I had the great pleasure of seeing vocalist Kathleen Grace perform with pianist extraordinaire Darin Clendenin as part of the JazzVox concert series on January 10th. Kathleen is hailed as one of the most exciting newcomers on the scene today, and her artistry is recognized as uniquely fresh and insightful.
Songs such as “Bye Bye Blackbird”, “I’ll be Seeing You” and “Angel Eyes” are classics given a new twist with her eclectic styling and inventive groove/textures. Kathleen also sang her own original songs including “Songbird” and Elijah” so poignantly while creating impassioned poetic imagery. Her creativity was buoyed that much more by the superlative accompaniment of Darin Clendenin, a well-respected pianist and vocal coach in Seattle. He plays with great aplomb and in often majestic sweeping chords, yet he can also get into his ‘stride’ groove and keep it swinging. Together they provided a wonderful evening of fantastic entertainment in the comfort of Nich Anderson’s home in Auburn (locale for his JazzVox concerts @ jazzvox.com).
As a reflection of Kathleen’s fast-rising popularity, her debut CD “Sunrise” and equally stunning second CD “Songbird” are critically successful releases that reveal her many talents as a lyricist, producer, composer and duo performer. They feature classic jazz standards and intimate fairy tales of covers from Pat Metheny to Joni Mitchell to the Beatles that amplify her superb genre-blurring dexterity.
Kathleen Grace and her great band are now poised to dive into new musical territory with their newly release CD entitled “Mirror”. This CD features almost exclusively original material by Kathleen that embraces the language of rock, folk and jazz which critics describe as “Indie Jazz”. Each selection from the new project has a modern day fable at its center, and lessons learned and unlearned color their meaning. These stores of love, power, loss and passion are charming and textured and another facet of Kathleen’s incredibly amazing repertoire.
Whether Kathleen Grace performs in intimate settings or in larger venues with her band, she shines ever so brightly on the horizon of eloquent poetic justice and true greatness. The next time she is in town, come experience for yourself first hand what magic Kathleen weaves with her genre-bending explorations and imaginative sound tapestries. Until then, check out her wonderful website at kathleengrace.com for all the latest artist bio and concert information – she is simply not to be missed!