Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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May 20, 2018

                                        L'TANYA MARI'  (JAZZ VOCALIST)                                   



Jazz at Meade is proud to welcome to the stage jazz vocalist L'Tanya Mari' for the second concert of our 2018 concert series and our 11th concert season! 

L'Tanya Mari' has been a major force in the jazz scene of Virginia and the East Coast for the past decade.  As a creative jazz singer, arranger, songwriter and educator, and as a performing artist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts since 2010, she is making an impact.  The release of her debut CD, A Teardrop Of Sun, gave her strong recognition and she is now working a new project; Swing Ella Swing and a new recording. 

L'Tanya Mari' grew up in Philadelphia.  She heard jazz from an early age and has never lost her enthusiasm for the music.  "I remember hearing Flora Purim during her fusion days, singing Brazilian music that was very explorative.  I originally enjoyed fusion the most, but when I was a teenager, my father influenced me by buying me cassettes of Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald.  I soon also heard Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn and Dee Dee Bridgewater and such instrumentalists as Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Branford Marsalis and Bill Evans including Evans' recording with Claus Ogerman. By the time I was 17, I was out at record stores looking for other jazz albums."

She originally studied cello for seven years along with piano.  But because she often hummed along with her cello playing, L'Tanya was advised by her teacher to explore singing.  She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Business at Howard University, had important private lessons with drummer-singer Grady Tate, sat in at jam sessions, and started working at clubs in the Virginia/Washington D.C. area.  Always wanting to learn more and to improve herself, L'Tanya worked towards a Master's degree in Jazz Studies at the University of the Arts.  She learned how to combine together her classical voice training with jazz theory, and began to flourish as a highly individual and personal singer. 

A few years ago, L'Tanya Mari' recorded A Teardrop Of Sun.  "The recording still sounds good to me," she says.  "The ideas and the music that we recorded were basically traditional straight-ahead standard jazz.  I particularly like Bill Evans' "Very Early," "Star Eyes," and "You Go To My Head".  L'Tanya's voice sounds consistently beautiful throughout the program, and she makes the difficult interval jumps of "Very Early" and some of the other songs sound effortless.  Her choice of notes is consistently inspired and her melodic improvisations both fit the songs and uplift the material.  L'Tanya's wide-ranging repertoire on the CD also includes Milton Nascimento's "Nothing Will Be As It Was," the swing standard, "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," Chick Corea's "Crystal Silence" and "That Old Black Magic" to name a few.  Included among the other highlights are tasteful duets with pianist Harry Appelman and guitarist Paul Wingo. 

The release of A Teardrop Of Sun opened up L'Tanya Mari's career, leading to some rewarding engagements and important exposure.  She had already earned grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities during 2008 - 10.  She was a finalist in the Billie Holiday Competitions of 2009 - 11.  In 2010 after her CD came out, L'Tanya was nominated in four categories by the Washington Area Music Association: for Jazz Vocalist, Jazz Recording, New Artist Of The Year and Debut Recording. 

L'Tanya has performed regularly at the Ice House in Virginia since 2007.  She particularly loves singing at the venue and at house concerts.  "I enjoy these situations because everybody is listening.  I prefer to perform in intimate settings where the audience is close by.  I want to be able to share how I feel through the lyrics of songs that mean a lot to me." Among the many other venues in which she has performed are the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lorton Workhouse Art Center, Mason District Park Concert Series, 2011 Vintage Wine Festival, 21st Annual African-American Heritage Festival, Dance DC Festival at the Atlas Art Performance Center, The Twins Jazz Club, The Bohemian Caverns, International Women In Jazz, and other Mid-Atlantic region venues.  

Please join us on Sunday, May 20th, as Jazz at Meade welcomes to the stage, acclaimed jazz vocalist, L'Tanya Mari'!     


                              ALL CONCERTS ARE HELD ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT 4PM.



***The recording, reproduction or transmission of Artist’s performance is prohibited without prior permission of JAM and the artist.***