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People often ask me, “What kind of singer are you?”

And I always want to say “A pretty good one” and leave it at that.

But instead, I say “I’m a jazz-centric pop singer who loves to take songs from “back in the day” and kick them up with contemporary jazz arrangements.”

While I adore those great, timeless songs of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, as well as songs written for musical theater, I’ve recently been diving into the great songwriters of my generation. Joni Mitchell. Billy Joel. John, Paul, George and Ringo. And more recently, John Mayer.

With this kind of wild mix of songs spanning 15 decades in my creative toolbox, I weave both song and story into theme-driven musical shows with the intention of entertaining and uplifting anyone within earshot.

Or sometimes, I just sing the oldies in taverns, cafes and fine restaurants.

BACKGROUND

As a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, I was educated in classical music. I was going to be an opera singer until my first year at college when I discovered how ugly the opera world can be. But the training was invaluable. It taught me how to be a musician, not just a singer.

Once I graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, I stopped singing. Completely. Eighteen years later, at age 39, and not having sung anything more than a commercial jingle along with the car radio, I had a wild notion. Why not start singing again, and then give a concert on my fortieth birthday and make all my friends come
and listen?

If I had been smart, I would have invited ten friends to come to my house to listen to a few songs in my living room. But no! I had to rent a theater and invite 150 of my closest friends to come to an hour long show! This show, called “In My Own Voice,” was the beginning of my career. Once I started singing again, I couldn’t stop.

I fell in love with the art of cabaret because it is the only performance art form I know of that allows the artist so much creative freedom. Anything goes. I can incorporate songs from any genre, pop, classical, jazz, rock, whatever works, A show can be funny, meaningful, inspirational, dramatic or just plain silly. It all has a place in cabaret.

And I adore the intimacy and connection you can have with an audience. Cabaret is a co-creation. You create it with your audience. They are an essential ingredient. That’s why every show has an energy and vibe that is unique and fresh, even if the songs and stories stay the same.

My jazz cabaret career started in Northern California with self-produced shows, like “In Your Wildest Dreams,” “Insomnia,” “Love and Lunacy,” and “Lovin’ The Spin I’m In.” I also performed on demand at a slew of top-notch fund raising events, special musical showcases, and at some pretty nice clubs and cabarets throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

In 2009, I moved from Sebastopol, California to Kingston, New York to be with the man I loved and explore new music opportunities on the East Coast. It took me a while, but I found the best band mates ever: Ken McGloin, my amazing guitarist, and Jim Curtin, bass man and human teddy bear. I’m so blessed to be able to collaborate and perform with these two phenomenally talented musicians.