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Laurie Antonioli CD Release party, San Francisco, Sept 28

July 10, 2014


Fearless Bay Area vocalist Laurie Antonioli has never shied away from plunging into jazz’s deepest pools. She’s raced through bebop steeplechases with cult saxophonist Pony Poindexter, collaborated with Bobby McFerrin during his formative San Francisco years, performed and collaborated with tenor sax legend Joe Henderson, and recorded a breathtaking duo album with pianist Richie Beirach, just for starters. With her latest project, Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light, Antonioli plumbs new emotional depths exploring her earliest musical inspiration, the vividly confessional songs of Joni Mitchell.

An internationally acclaimed jazz singer and influential educator, Antonioli doesn’t just interpret Mitchell’s music, she unveils unexpected emotional insights and uncovers submerged musical ideas while turning each song into her own revelatory tale. “Joni’s music is such a part of me, it’s like a second skin,” says Antonioli. “So is jazz, of course, but this goes even deeper. It’s where I started. You can hear how much she has influenced me now that I’ve come out with this recording.”

Mitchell’s songs have been so widely embraced by jazz singers in recent years that her music is ready for inclusion as the most contemporary chapter of the American Songbook. Part of what sets Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light apart is that Antonioli approaches Mitchell’s music as a jazz artist who leads a working band that, together, retains their group sound while also paying homage to a widely-known repertoire of music. This same band is also featured on her critically acclaimed 2010 album American Dreams (Intrinsic Music).

This concert will celebrate the release of Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light (Origin Records). The band on the recording is also the same band that will be on stage for a set of music featuring songs from the new CD. Joni Mitchell fans have attended the sold out “Joni” shows and have loved the new spin on familiar songs like “Woman of Heart and Mind,” “Both Sides Now,” and “River,” to name a few. The jazz musicians in the band are among the most revered in the Bay Area and are composers, bandleaders and first call sidemen. Together, the “American Dreams Band” is a cohesive, exciting and passionate collection of musicians – together creating a soundscape that enhances Ms. Antonioli’s interpretations of songs that defined a generation.

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