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Take Five With Julie Charnet

Julie Charnet By

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Meet Julie Charnet:
I have performed as a duo in restaurants, sang with a big band, and have been invited to sit in by some of the finest musicians. As for my style, I like to swing and flow but when the mood turns dark I will shuffle, shake, and chase away trouble. I like to entertain and to be entertained through all of life's stories. If a song hits you the right way you know it's a great song. Jazz and blues always hit me with something good.

Instrument(s):
Vocals.

Teachers and/or influences?
Musicals, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Grainger, Howard Arlen, Thelonious Monk and female jazz vocalists from the 1940s.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was three and rehearsing a The Beatles song with my older brother. I loved music and sounds from an early age.

Your sound and approach to music:
I try to use different styles to sing while keeping true to the melody and integrity of the song.

Your dream band:
I love so many artists but I would love to have a big band, and then use all or some of them depending on the type of song and style.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I let a patron buy me four apple martinis, and then forgot the words to "Lady Is a Tramp." I made up a song about going to camp. I did not drink again before performing!

Favorite venue:
Jazz jam session—you get to hear others play and do what they love to do with their energy. It's never the same sound twice.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
"Is You Is." I used the song to convey to someone I was seeing at the time that I was not a holler back girl.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Ella Fitzgerald, Pure Ella.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
That I am keeping some fantastic songs alive by performing them in ways that non-jazz people enjoy, and look forward to hearing again. I try and look for songs that everyone will enjoy from the seasoned professional, to a general audience who just wants to hear some great songs.

Did you know...
I have a guitar and I like country music.

CDs you are listening to now:
Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time (Capitol);
Ray Charles, Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord);
Earth Wind and Fire, Greatest Hits (Columbia).

Desert Island picks:
Ella Fitzgerald, The Best of the Songbooks (Verve);
Simon and Garfunkel, Greatest Hits (Columbia);
Bonnie Raitt, The Best of Bonnie Raitt (Capitol);
Phil Vassar, Greatest Hits (Arista).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I would say it has faded in the general population, but it is certainly not dead. There will always be jazz influences in mainstream songs, and there will always be musicians who appreciate the improvisation, melody, and rhythms of all types of jazz. Great music is great music, and that will never die.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
A beautiful or catchy melody, strong tempo and rhythm will make a great song stay around for a long, long time. Versatility, creativity, and each performer's individuality will always keep a jazz song interesting for the amateur listener, or a die hard old-timer.

What is in the near future?
Debut release of Is You Is at the 23rd Street Cafe in Philadelphia, PA on August 20, 2009 at 8 p.m.

By Day:
Student and Administrative Assistant.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
writer/author.

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