old native of Pittsburgh, who will perform Sunday night at Center City's Zanzibar Blue, is still going strong with her bluesy approach to jazz.
Staton began singing when she was 7. By the time she reached her mid-teens, Staton was singing in her brother's orchestra. At 18, she moved to Detroit and went on a nightclub circuit that took her to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and up into Canada.
In 1956, Staton appeared in Atlantic City as part of the ``Larry Steel Smart Affairs'' show. That same year, the singer, who already had recorded a couple of singles for Capitol Records, was named most promising vocalist of the year by DownBeat magazine.
In 1957, Capitol released her first album, The Late, Late Show, which was greeted with worldwide acclaim, and Staton was on her way. It wasn't long before she was touring with such jazz luminaries as George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Goodman, and the singer Staton regards as one of her most important influences, Dinah Washington.
Along the way, Staton has recorded 20 albums, working with such arrangers as Nelson Riddle, Benny Carter and Eddie Wilcox.
But to this day, despite a repertoire that includes torch songs, the blues, ballads and standards, Staton's signature tune remains the title song from her Late, Late Show album.
Dakota Staton at Zanzibar Blue, 305 S. 11th St., at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday. There is a $20 cover charge. Phone: 215-829-0300.
WINDY CITY JAZZ. While Chicago has long been known as a hot outpost for the blues, there is a thriving jazz tradition in the Windy City as well. And while many of the Chicago musicians are legendary on and around their home turf, they rarely stray around the country.
Alto saxophonist Andy Goodrich is among these players, but he has traveled East this weekend for performances that began last night and will continue through Sunday at Deetrick's Cafe in Jenkintown.
Goodrich, whose local appearance is due largely to his longtime friendship with Philadelphia sax favorite Tony Williams, had devoted much of his career to teaching, starting at Manassas High School in Memphis before he relocated to the Midwest.
In Chicago, where he is a member of the Illinois Arts Council, Goodrich instructed such jazz performers as Charles Lloyd and Booker Little.
In recent years, after retiring as an educator, Goodrich has become a hot fixture along the Chicago club circuit and at jazz festivals in the Midwest.
Andy Goodrich with the Dave Leonhardt Trio at Deetrick's Cafe, 211 Old York Rd., Jenkintown, tonight and Saturday. Sets are from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. No cover charge. Phone: 215-576-7690.