world jazz vocalist
Originally from Beirut, Lebanon where she grew up, Julie is a versatile singer who has
sung in choirs, musical theatre, jazz groups, and world music groups and ensembles.
She sings in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Greek and Turkish and uses her voice as
an instrument of improvisation. A self taught musician who considers herself a constant
student, she studied voice and acting privately and in workshops and continues to find
opportunities for growth in the music world. Her biggest influences have been Fairuz,
Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Barbara Streisand, and Cleo Laine. Julie's first
favorite singer was Doris Day at age 2, and her mother often recounts how Julie would
point to Doris Day's records so that her mother would play them. During her childhood
years, Julie's name was rare in Beirut, so when she saw Julie Andrews on the big screen
for the first time in Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews became her first idol, especially that
they both shared short hair styles.
Julie's presence on stage is often described as warm and inviting, and her voice as
warm, touching, passionate and soaring, and expressive. She enjoys performing live, and
connecting with her audience on a personal level is always her goal.
Since moving to Austin from Allentown, PA she quickly integrated herself in the theatre
community and performed with several theatre companies in town, earning a nomination
for an acting award for her work in an original children's show call Deep in the Heart of
Texas. Soon after, she formed a duet cabaret act themed on friendship, Cabarageous,
with friend and singer Donna Lipman and performed in several venues in town before
being a mother drew her full time attention. While her two beautiful girls got their
schooling, Julie taught music and French as a substitute in the neighboring schools. This
also lead her to get certified in Kodåly Methodology, level III.
After her girls fully developed their wings and flew away to start their own lives, Julie
decided to dive full time into music. Since then, she has founded two bands: Layalina, an
Arabic band, which she co-founded with friend and oud player Sari Andoni; Rendez
Vous, a five piece jazz band that combines all the influences and styles in her musical
life: French, jazz, Arabic, and Spanish. Julie also performs with the UT Middle Eastern
Ensemble, Bereket, headed by Dr. Sonia Seeman, and enjoys sitting in with local world
music bands like Indimaj, Atlas Maior, Ojåla, and 1001 Nights Orchestra. She has also
been involved as a vocalist through the years with the Austin Jazz Workshop, lead by
Michael Melinger, which tours over 150 elementary schools in the area, performing a jazz
program by a jazz composer of choice and teaching third through fifth grade students
about the chosen composer and jazz music components.
Julie has released a live 3-track EP and most recently, a live 5-track EP. She is working
on recording a full length CD, an eclectic multi language compilation of originals and
songs close to her heart.
My Jazz Story
Jazz opens the mind and takes you away to a musical world where improvisations create stories of their own. I have sung in many genres in my life, but jazz is the most freeing while at the same time the most challenging as it forces the
vocalist, musicians as well as the listener to be in the moment, and it heightens listening. It's a musical conversation that express each artist's uniqueness. The other genre of music that comes close to it is Arabic music with its taqasim
(improvisation) taking a song or musical composition to a deeper level of exploration. Vocal improvation (mawwal) adds another layer and deepens the story of a song, expressing emotions that are written between the lines in the melody.
My House Concert Story
I have hosted, attended as well as played at house concerts. As an audience member, I think that they are one of my favorite forms of concert as they provide a truly intimate experience of the music and a great chance to get to know the
artists up close and personal. As a host, I loved bringing the community together and meeting new people through it while supporting music at its finest. As a performer, they are in my top favorite venues as they provide a real opportunity
of conversation between the audience and the musicians, and they really take the music to a different level through the vibe and the atmosphere they create, which changes the way we play and what we end up playing.
I also find that financially they are a great deal on all levels, for attendees and for the performers. As for the host, it is a wonderful way to donate energy, time and resources in support of their favorite artists.