Photo by Ben Hamilton
More About Me
Well, for as long as I can recall, I’ve sung. I remember, as a child, pinning family visitors to the couch and making them listen to me perform something, anything! There’s nothing quite like a captive audience! I grew up hearing songs from musicals like Hair and The Rocky Horror Show and could sing along with all the characters at the performances - egads!
With musicians like Barbra Streisand, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Joan Armatrading, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and the like as backdrops to my young ears, I guess they kind of got under my skin and influenced my voice and writings. Then, later, finding out about Tom Waits, well, that opened up a whole new world!, and I still find his story-telling and the opposites of sweetness and roughness in his sound intoxicating. The first jazz singer and song I remember hearing, although not strictly jazz, was Nina Simone singing "I Loves You Porgy". It completely melted my heart and, thus, my journey with jazz standards and ballads began, as did my love for bringing their stories alive.
Up until 2018 singing jazz was at the forefront of my career, but ever since I was a very young teenager I have always written my own songs, my own stories. While they’ve had the occasional “airing” in the past, I never really felt confident enough to build an “originals” music career. But in 2018 I reached a point where I thought if I didn’t do anything serious with them then, then I’d miss the boat and it would never come again! So, dampening down the terror I felt as best as I could, I started performing them accompanying myself on acoustic guitar joined by other musicians playing the occasional cello and muted trumpet adding colour to their moods. So, my own stories are now finding a voice of their own and giving them that chance has made me feel much more complete as a musician.
In telling the stories of songs – be it my own or jazz standards, sometimes I'm quite loud and raucous!, yet other times all it takes is a whisper. I don’t really fit purely into any particular style and some people say my voice sounds quite different when I sing jazz to when I sing my originals. That concerned me for a while because I didn't know how to reconcile that, thinking that I really needed a "single style" for marketing purposes. But actually I've come to accept that the different styled songs I sing simply reflect a different part of me. Some people may prefer one to another and that's completely okay. What's important to me is that a song moves me and, more than anything else, no matter what I sing I simply hope that I leave even the tiniest impression on someone’s heart.