Faith Gibson grew up in Pittsburgh, where she studied piano and flute, listened to a wide variety of music, and sang in her church choir and school and college choruses and pop ensembles. However, it would be some time before she pursued a career as a jazz singer as she felt too shy to sing alone in front of an audience.
"A point came when I realized it was ridiculous to allow shyness to deny me things I always wanted," Gibson says. I began venturing outside myself and onto stages, first with a vocal trio, and finally as a soloist."
Since her debut performance at the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2003, Gibson has performed at jazz clubs and concerts in the UK and in Cologne, Bonn and Berlin, Germany and recorded her first CD You Don't Know Me.
Gibson has studied with Fionna Duncan, Silvia Droste, Judy Niemack and Sheila Jordan. In addition to writing her own songs, she also operates her own internet radio station, Blossom's Vocal Jazz, which has been chosen as Editor's Pick on live365.com and has a loyal fan base of listeners around the world.
Gibson's next CD will be released in 2009.
When were you happiest?
Standing in a former church in Glasgow for a one-on-one lesson with bassist Ronnie Rae and singing "Ill Wind" to his accompaniment. No microphonejust him, me and the church acoustics. To use an overused word: awesome!
What is your greatest fear?
Failure. Hey, I'm a Capricorn.
What is your earliest memory?
My mother standing in the kitchen in our parsonage in Ford City, PA, sprinkling water on clothes with a little plastic bottle and ironing.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My shyness. I'm working on it, though.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Insincerity.
What is your most treasured possession?
I do have possessions, but none would be the one I treasure most! I treasure only people and moments.
What would your superpower be?
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Are there people who could actually answer this question?
What is your most unappealing habit?
Which person would you most like to meet, and why? Someone I'd like to grow old with. No, Mr. Right still hasn't come along.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
At this point in time (a few weeks before his inauguration), Barack Obama. His integrity.
Which living person do you most despise, and why? Anyone who would dare to break a child's spirit.
If you could go back in time, where would you go? Newport Jazz Festival, 1958.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Wonderful. On my radio station, I tend to introduce most songs with, "And here's another wonderful track from the wonderful CD [...] by the wonderful singer [...]."
Aside from a property, what is the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
My second car, which was the only car I ever bought that wasn't used. It's also the only car I've ever totalled.
Where would you like to live?
I'd like to move back to Pittsburgh, where I grew up.
What makes you depressed?
My inability to sell myself.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My right thumb.
What is your favorite smell?
What is your favorite book?
Impossible to answer. I studied literature! I have more books than I have freckles. But, I'd recommend anything by Anne Tyler.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To the girl who was standing in the freezing rain on the Autobahn very miserably trying to hitch a ride back in about 1985. Because I didn't stop.
Have you ever said "I love you" and not meant it?
No. Though I may have meant it in a different way than was understood.
Who would you like to invite to your dream dinner party?
Charlie Chaplin, my grandmother, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme.
When did you last cry, and why?
Yesterday. Out of anger and frustration.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
The ability to play an instrument well.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I fall asleep moments after my head hits the pillow.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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