The Vernon Jazz Club welcomes international jazz vocalist and composer Jenny Davis to the stage Saturday night.
Davis performs straight-ahead, bebop-style jazz, drawing from tunes such as Confirmation (Charlie Parker) and A Night in Tunisia (Dizzy Gillespie).
Her band – Chuck Easton on guitar, Ted Enderle on bass, and Tony Ferraro on drums – adds Latin flare with bossa nova favourites, Chega de Saudade and Triste (Antonio Carlos Jobim).
Although Davis is classified under jazz, she specifically loves tunes that are swinging, bebop and hard bop.
“My compositions tend to have a bluesy minor quality to them. My music has been described as vocal instrumental and having an original sound, unlike a classic jazz-singer style,” said Davis. “I try to sing with honesty and not copy other singers. That is what I love most about jazz, the celebration of originality and improvisation.”
A native of Seattle, Davis went to the Cornish College of the Arts, where she earned her bachelor of music and was awarded the Maggie Hawthorn scholarship award.
She actively performs throughout the U.S. and Canada in clubs, festivals and jazz venues, including Seattle’s Jazz Alley and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.
To date, Davis has released three albums: Daydream, It Amazes Me, and her most recent, Inside You. Her band is currently working on its next album, which is going to be released this summer and will feature some special guests.
“The album is taking a guest appearance direction, with tracks including the great Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo and New York saxophonist Mark Taylor,” said Davis.
A couple of years ago, Davis had the opportunity to work and study with jazz vocalist Kurt Elling in New York City.
“I am inspired by his passion and creativity; mostly the intensity of his work and how he delivers a simple song while infusing his passionate energy,” she said. “I also am inspired by many horn players and I’ve taken up learning to arrange for horn sections in large combos and big bands. I am inspired by the harmony of a horn section with the vocal instrument.”
Davis’ talent has not gone unnoticed.
“If you’re going to sing with just guitar and bass behind you, you’d better have a pure voice and laser-like pitch. Luckily Jenny Davis does,” said Katie Malloch, with CBC Radio.
“Like any good jazz musician, Jenny uses her voice as an instrument, improvising and playing with the melodies… (She is) the kind of singer that goes deep into the song and makes you feel the lyrics,” wrote Jazz Time magazine.
Davis can be heard at: Jennydavisjazz.com
Jenny Davis hits the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at Expressions of Time and at www.vernonjazz.ca with a $5 rebate at the door for members. Cash only bar. This event is sponsored by Expressions of Time.