Alberta-born jazz vocalist Ellen Doty performs at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday

Alberta-born jazz vocalist Ellen Doty performs at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday

Jazz vocalist shares her love of Nat King Cole

Ellen Doty and her band of top musicians open 2016 at the Vernon Jazz Club Jan. 9.

The Vernon Jazz Club will be taken on an unforgettable journey when jazz vocalist Ellen Doty takes the stage Saturday night.

The Canadian songstress will perform a mix of favourite standards and originals, including L-O-V-E (made popular by Nat King Cole), My Funny Valentine (Rodgers and Hart), and You Can’t Hurry Love (The Supremes).

Doty will be joined by special guests Eli Bennett (sax), Daniel Reynolds (piano), Justin Kudding (bass), and Adam Cormier (drums).

Doty began singing when she was five years old in her church choir. Soon after, at the tender age of six, she performed at the Calgary Stampede.

Jazz vocal greats have always been near to her heart thanks to her family.

“Nat King Cole has been one of my biggest influences,” she said.  “My grandmother actually grew up across the street from Nat King Cole in Los Angeles, and both her and my grandfather used to go dancing to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and many of the other greats. So, jazz was passed down to me from them and through my father.”

Although her music is rooted in jazz, Doty is able to incorporate other genres, such as folk and pop, into her unique sound.

Originally from Okotoks, Alta., Doty moved to Ottawa to study vocal jazz at Carleton University.

She was the recipient of the outstanding soloist award from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and was one of the artists to complete a Banff Centre artist residency for collaborative songwriting.

In May, 2013, she received a production grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to record her debut album, Gold.

It was after the release of this album that she kicked off a 30-city, 46-stop tour that started off in Sydney, N.S. and ended in Victoria, B.C.

She will be busy recording her sophomore album in Toronto this year followed by another large tour.

Doty will be joined by international award-winning jazz saxophonist Bennett.

Bennett has performed twice at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and has shared the stage with Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Terence Blanchard, and Dave Holland.

He is a two-time recipient of the CBC’s Galaxie Rising Star Award. He also received the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for music in 2012 as well as the Queen Elizabeth 2 Diamond Jubilee Medal from B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

While studying at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, Reynolds played alongside guest artists such as Phil Dwyer, John Taylor, Joe Lovano and Ben Monder.  He was awarded the Oscar Peterson Prize for Excellence in Jazz Performance by the Hnatyshyn Foundation for the Arts.

Kudding is an active Canadian player who also performs in Nashville.  He is a current member of the band that backs country music superstar George Canyon.

He has also worked with numerous musicians including Covenant Award winner Mark Schultz and Canadian country stars Tim Hicks, Ray Griff, and Mackenzie Porter.

Raised in Nanaimo, Cormier was introduced to music and the drums during elementary school and at 13 began his jazz studies at Wellington Jazz Academy. He was offered a full scholarship to attend the Schulich School of Music at McGill.

Since then, he has toured the country four separate times and has done two North America tours. He has played on several recordings and appears in music videos broadcast internationally.

Ellen Doty hits the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, Jan. 9 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.