Jazz vocalist Emily Braden returns to Jazz Vespers at St. John’s United Church on Sunday (Dec. 4).
A vocalist, composer and lyricist, Braden heard it all first through her grandmother’s speakers in her hometown of Boise, Idaho. As a young girl, she spent countless hours memorizing classic vocal solos and singing to the walls of her bedroom. Early love affairs with powerhouse voices such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan fanned the embers for what is now recognized as her signature style: bold, innovative, rhythmic.
Braden cultivated her craft under mentorships with Dave Barduhn (former arranger for Stan Kenton) in Oregon and legendary jazz musician Louise Rose (student of Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson protégé) in Victoria.
Supporting internationally acclaimed artist Harry Manx, she recorded on multiple award-winning albums and performed for packed houses across Canada. She currently lives in New York City and performs as a bandleader at notable East and West Coast venues as well as on international stages. Most recently, Braden was selected as a finalist in NYC’s 2011 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition.
Braden’s debut album Soul Walk showcases the clarity and flexibility of her voice.
“As a singer, Emily has no boundaries. She gives me goosebumps,” says Misha Piatigorsky, the poducer, composer and pianist for Soul Walk.
Soul Walk is a collection of jazz standards and originals that also marks her debut as a bilingual songwriter.
Oliver Swain on bass and Ken Hall on guitar will accompany her at the vespers performance.
Swain has toured extensively, including appearances at the Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver Folk festivals, teaching at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes and many smaller festival and concert performances.
A two-time Prairie Music Award recipient and Juno nominee, Swain has developed a reputation as one of Canada’s most dynamic and exciting roots performers. His career over the last decade has spanned the continent including tenures with the Bills (with Marc Atkinson), Scruj MacDuhk (Winnipeg, Man.), the Red Stick Ramblers (Baton Rouge, La.) and his current group, Outlaw Social. Oliver has also worked with three time Grammy nominee Toni Childs and living legend Marc Savoy.
Hall studied composition at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. Since moving to Victoria he has played in some of Victoria’s most successful bands, including the Sidewalk Blues band, Kumbia, Sunyata and the Sara Merrerios band. He is currently working with the klezmer jazz band, the Stomp Club, and the world beat group Saffron.
• All jazz vespers services begin at 7 p.m. at St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd.
• Admission is free; an offering is taken.