9.6.12 Janis Mann Group
“A first class jazz singer!” Scott Yanow, jazz critic and author, proclaims. At once both a striking song stylist and a fearless improviser, Janis Mann is that rare artist who can sweep you away with her captivating sound. She is a true jazz singer in the manner of Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, and Shirley Horn, yet with a sound all her own. An exciting and engaging performer, Janis’ rich timbre, flexibility, and range often invite comparisons to Sarah Vaughan. “Janis Mann continues to generate some of the best vocal music anywhere.” These words from Cadence Magazine reviewer Alan Bargebuhr confirm what fans of this award-winning singer have known for years.
Some of the jazz luminaries she has sung or recorded with include: Roy Haynes, Diane Schuur, Jack Sheldon, Jon Mayer, Ross Tompkins, John Heard, Red Holloway, and Dave Frishberg, earning their praises. Janis’ latest CD, “Blow Away,” was a national hit on radio, internet, and cable, going to number 15 on the Jazzweek radio chart and number 5 on Music Choice. It features an in-studio collaboration with pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Christoph Luty, and drummer Roy McCurdy. Her 2008 CD, “A Perfect Time: Drummers and Other Friends,” referred to by writer Kirk Silsbee as a “tour de force,” went to number nine on the national jazz radio charts and charted for an impressive eight months. It is an homage to jazz drummers and features drum greats Peter Erskine, Joe LaBarbera, Roy McCurdy, and Paul Kreibich along with pianist (and the CD’s producer) Tamir Hendelman, bassists John Clayton and Chuck Berghofer, and saxophonist Jeff Clayton. A special bonus on the disc features Janis in a duet performance with Diane Schuur.
And speaking of jazz drummers, the legendary Roy Haynes exclaimed after Mann performed with his trio: “Great singer, great feel! I haven’t heard anyone like Janis in years!” A native New Yorker, Janis is now a favorite on the Los Angeles jazz scene, her performances a hit in L.A.’s best rooms including Catalina’s, The Jazz Bakery, Charlie O’s, The A-Frame, and Steamers. “This exceptional jazz vocalist has been making waves with her performances. Good stuff!” notes Brick Wahl of the L.A. Weekly. In addition to her own popular shows, Janis often performs on stage with jazz legend Diane Schuur, including recent appearances at the Blue Note in New York, Yoshi’s, Anthology, and in Las Vegas.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Janis grew up on Long Island, drawing inspiration from her mom, a gifted singer, who would play for her the music of the great jazz singers like Sarah, Nat, and Ella. She studied classical piano and later, indulging her growing passion for folk music, learned the guitar. In her late teens, Janis packed up her guitar and headed for Europe. She supported herself in her travels by playing and singing in the cafes of Paris and Amsterdam and in the Middle East. After returning to New York, she fronted a popular R&B band, and then made the move to Los Angeles. After a number of years in which she played in clubs throughout L.A., Janis moved to Seattle where she became a renowned vocalist winning numerous fans. She was voted Northwest Jazz Vocalist of the Year in the Earshot Jazz poll of fans, musicians, and critics. She recorded her third CD, “So Many Stars – A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan,” live at Seattle’s world famous Jazz Alley. After more than a decade there she returned to Los Angeles.
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- September 5, 2012 / 3:33 am
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