jenn grinels
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jenn grinels

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Band Folk Acoustic

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Jun
03
jenn grinels @ Hotel Cafe

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

May
11
jenn grinels @ The Fortune Cookie Bar

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

May
10
jenn grinels @ The Coffee Club

Media, Pennsylvania, USA

Media, Pennsylvania, USA

Music

Press


Jenn Grinels, Deserving of
Discovery
By Michael Boroff
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2005
We spend a lot of time on this site writing about mainstream artists and successful indie artists, all the while ignoring the seemingly infinite number of immensely talented musicians still trying to make their dreams happen. One of the beauties of living in a big city like San Francisco is that I get a chance to see these artists perform in incredibly intimate venues. This past week, I visited the Hotel Utah Saloon to see indie artist David Mead perform, and his set was fantastic. However, the highlight of the evening for me was opening act Jenn Grinels, who was one of the most pleasant musical surprises I’ve had in a long, long time. This was a homecoming show for Grinels, and in front of family and friends (and performing with her father’s guitar), she played an incredibly memorable, impassioned, and gorgeous set of music.
As Grinels took the stage and began to perform, I was immediately struck by how comfortable she was up there. Playing to a crowd seems natural to her. And her voice . . . she displayed an incredible amount of range. It’s wispy and sultry on “I Know Your Heart,” a perfectly crafted and refreshing love song. With “Friction,” a song about an insane roommate, the verses are sung in a stunningly jazzy, soulful voice, leading into an enraged, soaring chorus that does female rockers everywhere proud. “The Toothbrush Song,” which Grinels cites as the song that made her believe she could do this for a living, is an acerbic rocker that illustrates the power of Grinels' voice. There was not a low point in the set. Every song belonged, even two new songs Grinels courageously debuted despite their not being completely polished. She displayed the ability to write finely crafted, thoughtful songs that suit her voice and reach her audience. Her soul, passion, and ferocity remind me of Fiona Apple and her poetic lyrics of Lisa Loeb and Ani DiFranco. As a live performer, she is charismatic and engaging with a glowing smile quite capable of drawing in any crowd. And more than anything, she loves playing music, and it shows. It’s impossible not to have fun watching her perform. The fact that Jenn Grinels currently had no record deal is a tragedy of epic proportions. In the early to mid 90s, there was a wonderful surge of rocking female singer-songwriters. Fiona Apple, Lisa Loeb, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meridith Brooks. Sadly, they’ve faded away into relative musical obscurity, only to be replaced by, as Jenn puts it, “pretty, shiny crap.” It’s time for another era of rocking women, and Jenn Grinels deserves a shot to be a part of that. She’s been out there, working her ass off on the lonely road of the struggling musician. She is more than due for her big break. Support this fantastic artist and give her music a listen.
- whatcharockin.com


"[Grinels] must be counted on the short list of the top singers in San Diego"
- Pam Kragen, North County Times

"Stand out . . . should-see event: Jenn Grinels, a redhead with a voice that could shake people's internal organs loose."
- 'Woods & Wires', San Diego City Beat

"Soaring vocals . . . musically thrilling"
- A. M. Welsh, S.D. Union-Tribune

“She has a voice that would fill a cathedral.”
- Jenni Prisk, SignOnSanDiego.com

“Top-notch. . . tight originals. . . showcased her incredible voice. At times Grinels’ voice was reminiscent of the group Heart, but her Peggy Lee style on the song “Friction” demonstrated her diversity and talent.”
- Phil Harmonic, San Diego Troubadour - various


soulful singer with strings attached …
jenn grinels
Vocalist Jenn Grinels lives a double life. As a seasoned musical theater performer, Grinels’ career has evolved from her days as Gretl in The Sound of Music to more adult, sophisticated roles. Theater performance lured the Northern Californian to San Diego, where she’s starred in a number of musicals and rock-based shows such as Footloose, Bee Hive (starring as Janis Joplin) and the off-Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But now the singer is pulling away from the theater world and toward a different role in the spotlight. This June, the soulful singer will release her debut album, driven by a style that’s jazzy and rock-inspired. Although Grinels is a guitarist, she explains, “The album is lyrically driven. My voice is my instrument.” Indeed, her vocals are a force to be reckoned with and their strength likely comes from years of theatrical discipline.

A childhood entrenched in musical events from church choir to school and community theater productions, Grinels’ credits those around her for guidance and encouragement. “My peers and mentors throughout the years have pushed me in the direction of performing, always telling me I have [a] special voice,” she says. “And even still I feel like I don’t know what the big deal is!”

Immersed in the Musical Theater program at University of California, Irvine, Grinels tried her hand at guitar. After college, she left the theater for a while, performing solo in clubs around LA, one of which she regularly headlined. One gig led to the next and a self-realizing moment came when Grinels performed during the intermission of a play. The play wasn’t a hit, but she was. A review came out advising theatergoers to “come late, stay for intermission, then leave.” Says Grinels, “I finally thought, ‘I can do this!’”

More affirmation came last August when Grinels was cast in the four-singer production, Back to Bacharach. The show ran at North Coast Repertory Theater in Del Mar and coincidentally, Burt Bacharach himself rents a home in the area. The artist who inspired the play some 20 years ago never went to a production in New York (or any other city for that matter), fearing disappointment and humiliation; however, Bacharach visited the performance and commended Grinels herself. He was so taken by the representation of his songs and life that there are talks to take the show on the road again.

It’s just the beginning for Grinels. On a national level, her music was recently featured on the TV show, Ghost Whisperer. On a local level, the hometown girl is hitting every major venue … and the airwaves. Her songs can be heard on radio stations, 91X and 94.9. - 944 Magazine


Stage performer to be featured Diva

By: JIM TRAGESER Staff Writer

The chance to showcase some of San Diego's best acoustic female musicians was enough to get longtime Rancho Santa Fe resident and local music promoter Chris Richards to open up his backyard for Saturday afternoon's "Viva las Divas" concert.

"It's something I aspire to," Richards said of music promotion. "Bill Graham was always an idol when I was growing up and going to school in the Bay Area and going to his concerts. I always really liked what he did for the community and how he intertwined performance arts and music and good causes."

Jenn Grinels is the featured headliner. Grinels is best-known locally for her work in musical theater but has also been a professional musician for some time and recently took a break from the stage in order to concentrate on her music.

The Cupertino native arrived in Southern California when she attended UC Irvine, earning a degree in theater arts.

And it was while she was at UC Irvine that she discovered a passion for writing her own songs.

"At the end of my freshman year, I did a program where you go to New York City for a month and as part of the program you have to go to an audition and then write a paper about it," she said by phone from her San Diego home.

"I went to a Disney Cruise audition and I got the job, and I actually got so excited I quit college. I bought a guitar and thought someone there would know how to play and teach me, but nobody did, so I taught myself during my free time while learning the cruise program in the Bahamas. Since nobody was teaching me, I obviously wasn't learning covers, so right away I was playing my own compositions."

An injury led to her leaving Disney and going back to UC Irvine, but she continued writing her own songs. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, where she began playing in public.

While she has written about 50 songs, Grinels said she's not particularly fond of some of the early ones.

"Not even half of those 50 would I play out in public anymore. I don't like them or they don't fit. It's interesting that one of the first three songs I wrote is still definitely in my set. But the others, you get so much better at what you do that you don't want to share them anymore. Or your style changes. A few years ago, I was playing with a full band, electric, kind of punk, and now I'm a lot more soulful and bluesy, and so I wouldn't play those songs acoustically."
- North County Times (San Diego)


January 10, 2008

Man, can Jenn Grinels sing! Her sultry voice growls at the hot, slow parts in song one, "Misery," and it rings out like gold in the quick-paced and heartfelt track three, "No Better." The album is all sweet acoustic tracks, and even in that simple form she makes each song interesting, using deft transitions between the highest and lowest notes of her considerable range.

Grinels avoids the cliché trappings of her genre -- acoustic love and breakup songs -- and she embraces genuine, original lyrics without the smartypants overtones or anger of her indie-girl-group contemporaries. She is the real, talented epitome of today's best indie music. - The San Diego Reader, CD Review by Ollie


"Little Words—Big Voice"

One of the rare moments occurs when you hear and see someone so fetching to the ear that the experience stands out, in and of itself. On Thursday night down at Cuppy’s, aka Java Jo’z, Jenn Grinels provided the audience such a moment. Hailing from San Diego, Grinels brought the coffee shop to a halt with her stunning vocals and original songs. Grinels' voice has a ‘torch song’ soulfulness to it that perfectly conveys the ‘lost in love’ lyrics that she writes. She is very polished in vocal delivery. She ‘wowed’ the room and I was right there to find out info on this extraordinary new discovery.

Recently the IE Weekly did an article on the growing DIY phenomena that is rewriting the whole mainstream record industry. Jenn Grinels’ CD ‘Little Words’ shows just how much fun the DIY approach can be without the ‘suits’ looking over your shoulder determining this and that. The cover has an proletarian look to it that is professionally done. Inside the original artwork and hand written notes remind one of a bootleg, but then again this belies the professional intent with which this well crafted and very well mastered CD was done. I was loving the CD before I ever listened to it. Listening to it certainly didn’t diminish my expectations either. Grinels' voice really has to be heard to be believed. It’s jazzy in its pacing, soulful in its delivery, heartfelt in its sensuous tone, and the poetic timing of the words speaks volumes. This is a singer that you know will be discovered, and soon I hope. Grinels is getting ready to embark on a west coast tour - I urge everyone reading these words to be there for two reasons. Grinels puts on a heck of a show and really commands the stage when she is on it. The other reason is to pick up a copy of her CD and listen to her voice, which is head and shoulders above most singers you hear, signed or unsigned. As one North County Times reporter put it, she is one of the top singers on a very short list in San Diego, or anywhere else for that matter, and these old ears have heard a ton or two of songbirds over the years. It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for this soon-to-be legendary singer.

----P.T. Rothschild, Full Value Reviews (28 Sep 2007) - FullValueReview.com


January 2008

Little Words
Written by Chuck Schiele

If you ask me, Jenn Grinels is at the forefront of San Diego's singing elite. When it comes to chops and the balance of command, control, and freedom that go into exceptional singing, this lady stands alone. Her new CD, Little Words, focuses on Grinels' songwriting, expressed for the most part on acoustic guitar and voice with the now-and-then support of accompaniment.

There's a darker tone in the thematic aspect of the CD as evidenced in song titles such as "Misery," "Treason," "Can't Stay Here," "No Better," and "Crutch." It's a different thing than, say, Fiona Apple, but the mood is similar in that it's elegantly melancholic. She sings about respect vs. disrespect, loyalty vs. betrayal, and disappointments in general, written usually in a matter-of-fact context, from those moments in which reality sets in and lucidity translates to let-down by way of its own clarity. Yet, while there is despair in her lyric, there is hope in her voice. And that makes for an interesting situation.

One of the things this record is not is "dreamy." I think that's important to state, because of the confidence going into this effort. There is no question as to what she wants to sing or what she wants to sing about. Every last note she sings is hit with a confidence that tells me A) she really lived her lyrics, B) has a command of her vocal instrument, C) has an exceptional understanding of music, obviously stemming from her healthy background in theater. Even her softest, most subtle lyrical licks are as gripping as the powerfully belted lines that are emblematic of her art.

Given that the tone and the focus of the CD provide all the threads necessary for cohesion in the work, that doesn't mean this album goes with out variety. There is plenty of it as Grinels covers a larger musical terrain than most. And she does it in a way that makes it seem easy, natural, and fluid, never exceeding the context and messages in her songs, messages that would qualify as introspective in their point of view.

And while this remains a solid artful work on its own terms, I am left with the impression that the work itself is witness to an artist in an accelerated growth motion. She has the "triple threat" thing going, with momentum. She sings way above the din of mediocrity, plays smart, groovy guitar, and her songs are good. Maybe we should coin the term "quadruple threat" because she looks good doing it, too. - The San Diego Troubadour


Jenn Grinels earned her reputation around San Diego County for her stage work. A professional actress respected for her acting as well as her gorgeous set of pipes that have made her a popular casting choice for musicals, Grinels' debut CD is a delightful blending of dramatic performance and wonderful singing. Add in the strong set of songs she's written for this first release, and you've got as good an album as any acoustic performer has released in San Diego this year.

Stylistically, the album is modern acoustic singer-songwriter, with touches of alternative rock. Often accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, a soft touch of echo effect on her vocals is more than enough to give a full sound. The guitar-and-vocals tracks sound every bit as complete as those with the full band ---- testament to the power of Grinels' singing.

On "Closure" it all comes together in perfection ---- a tightly constructed song, Grinels expertly building the tension right up to the release point, her strong mezzo voice soaring above the simple strumming of her acoustic guitar. It's a real goose bump moment ---- the best of many on a release that promises much more great music to follow.

---- JT, North County Times, Review: Little Words, Grade: A - North County Times


Jenn Grinels' new album 'Little Words' has been in my head since I first listened to it days ago. And to be honest, what else could you ask for from a new album? You know you are listening to something special when upon first hearing it, it instantly becomes part of your collective being and you feel like it always has been.

The searing, emotional, soulful vocals are the driving force behind the record. While accompanied by some light guitar and other choice instruments, Grinels' voice is at the forefront and demands the listener's attention. Her sound is so arresting that this album refuses to be 'background music.' When certain songs come on, you cannot help but stop what you are doing and listen intently.

'Misery,' 'Closure,' and 'Happy Birthday' are perfect examples of songs with this quality. These songs cannot be described as anything but engaging. Then there is 'No Better,' the most toe-tapping, instantly memorable song of the bunch. This is the one you will play for someone else to get him or her excited about the record.

However, I saved the best for last: 'Crutch.' Every time I listen to this track, it gets better and better. From the structure, to the melody, to the lyrics, to the vocals, I cannot get over how amazing this song is or just how real it feels.

While this album marked the first time I've listened to Jenn Grinels, it will not be the last. Not by a long shot.

----William Peter George II, Better Than Nothing Music (20 Sep 2007) - William Peter George II, B.T.N. Music


Jenn Grinels earned her reputation around San Diego County for her stage work. A professional actress respected for her acting as well as her gorgeous set of pipes that have made her a popular casting choice for musicals, Grinels' debut CD is a delightful blending of dramatic performance and wonderful singing. Add in the strong set of songs she's written for this first release, and you've got as good an album as any acoustic performer has released in San Diego this year.

Stylistically, the album is modern acoustic singer-songwriter, with touches of alternative rock. Often accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, a soft touch of echo effect on her vocals is more than enough to give a full sound. The guitar-and-vocals tracks sound every bit as complete as those with the full band ---- testament to the power of Grinels' singing.

On "Closure" it all comes together in perfection ---- a tightly constructed song, Grinels expertly building the tension right up to the release point, her strong mezzo voice soaring above the simple strumming of her acoustic guitar. It's a real goose bump moment ---- the best of many on a release that promises much more great music to follow.

---- JT, North County Times, Review: Little Words, Grade: A - North County Times


Discography

brokenHEARTbreaker (2011)
little words (2007)

Photos

Bio

CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE:
MUSIC ACT OF THE YEAR 2012

Association of Programming and Campus Activites
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST OF THE YEAR
2010, 2011, AND 2012!

"One of the greatest solo artists I've seen in the last decade!" - Archie Asar, Broward College Program Director

" . . . I was immobilized by awe, [Grinels] was amazing - and I was not the only one rapt with amazement and appreciation. [Grinels] makes an impact and its an utter pleasure and a gigantic honor to see her play. She shows the kind of professionalism and talent that stops people in their tracks. When she plays - hearts open. The gift she shares with the world shows us -- she knows how to hear the voice that tells us all what we were meant for. Anything that will share this gift with more people is something I'll be eager to support." - Vincent Lowe, ThrivingArtists.net (San Jose)

". . . Rising star, Jenn Grinels (is) an amazing solo artist who is one of the most powerful female singers I've seen in years." - 'On The Scene' w/ Kevin Wiggins, IconoMusic (Los Angeles)

" . . . her voice is just absurd. She also understands the importance of dynamic changes, and songs go from sultry whispers to soulful cries in like .3 seconds." - CrazyTalk.com (San Francisco)

"Jenn Grinels always knocks 'em dead! . . . You heard it here first, folks - this chick is gonna be HUGE! . . ."
-'Our Picks Of The Week', Fahrenheit Magazine

"one of the most pleasant musical surprises I've had in a long, long time . . . an incredibly memorable, impassioned, and gorgeous set of music"
- 'Deserving of Discovery' Michael Boroff, whatcharockin.com (San Francisco)

"I'm totally impressed - [she's] superwoman!"
- Jon Lind, VP A&R Hollywood Records

Seattle based singer/songwriter Jenn Grinels continues captivating audiences everywhere with her powerful, supremely polished vocals. Her rare ability to bring a crowd to its feet and move them to tears, marks Grinels as a standout. In October 2007, Grinels gave up her California apartment and set out on a cross country tour armed with nothing but her guitar, a beautiful voice and a passion for music. What was originally planned as a 6 month tour ended up lasting more than 5 years! In that time, the indie artist has released two full-length albums, built a loyal fan base, won numerous awards for her electrifying live performances and shared the stage with a a variety of artists including Howie Day, the Avett Brothers, and Tristan Prettyman. Her music has been featured on MTV and several other major television networks and her single "Right From The Start" has been heard on radio stations nationwide. Grinels has taken the college market by storm, playing nearly 300 in just over 4 years, winning APCA Female Solo Artist in 2010, 2011, AND 2012. Last year she was named MUSIC ACT OF THE YEAR by Campus Activities Magazine. Indie Music Review Magazine named her on their list of "50 Acoustic Acts You Don't Want To Miss!" Wowing critics and enchanting fans with every performance, the self-descibed "soulful, bluesy, jazzy, folk rock singer" is taking the country by storm. Note to audiences everywhere - you don't want to miss this rising star!