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Jennifer Derrick Adams

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because... Because at the root of it is storytelling and the process is so organic. Everyone practices and perfects their craft, you show up at the gig, call the tune, key and tempo and an entire new world is created. No performance is ever the same but what doesn't change is the heart of it. The form and the story. It is a perfect expression of the human condition (or perhaps experiment). I was first exposed to jazz... Accidentally, I found a Billie Holiday cassette tape and that was it. I'd listen for hours, trying to mimic her voice and delivery and always failing. Then I realized I will never sound like her and that's okay, I'm supposed to sound like me. Then I discovered Chet Baker, first his trumpet playing and then surprised by his vocals. Such a pure, gentle and delicate touch, drawing the listener into their own heart and experience. When everyone else was listening to AC/DC I was listening to jazz. I met Chris Botti... and immediately formed an inappropriate crush hahaha. This guy bridged the gap between genres and pulled in mainstream audiences. His playing makes me feel. The best show I ever attended was... I could go on and on about this but honestly, the best show I ever attended was an outdoor Eurythmics concert. I was steps from the stage and Annie and Dave blew my mind. It came as no surprise when she released an album of standards. Honestly, Annie is an icon for me. The first jazz record I bought was... Billie Holiday Lady in Satin My advice to new listeners... Sit back and close your eyes. There is a story somewhere in this album that might help you connect to one of your own stories of love and loss. In addition to being a singer, I am also a photographer and writer. This album is entirely self-produced. I designed the cover, took the photos, built the website, all while trying to stay completely authentic and real. There is enough polished perfection out there, I feel like its time for more "real". While I have been singing in the Pacific NW for many years and have a ton of recordings from live performances, this is my debut studio album. A few months prior to recording it, I had found myself lying on my living room floor, paramedics and firemen were rooting through my cabinets, did I take anything and I am showing signs of a stroke, they should take me to the emergency room. As the battery of tests were ran, I started to feel better and better. While I was on the floor all I could think about was music. How I hadn't given it the attention it kept crying out for and it was time to finally check off the first item on my to-do list... "when I grow up I'm going to be a singer". I walked out of the emergency room with a clear bill of health, no explanation for what had occurred and I am not sure what exactly I believe really, but in that moment, if there was the possibility of a divine wake-up call, that was mine.

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