Brenda Lewis – No Moon At All
Artist: Brenda Lewis
CD Title: Jazzlike
Label: Brenda Lewis
Buy CD at CB Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/BRENDALEWIS
Originally from eastern Ontario, BRENDA LEWIS is what is known as a “natural singer”. For two decades, since moving “west” (near Toronto!) she has been singing professionally – 15 of those as a jazz vocalist, performing with some of Canada’s finest jazz musicians, including long-time music partners: guitarist MARGARET STOWE, guitarist and Juno Award-winning producer TONY QUARRINGTON, and, JOHN ZADRO (pianist).
In 2010, she released her new CD: “JAZZLIKE, a collection of cover songs by some of her favourite musicians whose compositions fit within the jazz idiom. Four of these songs are penned by celebrated CANADIAN songwriters: COLLEEN PETERSON, RICK FINES, CHRIS WHITELEY, and, NEIL YOUNG. Jazz guitarist extraordinaire MARGARET STOWE (http://www.margaretstowe.com ) joins Lewis on this recording – a recording which displays the versatility of both musicians and evidences their sheer joy of performing together. Lewis and Stowe (who have co-produced it together) have striven for a sound on the CD that represents well what you will hear at a LIVE concert with them.
Previous to jazz, Lewis’ background was in the folk/Americana/country blues genres – in acclaimed Guelph, Ontario eclectic duo: “LEWIS & MOLESWORTH” (aka “HURT & RUN”), along with R&B/funk/gospel/blues. She is also an adept harmony/backing vocalist and began her career singing in A CAPELLA trios (similar to “Sweet Honey in the Rock”). She still enjoys success performing in these genres – and their influences add diversity to her jazz standards repertoire. Soulful, bluesy Etta, Ray Charles or Patsy Cline renditions spice up the setlists in any of her shows, alongside swinging classics, caliente grooves, and, lesser known torch gems – all sung in the spare yet emotive traditions of Ella, Julie London and Marlene Dietrich. This versatile mix captivates both the jazz audience and her long-time folk/ R&B fans.
Lewis’ CDs have received radio airplay on the CBC, BBC and JAZZ-FM 91.1 TORONTO. Prior to her first jazz CD: “LEWIS, WILSON & SHAW: TRIO SESSIONS”, Brenda recorded three folk/roots CDs (with Lewis & Molesworth, and, with NONIE CRETE). As well, she has guested on many other artists’ CDs as a harmony/backing vocalist, and been a feature artist on two compilation tribute albums (Including the “One Voice” tribute to Norm Hacking, in duo with Tony Quarrington).
In live shows, she performs from duo, trio to full band or orchestra – in concert, or for “atmosphere”, or, dance band. She has been featured in numerous concert series (including Halton’s Jazz at the Museum, Kitchener’s Jazz at the Registry, Uptown Waterloo Concert Series, Waterloo Regional Arts Centre Jazz Series, Arkell Schoolhouse Gallery), and, festivals (including Guelph Jazz Festival, Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival, Uptown Oakville Jazz Festival, Hillside Festival, Festival of Friends), dinner/nightclubs, prestigious hotels (including the The Millcroft Inn, where she led their New Year’s Eve houseband for 6 years), and corporate/private events across Ontario.
Brenda is currently working on cross-Canada touring and is available to perform anywhere in the world!
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Brenda feels especially honoured to have been asked to sing in tribute concerts for two stellar Canadian artists who have deeply influenced her musically : “FESTIVAL OF FRIENDS” 2009′s “MEMORIES OF JACKIE WASHINGTON” and, the COLLEEN PETERSON MEMORIAL CONCERT (in vocal harmony quartet with Suzie Vinnick, Katherine Wheatley & Rebecca Campbell; alongside “Quartette”) at HUGH’S ROOM, Toronto.
“The album title understates the music. It isn’t just jazzlike, it’s jazz. Brenda mixes some classic tunes with a couple of new songs from Canadian composers and ends up with a jumping jazz album that should satisfy anyone who’s been missing Rosemary Clooney. Margaret Stowe provides virtually all of the backing with her fine jazz guitar stylings. One track (“Falling in Love Again”) features guest guitar by Tony Quarrington, but other than that it’s Marg and Brenda alone. They work together like a finely tuned machine. The guitar sets the tempo, the voice provides the melody, then Ms. Stowe blows for a verse or two, and Brenda takes it home. This is torch singing of the highest standard.” (David Kidney, SLEEPING HEDGEHOG REVIEWS – February 2011)
“Brenda Lewis possesses one of those voices that never becomes tiresome. Her eclectic repertoire spans the Big Band era as well as the many differing segments of jazz. Each piece is given a personality and never becomes a tribute version to whoever made the composition a standard. Even her ‘Danny Boy’ paean to St. Patrick’s Day (and this humble scribe!) was presented without melodrama or pathos. No wonder her newest CD was scooped up by last night’s departing guests.” (Danny Gaisin, ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW – March 2011)
“Her rich full-bodied voice is an elastic instrument, especially in songs that speak to the heart. Whether choosing a jazz standard or a song by a contemporary songwriter, Lewis has impeccable taste.” (ROBERT REID, ARTS, WATERLOO RECORD)
“She softly intoned a realm of yesterday’s duets with greats that are now on The Big Gig in The Sky and I was inspired.” (GRANGE “LADY HAIG” RUTAN”, AUTHOR: “DEATH OF A BEBOP WIFE”)
For more information visit:
Performance Schedule: http://www.reverbnation.com/brendalewisjazzrootsvocalist
FACEBOOK Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenda-Lewis-Jazz-Roots-Vocalist/67126420079