Donna Kimura

Donna Kimura

Meet vocalist and composer Julia Dollison. She’s performed with Maria Schneider’s acclaimed orchestra, and her recent debut CD is creating its own buzz. On Observatory, she showcases original compositions, reinvents standards, and even covers Rufus Wainwright’s beautiful ballad "Poses."

The material is wide ranging, but not without a theme. "These are observations about an inner journey," Dollison explained. It’s a trip worth taking with the classically trained soprano, who won b …


Nancy King

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
The rest of the world is finally catching up to Nancy King.

The respected, yet underrated, jazz singer is on the charts with two CDs. She appears on Karrin Allyson’s No. 1 album, Footprints, and King’s own Live at Jazz Standard was recently No. 23 on the charts and climbing.

The success is an overdue nod to an artist who has been around for years, earning an underground reputation for her free-spirited improvisational skills, but never quite reaching the lofty peaks of so …


Susan Werner

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
At a time when so many singers are mining the archives in search of standards to sing, Susan Werner has written her own songbook.

Her latest CD, "I Can’t Be New," recalls the classic tunes of Porter, Gershwin and Mercer. Werner’s songs are new, but they carry an old vibe, with their sharp lyrics and sophisticated melodies.

Werner describes the songs as "one acts." These vignettes are an insightful, entertaining look at modern-day life and relationships told by a woman who w …


Jacqui Naylor

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Singer, songwriter and arranger Jacqui Naylor has accomplished what few artists are able to do successfully, she has been critically acclaimed, as a vocalist who can comfortably perform jazz standards such as "Blue Moon," can sassily sing Rod Stewart’s "Hot Legs," albeit with a twist, and creates quality original compositions such as the beautiful, "Easy Ride From Here." The San Francisco based artist talks quickly; her conversation changes directions often, and then she will suddenly stop to …


Rita Coolidge

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Rita Coolidge has finally made the album that she has wanted to for so many years.

The Grammy-award winning singer who had a string of pop hits in the 1970s, including "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher," has released a sophisticated jazz record, "And So Is Love," on Concord Records.

Coolidge, however, isn’t jumping on the jazz bandwagon like other rock stars. Long before Rod Stewart was recording standards, Coolidge released "Out Of Th …

Jazz vocalist Natasha Miller and songwriter Bobby Sharp are an unlikely tandem, but fate has brought them together.

Miller is set to unveil a new set of songs by Sharp on March 21 at Yoshi’s in Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier jazz club. The performance will be recorded for a live album.

"I’ve done three studio records," Miller said. "I like them, but my performance is so different live than it is in the studio. I feel it’s better. It’s more real and true to the music."

Mil …

Argentinean jazz singer, Gabriela Anders, paid close attention to the music that surrounded her while growing up.

Her father, saxophonist Jorge Anders, played jazz, but also listened to tango, Cuban and other music around the house.

All of these different influences converge on Anders’ "Last Tango in Rio," an album that is uniquely nostalgic and contemporary. Anders covers classics associated with Billie Holiday, but also gives us six originals. Weaving throughout the album is the distinct …

Rebecca Martin doesn’t worry too much about fitting into any single category. She’s too busy making music, whether it’s a fresh take on old standards or writing her own original, intimate tunes.

The singer-songwriter is showing that she can do both with equal grace and skill.

The Maine native proved to be an innovative interpreter of jazz standards with her acclaimed 2002 release, "Middlehope." That recording drew the attention of Richard McDonnell, the founder of MAXJAZZ. He went to New Y …


Renee Marie

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
With each album, Rene Marie proves herself to be one of the most daring vocalists around. She is fearless in singing about difficult situations or tackling a diverse songbook.

Her newest release, "Serene Renegade," may be her most uncompromising, yet. Marie takes listeners on a journey of her life with nine original songs about herself and her family. She also includes the Beatles’ "Hard Day’s Night" and the standard "Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be" on the album.

Some of the songs are joyfu …

This year is the Year of Mancini.

In celebration of Henry Mancini, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and honored composers, Concord Records has teamed with his daughter, Monica, to release Ultimate Mancini on March 23. Many of Mancini’s most memorable songs have been re-recorded, in some cases using the original arrangements.

In addition to Monica Mancini, the CD features several special guests, including Stevie Wonder, Take 6 and Kenny Rankin.

Henry Mancini is best known f …