In a sense, singer Kellylee Evans was fast-tracked into her career in music, deciding relatively late in her still-young life that she would plunge into show business waters; waters that can sometimes be murky and beset with storms.
When the Toronto, Canada-area woman made a decision to drop pursuit of a master's degree to pursue singinga decision made after a near-death experienceit wasn't long before she was working on her first recording, an album created with the aid of noted jazz bassist Lonnie Plaxico
, and recorded in New York City. While that was going on in 2004, she entered the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition
and came in second (Gretchen Parlato
took first). All this from someone who didn't grow up listening to jazz. She was relatively late in developing an appreciation for the music, but her skills quickly adapted to it.
Since that time, Evans has released three CDs, and her latest, Nina
(2010), is both her first standards record, paying homage to the late, great Nina Simone
, and her debut for France's Plus Loin label.
Veteran All About Jazz contributor R.J. DeLuke
spoke with Evans recently, about her late arrival on the music scene, the recording of Nina
, and balancing standards with original material.
Check out Kellylee Evans: A Nod to Nina, Then Onward
All About Jazz today!
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