This week I'm going to sing Jazz Standards with my piano playing friend, Brian James, at The City Gate Grille, 2020 Calamos Court, Naperville IL. Friday, June 11th, we'll be sweetening the air from 7-10 PM with songs from the books of Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, George Benson and Bessie Smith among others. Reading the reviews on the City Gate I'm expecting fine dining, craft cocktails and a "just like downtown" ambience. It's a great excuse to break out my party dress and heels.
I love singing these songs from the great American songbook; it's so much fun! In the 90's I put myself through Columbia College-Chicago, which was essentially a Jazz school, and got a BA in Music. My mentors/professors were Bill Russo, Orbert Davis and Bobbie Wylson, all are well known jazz artists.
After a car wreck in 2016 left me unable to go out for a few months, I rediscovered my love of Jazz, listening to WBEZ radio and singing in my kitchen! What a gift life gave me by keeping me home bound and away from the digital world so I got back to my roots, and expanded my mind at the same time.
Blues is a wonderful genre and I love singing and playing the blues, but Jazz allows me to really play with the range of my voice. In the tradition or Ernestine Anderson, Ethel Waters or Louis Armstrong, all Jazz greats steeped in the Blues, I can scat, have fun with improvisation on the melody and dig inside the meaning of these beautiful tunes all while bringing my Blues to the table. You never know what inspiration will strike in the moment, so I'm looking forward to it!
Hope to see you there!