I started listening to jazz in university. As a singer, it’s only natural that I’m mostly drawn to jazz singers. My first favorite female jazz singer’s Dinah Washington. I remember I bought her CD in campus, I think there was some kind of a market or bazaar at the time. I love her “Teach Me Tonight”!
Then I stumbled upon the fabulous and scattilicious Ms Ella Fitzgerald! Her musicality is over the top, and like most people, I really admire her scat-singing.
When I’m in love or broken hearted, I seek comfort from Billie Holiday. Listening to her is some kind of emotional therapy for me. She’s just so full of soul, I really could feel every word she sang. Like this next song, it’s just so sad that I got teary eyes.
I always find thick voice fascinating, such as Sarah Vaughan’s. And it also has a hint of opera singer’s voice – so divine.
And who doesn’t know Nina Simone? This singer-pianist recorded “Feeling Good”, a track from the musical “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd” for her album “I Put a Spell on You” that was released in 1965. This song was a hit, became a standard and got covered by many artists such as jazz crooner Michael Buble, the rock band Muse, and…me! Two years ago I was playing around with this app called VoiceJam on my iPod and was inspired to make a very simple rendition of the tune using only my voice.
For modern female jazz singers, I’m in love with Gretchen Parlato. How could somebody turn the 90s R&B group SWV’s track “Weak” into this super crazy rendition? (big props to Robert Glapser too!)
Many associate me with jazz, because I performed in jazz festivals. It’s true that jazz plays a big role in my musical evolution, but I can’t say that I’m a jazz artist because I’m still learning to be one. And I think I will keep on learning because it has so much to offer and every time I learn something new out of it, it makes me feel more and more alive! Thank God for music and thank God for Jazz! Happy International Jazz Day, peeps 🙂