No More Blues
Here is my philosophy: jazz is not only an art form, but a lifestyle. Jazz has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was little, we lived on the Nez Perce Reservation in Kamiah, Idaho. When I first heard my mom’s Billie Holiday recordings, I thought, “Wow! I wish I could sing like that!” So I just started listening to those songs over and over again, singing along with Billie and trying to sound like her. Then I discovered Judy Garland and fell in love with “Over the Rainbow”, and then it was Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and all the other great women of jazz. I was hooked.
After we moved to Spokane, I started singing in a jazz choir in seventh grade and decided to get into solo jazz performance while at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival in Moscow, ID. While attending high school at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, the same high school Bing Crosby had attended, I kept up the solo jazz performances at festivals and clinics across the Northwest and every summer at the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp in Naperville, IL. That’s where I had the chance to learn more jazz from Janice, Judy Niemack, Madeline Eastman, Jay Clayton, and the incredible Floyd Standifer.
Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Mildred Bailey, one of the earliest and most influential women in jazz history; she had an incredible voice. Mildred spent her early years on the Coeur d’ Alene Reservation in Idaho before moving to Spokane. She was the first “girl singer” to sing with a big band, and had over 300 recordings during her too short career. I try to dedicate a song to Mildred whenever I perform.
I have been lucky to sing regularly at ella’s Supper Club in Spokane for nearly five years, and I love this picture taken by Don Hamilton at one of those shows. The songs on this cd were recorded live at Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle after I spent the month studying with the wonderful Greta Matassa. It was a fun evening, and I hope you dig the sounds!
Julia Keefe : Vocals
Recorded live at Tula’s Jazz Club, Seattle, WA with The Greta Matassa Trio, June 27, 2007
Photography: Don Hamilton