Andy James

Andy James

Instrument: Voice / vocals | Location: Los Angeles

Andy James’ sound is smoky & luxurious with every lush detail of the music carried out exquisitely.
—Riff Review

Updated: May 12, 2021

Born: September 28

Music has been coursing through smoldering jazz vocalist Andy James’ being since she was a little girl. Twice blessed as a gifted singer and dancer, Andy decided her showbiz act one would be a career as a world-class Flamenco dancer, collaborating with the milieu’s most exceptional. Now, she announces, act two, a career as a stunning jazz singer with an irresistible 40s swing-style debut album, Caravan.

“My father loved dancing, my mother love singing, and I loved my father,” says the Las Vegas and LA-based singer, laughing playfully, acknowledging her respect and affection for both her parents. “I sang as a child, but I went back and forth between singing and dance. Both my parents were always encouraging. My mother was a jazz singer, so that was close to her heart.”

Andy James’ debut, Caravan, resides in the smoky elegance of the classic 1930-1905s female swing vocal tradition, recalling high-watermark recordings by Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Julie London. Also, Andy’s vocals exhibit a burnished soulfulness that touches upon soul and gospel titans such as Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke.

Despite Caravan being Andy’s debut release, it’s a life’s work documented in the now. Andy emerged a fully formed artist and, on the strength of her talents, has been able to work with a diverse list of industry heavyweights, including mix and mastering engineer Josh Connolly (Justin Bieber, Santana, Pharell Williams); platinum mastering engineer Bernie Grundman (Carol King, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Prince); in-demand producer Piero Pata; noted vocal producer Zeffin Quinn Hollis ( Les Misérables, The Fantasticks, and Company); and big band jazz icon, Grammy Award-winner and Emmy-nominee Bill Cunliffe.

Despite stints singing in a rock band (The Late Late Show), and playing bass professionally (the Australian Tour production of The Rocky Horror Picture), it’s Andy’s gifts as a dancer that first thrust her into the public spotlight. In this realm, she had an inter-continental career, first dancing Flamenco in Australia, and, later, in Madrid, alongside the greatest Flamenco artists of the day, including Antonio Canales, Rafael Amargo, and Paco de Lucia. “Flamenco is based on feeling complex offbeat and synchronized rhythms, and I think that prepared me for singing jazz melodies,” Andy opines.

Caravan’s 15-tracks showcase the rare artistic feat where a vocalist can dust off the emotionality of a timeless jazz standard with sensitivity and flair. Highlights on the album include the Ellington classic title track, an imaginative reading of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” the 1946 chestnut by Matt Dennis and Earl Brent “Angel Eyes,” and Rogers and Hart’s “It Never Entered My Mind.”

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“‘Tu Amor’ is the perfect expression of both my styles of work: jazz and Flamenco. It enabled me to touch on all the rhythms of both styles.”

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Andy James Albums