Have had jazz and bluegrass in my ears, on parallel tracks, for over 30 years; only made sense to mash them up!
Frontier Jazz is a sound that I believe could have only been created in Texas.
It’s not what I expected when my husband and I moved from New York (by
way of Madison, Wisconsin) in 2008. But much to my surprise and joy, the Houston-
based musicians who make up the Frontier Jazz Orchestra turned out to be the
perfect band-mates to help me interweave the predominantly jazz/bluegrass sound
with the musical influences that I have been attracted to most of my life.
I draw on over 20 years of musical and stage experience to leave my personal
stamp on my favorite songs. I got my start as a singer as a member of
a vocal jazz ensemble called Jazzmouth—founded by Bay Area vocalist and
composer Molly Holm in the early 1980s. At the time, heavyweights like Bobby
McFerrin and Tuck & Patti were ascendant, and these, among many other Bay Area
musicians, were my influences as I sought to master the jazz idiom.
When I moved to Portland, Oregon 4 years later, I was exposed to bluegrass music
while learning how to contra dance. The sound of the banjo, mandolin and fiddle
would continually intermingle with jazz in my ears, and over the ensuing 20 years,
this melding coalesced into the Frontier Jazz sound.