Hailing from the green mountains of Vermont, Erin Bentlage writes, sings, and plays music with an unquenchable thirst for organic sound. Raised in a small town near the city of Burlington, she developed her love for emotional musical expression through ballet and classical piano lessons, and in high school found herself involved in any musical activity possible, from performing as a singer and pianist to directing the school’s first a cappella group. She became the first vocalist to win the Vermont All State Jazz Scholarship in 2008 and 2009, which also served as her first experience in jazz and improvisation. Though university studies tried to pull her towards the sciences, she realized by the beginning of her sophomore year that she wanted to devote her life to music and transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where she graduated with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. During her time in Boston, Erin had the opportunity to learn from and perform with an outstanding variety of inspired musicians. She rediscovered her love for a cappella and vocal music with Joey Blake and the Singing Tribe (created by Bobby McFerrin) which launched her into an exploration in spontaneous composition and improvisation. She recorded and performed with circle singing masters and creators WeBe3 (Joey Blake, Rhiannon Watson, David Worm). She became enamored with the sounds of Sarah Vaughan and Nancy King. She studied songwriting and jazz composition and south Indian solfege and explored arranging and composing in all genres and contexts. Erin was awarded a Downbeat Student Award as an Oustanding Jazz Soloist in 2014. She performed with the Berklee Vocal Jazz Ensemble at the 2014 JEN Conference, and has recorded and performed with rising jazz protégés Christian Li, Daniel Rotem, Albino Mbie, Ryo Konishi, and Drew Krasner. Erin has appeared in the Burlington Jazz Festival, the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, and First Night Burlington. Now, in 2015, Erin lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is enjoying the sun, mountains, and sea. She is writing, recording, and performing her own music and exploring the vast landscape of the Los Angeles music community. She is working as a studio singer, composer, and music educator, taking any opportunity to work with other creative and inspired peers, mentors, and students, all the while continuing to deepen her understanding of her own sound with devotion and integrity.
Downbeat Student Aware - outstanding jazz soloist (vocal)
"Bentlage navigated her lilting, stirring little voice through originals, standards and pop covers with equal ease. Though she lists her influences as ranging from Laura Marling and Becca Stevens to Sarah Vaughan, a gentle squeak in her voice calls Lady Day to mind — just enough edge in her pianissimo to make an intimate performance feel downright cozy." - Daniel E.R. of Boston, MA
Los Angeles College of Music, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Cornerstone Music Conservatory, Onset School of Music, Berklee College of Music
vocal improvisation (solo and group), sponaneous composition, songwriting