Take Five With D.J. Sweeney

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D.J. Sweeney Meet D.J. Sweeney:

She's sung all her life, but just recently started singing at clubs with some of the greatest jazz musicians in Kansas City.


Vocal, guitar, piano bass and drums. An occasional trumpet or sax.

Teachers and/or influences? Carol Comer, Everette DeVan and Rich Hill. All of these are Kansas City peeps.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I was born. I used to sit on the upright piano with my Daddy playing when I was a little girl. I remember watching his foot keep time when he'd play the guitar. My sister and I used to put on variety shows in the living room after watching The Jackie Gleason Show or Sonny and Cher. We would take a lamp and shine it on each other for the spotlight. We were big hams.

Your sound and approach to music: I like to keep it straight-ahead. I love the standards and I respect the composers.

Your dream band:

My dream band would be Anthony Wilson on guitar, Jennifer Leitham on bass, Josh Nelson on piano and Louis Hayes on drums. I'd also like to sing with a big band and I found this really cool one with an all female ensemble. (divajazz.com.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Billy Holiday's Songs for Distant Lovers.

CDs you are listening to now: Ahmad Jamal's Darn That Dream.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Man, there are so many facets of the jazz genre. It's crazy and fun. I love it all.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Passing it along through the generations.

By Day:

I wait tables in an upscale steak house when I am not singing. Bobby Watson once said to me, "be sure and keep your steady gig." He knows how rough it is out here.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: a dead person.

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