Take Five With Patty Cronheim

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Patty Cronheim: Patty Cronheim performs her original jazz and blues tunes with a vivacious, soulful style and uncompromising vocals. Capturing the attention of critics, this New Jersey artist has just completed her first CD, Days Like These. Recently featured in Jazz Inside NY's "Women in Jazz" issue, and selected as a SKOPE magazine "artise 2 watch," her versatility and sensitivity are apparent in every note and getting attention.

Patty is a jazz musician who exhibits exciting musical technique. Jon Sobel, of the Blog Critic, writes of her new album: "Patty Cronheim has delivered a winner that's earned a place on my jazz shelf... a warm expressive voice, a distinctive rhythmic feel, with melodies and lyrics that fit her cozy voice like a blanket... timeless." Ejazznews writes: "Patty Cronheim makes a strong musical statement—a charming vocal debut bound to impress the critics."

She is a winner of the Best American Song competition, jazz category; The West Coast International Song Writer awards; Billboard's World Music Awards; and was a finalist in The International Music Think Tank Award. She has opened for the late Ray Charles, performed her original music on the Jane Pauley Show, and played alongside Ralph Bowen, Steve Williams, Guilherme Franco, Ken Pendergast, Clifford Adams, and many others.

Patty is also a talented composer, creating original jazz material to perform. "Refreshing original songs set Days Like These apart from typical vocal recordings."—All About Jazz. As The Valdosta Times reports: "Cronheim makes melancholy sparkle through both the smoky-silk come-on of her voice and her ear as a composer. Whether singing a spicy Latin number in the original Portuguese, belting out a blues tune, or performing a heart-rending torch song, her intimate connection to the material she sings is clearly apparent." As Audiophile Audition writes: "With deftness and passion, Patty Cronheim has announced her arrival with distinction." With a voice that warms the spirit, Patty is a jazz musician who not only exhibits exciting musical technique, but has something to say."



Teachers and/or influences? I studied classically in school when I was younger but then learned by doing and listening...everyone I listen to has something to teach. I'm constantly influenced and inspired by different artists.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I sang with my family as a child.

Your sound and approach to music: I try to keep it real and take the risk to expose my true self. If I relax and trust, then I know that if it comes from a good place the outcome will be just fine. When it comes to writing, I try not to over think it too much or the music can become overworked. Trust, trust, trust!

Your teaching approach: When I coach singers, I try to hear their special gifts and help them to recognize them as well. Everybody has something to offer that's unique to them. The key is to value it...and yourself.

Your dream band:

My current band is pretty dreamy. They're so responsive on stage and give such soulful performances. However, I could always fantasize about having gotten to play with Miles Davis.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Getting to open for and meet Ray Charles. That was amazing. Also, performing my original music on NBC was pretty cool. Worst experience? The gig when a class reunion came into the bar and the guests were standing with their backs to me about six inches away and talking at the tops of their lungs. Not fun.

Favorite venue:

WXPN—World Café, great sound, great staff, great space and attentive audience!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I only have one album... so that would be Days Like These. My favorite song? Depends on the day...

The first Jazz album I bought was: Sarah Vaughan, Sarah Vaughan at Mister Kelly's.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? My songs come from my heart, so I guess I'm sharing myself. I hope people hear my music and it gives them some joy.

Did you know...

I walk every day for an hour in all kinds of weather, sometimes making up songs and lyrics as I go.

CDs you are listening to now:

Christopher Tin, Calling All Dawns;

Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue;

D'Angelo, Voodoo;

Eliane Elias, Eliane Elias Plays Jobim.

Desert Island picks:

Stevie Wonder, Talking Book;

Erik Satie, 3 Gymnopedie for Piano;

Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Desert Island Discs.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Evolving and expanding.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Tenacity, talent, a thick skin, and a sense of humor. Don't forget we play for an audience...not all of whom are musicians.

What is in the near future? I'm working on writing the next album and like most folks, trying to get gigs.

By Day:

I compose and manage my career/life.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Painter, poet, or maybe a service dog trainer.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Patty Cronheim

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