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  • Vocalist Giovanna Torrisi | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    My parents are both artist, so I’ve always been around music. Three years ago I found out singing was how I would make people see what I feel and feel what I love the most that is Jazz: Filled with passion and dreams, done for those ones who are happily mad and know, one way or another, that the blues don’t mean a thing if you got swing.

    What are you doing with music now?

    I’m studying music a lot and recording a song or two whenever the opportunity appears.

    Vocalist Giovanna Torrisi

    Located in Argentina

    • Vocals
    • 3 years of performing

    Giovanna on: YouTube | Facebook


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    At the beginning, they were Diana Krall and maybe Sade. But then I realised that my style was from the 30’s and 40’s. So my strong influences nowadays are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee.

    Who have you studied with?

    As I have not started studying too long ago, there’s no one truly ”famous” to talk about. Anyway, I believe that Jazz is, not at all, something you learn, just something you feel and that you are born with.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Go on studying, putting in hours of practising and start, as soon as I can, with live performances.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    July 3, 2013 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 974

  • Vocalist Grace Murray | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began studying music because I felt it would help me develop as an artist. Knowledge is supposedly the most powerful thing so by studying music it helped me to build upon that knowledge and make my music more powerful, I hope.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Currently I am in the process of writing and starting to record my first few songs at the moment. Also I’m currently taking part in a few competitions and gigs around London.

    Vocalist Grace Murray

    Located in London, UK

    • Vocals
    • Singing since she could speak

    Get in touch with Grace


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    My main influences are Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Amy Winehouse. These three powerful women have all touched my heart and inspired me. They all have so much in common but yet are also so unique. All powerful strong minded successful women, which is something I aspire to be like. They manage to convey how they feel within a few minutes and leave you feeling exactly how they felt. Words cant describe how powerful that really is. As much as I love these women I cannot be forgetting the males. Ray Charles, even his name sounds influential. His sheer energy and enthusiasm really has molded him as a performer. Last but by no means least, Bob Marley. Now he may not be a jazz singer but personally I think Jazz and Reggae go hand in hand together. I feel his music has shown me this.

    Who have you studied with?

    I have studied Music at Chace community school, with my very talented and truly charming music teacher Ms Davies. She really does lead by example and has always shown a strong belief in me. The quote she has always lived by is ‘If you can walk you can dance and if you can talk you can sing’. I will forever take that with me.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    In the future I plan to develop with the Jazz band I’m currently starting in and move forward in our music making. I also plan on working as hard as I possibly can to make my dream come true in being a jazz singer. I hope to one day release an album where once an audience has heard a song I have written they understand how I felt and can connect with me, exactly how my Connect touch me.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    June 25, 2013 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 871

  • Vocalist Quashon Brown | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I do not own a instrument, only my voice helps me express my emotions and opinions.

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I started studying music at the age of 4 at my grandparent’s house. They were always into Blues and Jazz. I was a then put in to a chorus. There, I performed solos and gospel songs. I am fourteen and still perform at my church.

    Vocalist Quashon Brown

    Located in Marrero, Louisiana

    • Vocals
    • 10 years of performing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music now?

    In music right now, i am trying to become a jazz singer. I have no where to start or begin. I sing in a chorus. I am studying instruments and high notes. I am learning how to sing fast and pick up my tempo a little more.

    Who are some of your greatest influences?

    My Influences are very old for my age, but i still enjoy listening to them. My influences are Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, and Claudia Brucken.

    Who have you studied with?

    The people I have studied with are all family members or close friends. The ones that started me singing were my Grandmother and Grandfather. They saw my heart for Jazz. They help my with singing. I have been singing Jazz ever since.

    What do you plan on doing with your music in the future?

    My Future plan on music is becoming a successful Jazz singer and spreading my love for music around the world, so everybody can here my voice and love for Jazz. I would also want to do this for my personal story and also for my grandparents, because they help my come this far. I see myself just spreading music, not for the money. I would probably play the saxophone, violin or piano.

    I have dream of singing forever and have also tried to sing different places.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    June 23, 2013 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 960

  • Review of Phil Perry’s Say Yes

    Phil Perry’s most recent release, Say Yes, is a soulful and refreshing project that features guests Chante Moore and Najee. Released on March 12, 2013 with Shanachie, this album is forty minutes well-produced and soothing music. Say Yes is Perry’s tenth album as a solo artist.

    Perry was born and raised in East St Louis. He earned is start as part of the vocal group The Montclairs and has since gone on to work with George Duke, Peabo Bryson, Rod Stewart, Boz Scaggs, Dave Koz, and Anita Baker. With this latest release, Phil Perry says “We try to keep the classic essence while allowing me to be the artist that I am. What that means is singing the melody without it being sterile, inserting new background ideas and different instrumentation to contemporize the sound without removing the essence of classic R & B.”

    Get the album on AmazonThe album opens with “You Send Me,” the Sam Cooke classic in a style reflective of the 1957 original. To my pleasant surprise, however, the track transformed into a more modern/soul influenced arrangement, setting the tone for the rest of the album.

    Say Yes features a collection of five originals (by Chris “Big Dog” Davis) and five covers – Sam Cooke’s aforementioned “You Send Me,” Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack’s “Where is the Love?”, the Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and the Doobie Brothers’ “You Belong to Me.”

    It’s difficult to pick any track or two from the album that stand out as the best because each song on the recording is well-done and the album is a refreshing and well thought out collection of covers and originals. If you enjoy listening to soul, rnb or smooth jazz, then I definitely recommend checking out Phil Perry’s Say Yes.

    Get Say Yes on Amazon

    Title: Say Yes
    Artist: Phil Perry
    Date: March 12, 2013
    Genre: Soul, Jazz
    Label: Shanachie

    Tracks:

    01 You Send Me
    02 Where Is The Love? (Featuring Chante Moore)
    03 Tonight Just Me And You (Featuring Najee)
    04 You Belong To Me
    05 Say Yes
    06 Just A Little Bit
    07 The Long And Winding Road
    08 Peel The Veil
    09 Can’t Hide Love (Featuring Najee)
    10 Bridge Over Troubled Water

    Get Say Yes on Amazon

    March 27, 2013 • Reviews • Views: 902

  • 7 things I learned from seeing BB King and George Benson perform

    Last week I had the opportunity to see not one, but two music legends perform. The first concert I attended was that of George Benson at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs on February 16, 2013. The second was BB King at the House of Blues in Anaheim on February 22, 2013.

    Both of these guitarists (and vocalists) have led extremely successful careers, so it got me thinking about what it is that they’re doing. How is it that these two musicians have remained successful over several decades? What is their formula for success as performers?

    George Benson and BB King are both legendary musicians, but why? What exactly are they doing that sets them apart from the thousands of other guitar players whose careers have come and gone while theirs have endured?

    The easy answer is “they are both incredible musicians,” but it takes a lot more than that to have a career as prodigious as theirs.

    Here’s what I took away from seeing BB King and George Benson perform, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments:

    1. It is not enough to be an outstanding musician, you also have to be an outstanding performer. You may be able to take an impressive solo, sing higher than your peers, or have incomparable technique, but that’s not what sells tickets. The performance and the performers sell tickets. People buy concert tickets to see a show. They want the musicians to interact with them and do more than merely play what’s on the album while standing still on stage. They want to be entertained and that’s exactly what George Benson and BB King do. They are both outstanding and engaging performers.

    2. Play what the audience expects to hear. When people go to see George Benson or BB King perform, they don’t go to hear something new. They go to hear the songs they love, that they can sing along to at the top of their lungs. They want to hear the hits like BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone” or George Benson’s “On Broadway.” Yes, it’s nice to hear something new and unexpected, but if the audience walks away without hearing the hits, they’ll walk away disappointed.

    3. Pay attention to your audience. When you’re performing, pay attention to what gets the audience going. If you play a solo note for note the way it is off the record, does the audience grow excited because they know what’s coming? When they hear the intro to one of your well-known songs, do they start to clap? Both George Benson and BB King listened to what the audience responded to and made that a part of the show. The two performers had signature dance moves that they incorporated into the show that really got their audiences going, so much so that the two would even stop in the middle of a solo to work it into the performance. Every time the audience would scream, laugh and clap. Find out what your audience responds to and do it. It may be something different for each performance, so that’s something to be aware of, but whatever it may be, find something!

    4. Engage with your audience. Talk to them, thank them for being there, ask them how they’re doing and if they’re enjoying the music. Don’t let the stage create a boundary between you and your audience, interact with them. At the end of BB King’s show, he allowed a significant portion of the audience to walk up to the stage, shake his hand and hand him things to sign. Now that’s something the audience is going to remember.

    5. Give your listeners a unique performance. You need to give your audience a reason to go and see you perform as opposed to some other XYZ [insert your instrument here] player. What makes you different? Figure out what that is and use it to your advantage.

    6. Each performance should be your best. Regardless of the conditions on stage (the sound is terrible) or the situation backstage (you and a member of the band are fighting), you should always do the best you can to give your audience a stellar performance.

    7. Even if you’ve played the songs 100 times before, play them like they’re still new and exciting. Even though George Benson and BB King have been playing their hits for decades, you’d never know. They play them with the same energy as they do their newer material. If you look bored on stage, the audience will see it and it will affect how they hear the performance.

    So what do you think their secret to success is?

    Want to learn more about the music business? Check out our popular FREE eBook – Advice for Young Musicians: From Established Music Professionals.

    February 25, 2013 • Music and Career Advice, Teen Jazz • Views: 1190

  • Vocalist Emily Jane | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I guess the manufacturer of my vocals are my parents. Just kidding. I am a singer. I also have YAMAHA Motif XS8 keyboard, which I am learning how to use. I play piano a little, but I can’t call myself a piano player

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Actually, I need to study music more. I started singing, and other than general vocal lessons over the last 3 years, I have no formal musical training. I love music. Not just Jazz; any kind of music. People kept saying that I have talent, so I kept singing. It is not up to me to decide if I have talent or not, but it is certainly nice to hear when people say that.

    Vocalist Emily Jane

    Located in Chicago, IL, USA

    • Vocals and piano
    • Signed with Tate Music
    • 10 years of performing

    Facebook | YouTube | Blues.gr


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    All my songs are original (music and lyrics written by my father and I)

    What are you doing with music now?

    My father and I recorded a 4 song demo. We play only original songs. I just got signed by TMG (Tate Music Group). They are a national label. We are going to fly to Oklahoma to record my first full length album. As I mentioned, Jazz is only one component of my music; so this album will have 2 or 3 songs influenced by Jazz. The album should come out in January / February of 2012. Right now my father and I are rehearsing and keep writing new material. I will keep all the rights to my songs, so despite signing this deal, I am looking for bigger and better things as well as more live show experiences.

    Who are some of your greatest influences?

    Adele, Amy Winehouse, Cold Play, The Beatles, Christina Aguilera….. and many many many more as long as they are creative and don’t follow a trend.

    Who have you studied with?

    Other than some school lessons, I had two vocal teachers (private lessons) over the last 3 years. I also pick up a lot from my Dad. He does not sing, but he plays several instruments and can produce music.

    What do you plan on doing with your music in the future?

    I am already a signed artist. I will be a professional musician / singer / artist. That is all I want and will do.

    I know, you are thinking 13. I guarantee you one thing — this is far far far away from what one might expect from a 13 year old.

    So far (about two months) I have about 7,000 views on YouTube, 500 twitter followers and just started Facebook. People seem to like my music.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    February 23, 2013 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 768

  • Trombonist Andrew Boostrom | Teen Jazz Influence

    I’m really excited to share the profile of a former Teen Jazz Artist, now Teen Jazz Influence, trombonist Andrew Boostrom. He is the first of our artists to make the transition from Artist to Influence and I look forward to many more of the up and coming musicians we feature to do the same. I met Andrew at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camp back when we were in high school and he has gone on to become a successful performer with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.

    DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS?

    Mainly I just play trombone but I’m also a vocalist. Then, I would never have a gig with anybody on any of these other instruments, but I also play a little keyboards, bass and drums.

    AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING MUSIC?

    Since I was 10 years old, so probably about 16 years now.

    DID YOU GO TO UNIVERSITY?

    Yeah I went to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and studied with Jim Pugh the legendary New York studio trombonist.

    DID YOU SPECIFICALLY STUDY JAZZ OR CLASSICAL?

    Well when I first got there, I had this idea in my head that I would study classical music and get a job with an orchestra and make money playing full-time in an orchestra but play jazz on the side because I liked that more. Very quickly I realized that wasn’t going to work and so I talked with my professor about it and we set it up so that I would switch over to jazz studies after that. So after one year of classical studies I started doing the jazz program which was a pretty new program to that university, but a very good one nonetheless.

    AND HOW DID YOU FALL INTO YOUR GIG WITH BARNUM AND BAILEY?

    Another guy I went to college with, the guitar player in the circus… He started out because a spot opened up and the band leader called his professor whom he had played with twenty years ago and asked him, “hey do you know anybody who would be interested in this?” He recommended my friend Ian who got the job and about a year and a half or two years later the trombone position opened up and Ian called me and asked me if I was interested. They checked me out to make sure I could play and stuff like that, but besides that, it was a big “who you know” kind of thing.

    SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM?

    Well, I’m the trombonist and the backup conductor. And I play mainly trombone in the pit. It’s a nine-piece band and the music is very cinematic. It’s very much about following what’s happening on the floor. It’s not that old style of marches and things like that. It’s very much more like a movie experience as you’re watching it. It’s very cinematic.

    DID YOU TAKE CONDUCTING CLASSES?

    I took a conducting class in college because we were forced to which was very early in the morning and I didn’t like to go to it. But I learned enough in there that it helped out with this. And with enough of what I’m doing, I find it very beneficial to have taken it, although I don’t think I did very well in the class!

    WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIG INFLUENCES FOR PLAYING?

    Growing up my first influence was JJ Johnson and then Carl Fontana became a really big one because all of those, and Frank Rosolino. Those guys are some of the main “older” influences that a lot of guys pull. There’s a guy named Elliot Mason that I like a lot. He plays with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and he’s just a phenomenal player. He makes the trombone sound like it’s easier to play than it is. And there are a few other guys but he’s the main one right now. But mostly I don’t listen to a lot of trombone players any more. I focus on listening to other instruments and trying to develop my own techniques on the trombone if I can. But yea, Elliot Mason and other guys of that caliber.

    DO YOU GET TO DO A LOT OF IMPROVISATION WHERE YOU’RE AT?

    During the show there is some improvisation but not a lot. Not a lot for the horn players anyway. But there are a couple small spots where even if there isn’t a solo, there is some freedom to kind of interpret the music a little bit more. But for the most part, for most tours, there’s not a whole lot of opportunity to do stuff outside of the show. We’re just constantly on the move and we’re playing so many shows that everybody’s kind of burned out. It’s a little unfortunate, but if you made the effort, you could definitely get out and do it and play more often.

    SO YOUR GIG WITH BARNUM AND BAILEY REALLY FILLS OUT YOUR CALENDAR?

    Oh yeah. This job is 11 months touring out of the year.

    AND HOW MANY NIGHTS A WEEK DO YOU PLAY?

    At least five nights a week.

    AND MULTIPLE SHOWS PER NIGHT?

    Yeah, you’re guaranteed to be playing three shows on Saturday starting at 11am. There’s only been one time since I’ve been out here that we’ve had a Saturday that wasn’t three shows on that day.

    HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT KIND OF SCHEDULE?

    I treat it very mentally. I look at it like it’s a Monday for everybody else. It’s the hardest show day that we have – a three show day is the hardest one we’re going to do and instead of being upset about, you just got to realize it’s happening no matter how you feel. You just have to walk into it thinking “this is my Monday schedule and it’s going to be tough but no matter how much I want to moan about it I have to do it so I’m going to do it the best I possibly can because people are coming out to hear the greatest show on earth.” And I want to give them the greatest performance that I can.

    THAT’S A REALLY GREAT MENTALITY TO HAVE. WHAT OTHER THINGS DO YOU THINK YOU DO THAT MAKE YOU A SUCCESSFUL PERFORMER?

    I think attitude is the number one thing that makes someone a great performer. You know, walking into it with a positive attitude or whatever it is. You just have to stick with it. Whenever I play something, especially jazz related, I put on a different hat. I step into it with a different mindset. But for this, I walk into it thinking about if I can be more perfect. Can I make this sound better? How can I be more consistent? And you just step into with a positive mindset because really,the show changes all the time. You have to focus on the animals and the people doing their tricks and change the music around for them. There’s never a show that comes out the same as the one before it. So a big thing for me is staying focused. And not only during the show staying focused, but learning how to do things before and after the show to help stay focused. Things I’m noticing lately are drinking vegetable juice and eating more natural foods help keep my focus a little stronger and help keep my energy up. And then doing some stretching and thing like that. Just doing things that help you feel a little better physically and that help you step into the show with a little bit better edge.

    SO, WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?

    Well right now I really like doing this so I’d like that the job lasts for a long time and that I can leave whenever I decide that it’s time for me to leave. But the ultimate dream would be to play in a horn section for Stevie Wonder! But, I mean, that’s the ideal thing – to be able to play with my idols. But as far as the rest of it, I leave it very much up to the universe and hope for the best and constantly follow a “thoughts become things” kind of mindset. Just know that everything will work out no matter what I do. And if the time comes that I decide to part from this gig, that something else will show up in its place. But I’m very fluid about it. I just want it to happen on it’s own. And not concentrate on anything particular to hard unless… I would love to do a Cirque du Soleil job actually. That would be another job I would really love to step into but other than that, I’m very fluid about it.

    WHAT ARE SOME MEMORABLE MOMENTS YOU’VE HAD FROM PERFORMANCES?

    As far as circus goes, it’s really beautiful to watch somebody fail and then think that they aren’t going to step up again but they step up immediately and stick their trick. The audience goes crazy, the band goes crazy… Everybody is just so excited for them and it’s really, really nice to see things like that happen. And it’s great for us musically – we play so many shows. We do about 400 shows a year and it’s really exhausting but there are some moments where things really tighten up with the band and everybody seems to be on their game. And it’s really nice to be a part of that when it’s happening, when things are just locking in. It’s great to be a part of band that’s this strong and can pull that off.

    And other great memories, are things that are sometimes out of the musical nature of it. The fact that I’ve been able to go on tour so much and I’ve been able to go on cruise ships and things like that. I’ve been able to see a lot of parts of the world, parts of the US. It’s been a real blessing to go out and check out other cultures. I think that makes up a lot of my favorite memories.

    SO WITH 400 SHOWS A YEAR, DO YOU FIND TIME FOR OTHER HOBBIES?

    You have as much time as you give yourself. Sometimes the schedule takes up so much of our time and then since we travel we want to see so much stuff that we don’t always get the time to work on things that we may have enjoyed when we were settled somewhere. But I’m slowly getting my things together and trying to work on my singing career or my songwriting career, if you want to call it that. I also have a bar tending thing that I’m really into. I really like to invent old-style cocktails. There is time for anything you want. And the fact that we get to hang out with some of the most elite athletes in the world also gives you the time to realize that you need to get more in shape. So, as far as other hobbies, working out sometimes with the entertainers and some of the performers. There’s definitely time for it, but you have to slot it in otherwise it’s really easy to be lazy and not do anything.

    IF YOU HAD ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN UP AND COMING ARTIST, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

    Go out and see shows. Absolutely go out. It doesn’t matter what it costs as far as gas money or cover charges. Just go out and listen to all the music that you want to listen to. You need to go hear everybody live. Meet them, say hi, take any opportunity you can to sit in. Just meet everybody. Because at some point you’re going to run into somebody that gives you gig and then that gig gets you another gig and then that gig gets you another gig… And that just keeps building. You have to go out and meet everybody. If you don’t go out and support them, you can’t expect them to come out and support you.

    THAT’S GREAT ADVICE. SO, WHERE CAN PEOPLE GO TO FIND YOUR MUSIC?

    I have a sound cloud channel and you can find my music on youtube.

    EARLIER ON, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU WERE FOCUSING MORE ON YOUR SINGER-SONGWRITER CAREER. CAN YOU TALK A BIT MORE ABOUT THAT?

    It’s something that all started because I sang in front of a girl one time and she really liked it a lot and so I realized that I could maybe get girlfriends from it. (laughs) So I started singing more often and then one bad breakup happened so I wrote a couple songs and people liked them so it all kind of built up from there. The style comes from one of my favorite bands. It’s a British disco-funk band called Jamiroquai. They’re very funky, very disco, very acid jazz, and pop music. It’s a lot of the styles of music that I like to listen to. It’s the perfect blend for me.

    So I started writing music, not really aiming to sound like everybody, but because I liked that music so much it just kind of came out that way. It’s a bit Jamiroquai meets Stevie Wonder and I want it to sound a little bit more D’Angelo and Barry White as well. Just kind of fun, sexy music really. Something you can groove to and enjoy. And all the music has really strong jazz influence and nearly every song has some kind of soloing on it because I can’t perform and not leave room for somebody to improvise. It’s just not in my background.

    HOW ARE YOU RECORDING ALL THIS?

    Some of it was recorded in a friend’s basement in his recording studio but now that I’m on the circus train (we all live on a train in tiny compartments), I bought some microphone stands, a performing microphone and a Zune… I’m just kind of recording into the computer and trying to figure out how to best do it. Actually one of the guys that I work with out here, one of the keyboard players, recorded an entire album on the train.You can find his stuff online too. His name is Ryan States. He recorded an entire album out here. He recorded most of it on the train, but he also sent it out to people and them record and then email him their recordings. And he just edited it all and it sounds amazing.

    February 6, 2013 • Interviews • Views: 2390

  • Review of a Kurt Elling performance in 2006

    Kurt Elling at Catalina’s New Year’s Week 06

    Once again, the incredible jazz vocalist Kurt Elling was out at Catalina’s Bar and Grill, performing with his quartet. So, once more, I made the trip out to enjoy a night of fantastic music. Performing two shows every night from Tuesday to Saturday, I had plenty of opportunity to see the ensemble and attended three of the shows.

    I cannot emphasize enough the amazing talent of Kurt Elling enough. His voice truly is an instrument, and Mr. Elling fully uses and stretches what he can do as an artist, writer, and musician. Well-known for writing words to solos, Kurt Elling did a magnificent job of singing songs like Duke Ellington’s “I like the Sunrise”.

    Having only been a performing member of the jazz world for ten years or so, Kurt Elling is well-versed and well-rounded as a vocalist. His voice is elegant, his scatting is unmatchable, his writing is genius, and his stage presence or “performance” is attention grabbing.

    Of course, inevitably as a fan, I had to ask Mr. Elling if he could perform one of my favorite pieces – “Never my Love”, originally done by The Association. He forgot to do it during one of the shows, but did it as the encore for the second show. Hearing the song live always beats the recording, although the recording is THE BEST recording and arrangement of that song.

    Unfortunately, being from Chicago, there is not much opportunity here in California to see Kurt Elling perform. Luckily, however, he is almost always traveling; so watch for him in your area and be sure to get out to one of his shows if you have the chance. It will be one of your most musically enlightening experiences – this I can promise.

    December 28, 2012 • Reviews • Views: 893

  • Review of a Kurt Elling performance in 2005

    Kurt Elling Live at Catalina’s 2-19-05

    Kurt Elling has been my greatest vocal and melodic influence for the last few years. I first became inspired by his style with the album “The Man Up in the Air”. Being from Chicago, he rarely plays out in California, and last February 2005, he was out at Catalina’s, so I couldn’t miss the chance to go and see him.

    This performance was my first at Catalina’s in Hollywood, California and what better way to “break-in” a new venue than with a performance by Kurt Elling while sitting in the second row?

    Kurt Elling’s trio opened the show with a song before he joined them on stage and his performance was inspiring. His stage presence was very comfortable, and confident. He had a great sense of humor and was very interactive with the audience. His facial expressions and body language/movement were very into the music, and he was very enjoyable to watch as a performer. His singing was, of course, amazing, you couldn’t expect it to be any less, and he received quite the response from the audience.

    One of the songs he received the most response from was “Space Cowboy”, which of course, rightfully received the amount of attention it received, but in all respect, his original music moved me more since you could tell it meant something to him because he created it.

    Kurt Elling is extremely talented vocally, and an extremely brilliant man. If you check out his site, you will find some amazing sound clips and you can read some of his projects or lyrics. A lot of his work is putting lyrics to instrumental solos – one he performed was a Dexter Gordon (if I remember correctly) solo which was also amazing. Kurt Elling is someone who has greatly influenced me, and so I recommend his music to anyone and everyone.

    December 2, 2012 • Reviews • Views: 871