Tierra Verde's Whitney James talks about her jazz influences and new CD
The jazz bug bit Whitney James hard when she was 13, courtesy of her mom, who bought the budding vocalist a pair of cassette tapes by legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan and bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker.
“That tape really set me on the jazz path,” said James, a Tierra Verde resident since relocating to Tampa Bay from Seattle in 2007. “You had to be yourself and interpret the lyric, certainly, but you also had to infuse yourself into the song. That way, you can really expand and explore the boundaries of your voice.”
James demonstrates her allegiance to the jazz vocal tradition — she also cites Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McCrae and Shirley Horn as major influences — on her just-released debut CD The Nature of Love. She'll hold at a CD release concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $20. James will be backed by pianist Joshua Wolff and three standout local musicians: saxophonist Jeremy Powell, bassist Alejandro Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman. Click here for details.
For more, check out Philip Booth's interview with James here.