|Jennifer Lee (2015)|
(Photo by Billy Winters)
|Bay Area native Jennifer Lee is a quadruple threat: she sings with bebop precision and an impeccable feel; she plays both piano and guitar--she knows her jazz harmony; and has a wonderful memory for standards--and she's a writer of intriguing songs of which she herself jokes "everything I write is too hard for me to sing â€¦ [it's as if] my muse has an agenda to get me to expand as a vocalist".
Like Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan and Diana Krall, Jennifer came to singing only after she had become a trained instrumentalist. She received a degree in Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, but returned to the Bay Area to care for her father, who died a year later at the age of 51. This experience led Jennifer to an epiphany: "Life is short, and may be even shorter than I'm anticipating. I'd better do what I really want to do, and do it now." And what she really wanted to do was to sing.
She eventually became the house singer at the Ritz-Carlton, and freelanced all around the Bay Area. She loves the bossa nova and the samba, and sings in Portuguese with a near-perfect Brazilian accent. To date she has two recordings with A-list musicians, "Jay-Walkin'" and "Quiet Joy".
It might sound like a clichÃ©, but in Jennifer's case, it's true: her voice is like a sunny day. And in the unlikely event that she gets tired of the singing and the songwriting, she can always fall back on her visual arts: check her out her graphic side at www.buggzart.com.
|# 1||Mark Murphy||Kerouac, Then and Now||Eddie Jefferson/Take the "A" Train||Muse|
|# 2||Eliane Elias||Dreamer||Baubles, Bangles and Beads||Bluebird|
|# 3||Rickie Lee Jones||Pop Pop||My One and Only Love||Geffen|
|# 4||Paulo Bellinati and Mônica Salmaso||Afro-Sambas||Labareda||GSP|
|# 5||Toninho Horta, Chiquito Braga and Juarez Moreira||Quadro Modernos/Modern Portraits||Quadro Modernos||Telemar|
|# 6||Carmen McRae and Betty Carter||Duets||Sometimes I'm Happy||Verve|
|# 7||Bill Henderson and the Oscar Peterson Trio||Bill Henderson with the Oscar Peterson Trio||At Long Last Love||Verve|
|# 8||Electrocutango||Putamayo Presents: Tango Around the World||Felino||Putamayo|
|Book||Daniel Ladinsky, "A Year with Hafiz"|