J'Nae

J'Nae

BandJazzR&B

“Sarah Vaughan mixed with Aretha. Ray Charles meets Gershwin.” J'Nae's charisma, commanding stage presence, powerful three-octave range, heart-felt piano playing and soulful voice combine to make an amazing performer and artist. She is Jazz Music. She is Soul Music. Experience it.

Biography

J'Nae's voice quality has always had audience appeal since she first began singing in church when she was 8 years old. Her sultry, unusually low voice and powerful vocals command your attention as she uses all of her three-octave range. She is a prolific ASCAP singer/songwriter, writing her passionate music and confessional lyrics for almost three hundred songs.

Growing up in Texas as an only child gave her the family support and opportunities to participate in many diverse musical activities. Dance lessons in jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and modern dance began at age 3. Piano lessons started at age 7 and by age 8 she was winning Texas state wide classical piano competitions. At age 10, she was singing and performing weekly. Throughout high school, she was competing and winning state dance competitions as well.

After performing frequently during her years in high school and college, she graduated with honors from the University of Southern California as the first person to major in Vocal Jazz. Studying jazz at USC broadened her diverse abilities by adding the influences of scat singing and the blues. After graduating from USC with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Jazz, she then completed post-graduate work in Music Business and Songwriting from UCLA. She also attended numerous master classes and studied privately under the great jazz pianist Lori Mechem at the Nashville Jazz Workshop (Nashville, TN.) as well.

J'Nae is a full-time professional musician that performs numerous shows every month. She continuously plays the most coveted artist clubs/venues in the Los Angeles area such as The Temple Bar, The Mint, The Derby and The Baked Potato, just to name a few. In addition to her singing, J'Nae has obtained song placement in TV/Film, toured as a professional back-up dancer, worked as a correspondent on the internationally syndicated cable TV show, “Entertainment That Counts” (with Arthelle Neville) and has performed/recorded numerous voice-overs and jingles for TV including Squirt soft drink and Blockbuster. She continues to obtain TV/Film song placement and currently records jingles/voiceovers as well. J’Nae sings for private corporate functions and works as a studio musician, including background vocals and songwriter demos. As a vocalist, J’Nae consistently plays with prolific, talented musicians including Shelly Berg, Katisse Buckingham, Kirk Whalum, Jay Gore, David Leach, Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, Chester Thompson, Jack Pearson, Pat Bergeson, Edwin Livingston, Donald Barrett, Brandon Coleman, Tim Kobza, Chris Wabich, and Michael Bluestein. Also, with over 15,000 applicants from all over the world, J'Nae placed in the International Songwriting Competition in both the “Jazz Composition” and “Performance” categories this year. J'Nae not only sings, writes, dances and plays piano, she also acts, plays acoustic guitar and is learning the electric bass, congas and the cajon.

J'Nae has recorded two albums: "Soultry Jazz", a straight-ahead jazz album and "Better Days", a jazz/R&B album. "Soultry Jazz" includes jazz standards, pop songs arranged in the jazz genre and original songs. It receives consistent airplay in the South Eastern United States on several jazz radio stations. This album is available in various Tower Records stores and her website. "Better Days" consists of all original tunes that are definitely still jazz, but with some extra funk and soul. It is available on her website as well. She is currently in pre-production on her next album, due out in early Spring 2007.

Many comparisons have been made and descriptions given of J'Nae's voice. Beegie Adair, nationally known jazz pianist/artist once said that “J'Nae is Sarah Vaughan mixed with Aretha.” Jeff Steinberg, arranger for the Nashville Symphony described J'Nae's voice and songwriting as “Ray Charles meets Gershwin.” Marc Harris, record producer for Michael McDonald and BeBe & CeCe Winans, wrote about J'Nae's voice like this: “J'Nae's singing and writing is off the hook. She is soooo soulful it's amazing. OK, I'm convinced there's a soul sista on the inside of her.” Kirk Whalum, internationally known jazz saxophonist and recording artist puts it this way: “J'Nae's performances are so refined in the furnace of this whacky industry. She is a genuine, lovely person.” A recent featured article in the LA Jazz Scene by Glenn Mitchell, established and well-known jazz reviewer, stated this: “J'Nae is an extraordinary singer of jazz, ballads, and the blues. She has a sultry voice and her showmanship rocks out! She moves to the music while delivering the song she is involved with and puts 100% of soul and heart into each number. . . she makes quite an impression. . . ”

J'Nae has had many musical influences including Jazz, R&B, Classic Rock, Broadway and Classical. J’Nae’s musical heroes range from Billie Holiday, Prince, Dianne Reeves Bill Withers, Debussy and Sting to Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Doobie Brothers, Me’shell N’Degeocello

Lyrics

You Are Why I Sing

Written By: J'Nae (lyrics and music)

VERSE 1:

You make chills go up my spine
With your boyish grin and your haunting eyes
I need your strong hands and your safe hugs
You are my favorite drug

You’re like a magnet to my soul
You seduce me to your total control
You rope me in where I simply can’t say no
You have the power to love me so

CHORUS:

You rescue me
You challenge me
You color me
You embellish me
You awaken me
You’re my jazz rhapsody
You are why I sing

VERSE 2:

The stars and moon lie behind your eyes
Your bright spirit is my only high
Your gentle lips speak poetic, soul words
You make me happier

I’m flying with you in rainbow fields
All my pleasure comes from what you reveal
I know your kiss is smooth and true and real
You have the gift to make me feel

CHORUS (2x)

Little By Little

Written By: J'Nae (lyrics and music)

VERSE 1:

You lied to me. I gave you my heart and
You lied to me. Why did we love so sweetly?
Then let it all wither away, little by little

VERSE 2:

You screamed at me. I gave you my kiss and
You screamed at me. Why did I lend you my sympathy?
When I’d never done that before, and it was little by little

BRIDGE:

I gave nothing but love to you. I gave all of my trust to you
And all I got in return was numbness, shock and sting
Piecing, bitterness lingering and your heart feeling so little

VERSE 3:

You damaged me. I gave you my soul and
You damaged me. I damn you for that
But I will break free. I will not stay broken; I’ll heal, little by little

The Way I Wanted You To

Written By: J'Nae (lyrics and music)

VERSE 1:

I’ve wasted my time
On letters and phone calls and e-mails and lyrics and unrequited energy
Why haven’t you called me?
I see, that’s the way it’s gonna be

I’m not gonna sit around and play your games
I will fade away and radiate

CHORUS:

I found a man that is what you should have been
I still love you but what can I do
I’m through breaking my soul and spirit for you -- besides --
He treats me the way that I wanted you to

VERSE 2:

I’ve healed my wounds
From the tarnished, shell-shocked and battle-fatigued little combat I played with you
I’m hangin’ my sorrows on my trouble tree
And my leaves fall down and crack into colorful shapes that form my cemetery

I’ve learned to be strong in my broken place
And it’s made me who I am today

CHORUS

Discography

“Soultry Jazz” (A thirteen song album with seven jazz standards, three original songs and three pop songs arranged in the jazz genre) (“Soultry Jazz” is already receiving airplay on several jazz radio stations across the country.)

“Better Days” (A twelve song album with all original songs that is a more crossover R&B/Jazz record)

J'Nae is in Pre-Production for her new album due out in early Spring 2007!

Set List

The set list changes depending on the venue, instrumentation and mood. It’s Jazz! So, having the same set nightly would not be true improvisation.

For singer/songwriter type venues:

the set might consist of mostly original songs with a few uniquely arranged covers

For more straight-ahead jazz venues:

the set would be mostly jazz standards, of course