[image-1] Contemporary jazz vocalist René Marie and her backing trio kick off this year’s Wachovia Jazz series — a fan favorite during the Spoleto Festival USA events — with two concerts full of a lively variety of blues, soul, swinging jazz, and Marie’s highly-personal tales of heartbreak, recovery, and self-discovery.

[image-2] These Wachovia Jazz performances at the Cistern (66 George St.) on Fri. May 25 and Sat. May 26 feature local jazz drumming great Quentin Baxter, who performed all of on Marie’s latest studio album, Serene Renegade (MaxJazz). Hopefully, they’ll take a stab playing her surprisingly hip and simmering reworking of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.” Showtime is 9 p.m. both nights.