In a sea of talented vocalists on the Twin Cities Jazz Scene, Paula Lammers is a distinctive artist, “a solid soprano voice who shares each song’s story with heartfelt conviction, clear diction and a sweet (but not too-sweet) tone, swing where it needs to swing, energy where it needs to pop, wistful musing or upbeat sunshine as the story merits (Andrea Canter, Jazz Police.com). A native of St. Peter, MN, Paula recalls her first public performance of “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” at age four and wearing out the needles on her parents’ record player listening to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the Serendipity Singers and the Ray Coniff Singers. And although her family moved several times, “music always anchored me into a new community, through choir and church.” She majored in music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, then continued her studies at the University of Minnesota where she earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance.
Classically trained, Paula found a new direction when she took an opera improvisation class during her graduate studies, and discovered an untapped talent to hear chord progressions. In 2001, despite 12 years of performing and teaching on the Twin Cities classical scene, she took an unexpected detour –a seven-year tenure singing 40s tunes with a vocal quartet aboard the Minnesota Zephyr. Soon Paula was singing with area big bands and formed her own nine-piece ensemble, Cloud Nine, performing throughout the Twin Cities from 2006-2010. In 2012 she began a 3-year stint with the Phil Mattson Singers as lead soprano. Long involved in music education, she was Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Singing Styles Concordia University (St. Paul), 2010-2015.