I recently released my third jazz CD, "Let's Live Again" (Sept. 2008, Songflower Records).
The project takes a page out of the George Shearing Quintet book, in that I use the same line-up (piano, bass, drums, vibes, guitar) and sing some of the great tunes he recorded with Nat King Cole, Dakota Staton, and Nancy Wilson. I love that classic quintet sound; piano/vibes/guitar together create a beautiful frame for the voice. It's such a thrill for me to stand in the middle of the band as they play the great arrangements (by vibes player/composer Gerry Grosz) of George Shearing's masterful tunes. Recording them was heaven...it's easy when the songs are so beautifully written.
In October, 2008, we held our CD release party at Yoshi's San Francisco; we continue to perform in the Bay Area and hopefully beyond.
My band includes an incredibly talented line-up of veteran Bay Area jazz musicians:
Jonathan Alford - piano
Pierre Archain - bass
Alan Hall - drums (on tour right now with Cirque de Soleil)
Gerry Grosz - vibes
Randy Vincent - guitar
I am a classically trained singer (Eastman School) and have been performing as a jazz vocalist since the age of twelve, when I sang with my choir teacher's jazz trio. Although I've performed in musical theater, classical recitals, folk, pop, blues and rock bands, my first love has always been jazz. I also am a voice over artist and record commercials, podcasts and corporate video voice-overs as part of my marketing services company (my 'day gig!').
With the election of our new President Barack Obama, I feel hopeful that the long, dry spell for musicians of all genres is coming to an end. I foresee a re-emergence of jazz and other uniquely American artforms, and, most importantly, financial and societal support for all of the arts. We have reason to celebrate with our music and art!
I'm so glad I found the Jazz Network; I look forward to 'meeting' many of you and talkin' jazz!
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How's the Summer going for you?
Just tried to "join" the SF group and can't seem to do it...I click and it goes back to the top...anybody else have that problem? This seems like such a great idea.
Hello! My name is Israel I am Bassist and member on this network!!! Very nice voice and sweet! By the way if you're looking for Jazz Festivals in Japan on May 3rd & 4th in Osaka City is the Takatsuki Jazz Street!! Every year is celebrated with many bands and special artists as well...! Check it out if you're in Japan and want to take the Bullet train ( Shinkansen) to Osaka on that time!! Good Luck!!!
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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