Julie Mahendran
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Julie Mahendran

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Jazz Soul

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Apr
17
Julie Mahendran @ Reservoir Lounge

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
29
Julie Mahendran @ Hugh's Room

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
26
Julie Mahendran @ The Silver Dollar Room

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


"Maybe it's Julie Mahendran's unabashed love for pop music, like her take on George Michael's Kissing A Fool, that sets this jazz album apart from the overwhelming amount of staunch traditionalist fare out there. Rather than simply imitating past masters like Ella and Billie, the Toronto-based singer offers interesting twists on old standards - check her fun-loving vocals on the Miles Davis classic Freddie Freeloader - and lays the groundwork for her unique original numbers. There's also a groove-based funky feel to a few of the tunes that balances the mellow ballads perfectly. With only drums and acoustic bass as backup, Mahendran has nothing to hide behind, but fortunately, her voice and phrasing are solid enough to pull it off." - NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada


"It is difficult not to be very impressed by Julie Mahendran’s Never Do Without You.... The Canadian singer is only accompanied by bassist John Taylor and drummer Daniel Shakun on her set, so the focus is almost entirely on her voice. Sometimes she overdubs herself a couple times to create a vocal choir but the music sounds very spontaneous and is full of chancetaking. The repertoire includes her reading of Jon Hendricks’ vocalese for “Freddie Freeloader” (singing the Wynton Kelly, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley solos), a version of “Like A Lover” that is inspired by Andy Bey, songs by Natalie Cole (“La Costa”) and Holly Cole (“Calling You”), an uptempo rendition of the Billie Holiday-associated “Now Or Never,” a few standards and her original blues “Killer.” Particularly effective is a touching mixture of “What’ll I Do” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” to close the set. Julie Mahendran, who has a flexible and very attractive voice, is a creative performer who is definitely a name to look for in the future." - Los Angeles Jazz Scene Magazine, 2005


"I love this CD....Kicking off with the purest version of 'On The Street Where You LIve' it has ever been my pleasure to hear, this is a delight from start to finish. Fair enough, Julie is still young and the desire to show off is still lurking there, with Jon Hendricks' vocalese version of the Miles Davis tune 'Freddie Freeloader'....And she doesn't need to attract attention that way, not with such a fabulous voice....The other highlights include the self penned 'Killer', a taut piece of sultry noir, which will hopefully encourage Julie to write more songs, a surprisingly effective George Michael cover, 'Kissing A Fool' and the album highlight, a closing medley of 'What'll I Do/ I'll Be Seeing You', which combines Irving Berlin with a Tom Waits feel into a strangely effective new whole." - Zeitgest e-Zine, UK, 2004


"Learning that singer Julie Mahendran's studied privately with Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne, didn't come as much of a surprise after having heard Mahendran in action. But, where Manhattan Transfer is refined and more than a bit sleep inducing, Mahendran's refined and quite charming in a way that reminds me of the great Jon Hendricks. It's rarely a good idea to delve too deeply into academic jazz studies and here and there you can hear how doing this has affected this former Berklee student, but most of the time she is just plain awesome. Backed only by drummer Daniel Skakun and John Taylor on bass, she treats the listener to a clever mix of standards, covers and originals, among them I'll Be Seeing You, pop artist George Michael's Kissing A Fool and her own standout track Killer. Proving that she too finds Mr. Hendricks well worth honoring, there's an impressive version of his take on Miles Davis' classic Freddie Freeloader. Intricate vocal arrangements, solid backup from the band and nice sound by engineer John Blerot, provides a great backdrop for this gifted Canadian." - Douglaz.com, Sweden, 2004


“Never Do Without You finds (Julie) tackling her material with real finesse and taste.... Mahendran shows a versatile range in the 10 tunes she brought together, including hints of pop and groove-based music, mostly standard material and one new original piece called Killer. But there's more. The centrepiece of the disc is an impressive nine-minute take on Freddie Freeloader, known to many fans of the Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue.” - The Edmonton Journal, Canada, 2003


Many Sincere Thanks for the CD "Lovelight" that you sent us recently. BRILLIANT - EXCELLENT We have enjoyed it immensely, and have added tracks from it to our playlists. Your presentation of music, inside the style and personality reflected in the tracks is very refreshing. Keep it up. - Graham Barclay, Soundwave FM, New Zealand


What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. [Re. LOVELIGHT] - Michael Criddle, OZ Radio, Australia


I really enjoyed this album [LOVELIGHT], but the slower, softer numbers suited "Gentle Jazz" Best. Your version of "I Remember Clifford” is the highlight--clear, direct and heartfelt. - Robert Naujoks, KCCK88.3, Iowa, U.S.A.


From the opening track (A great cover of Rich Girl that the listeners love also) we were compelled to listen to the whole disc and were not disappointed by the beautiful music. There Must Be Disco is yet another stand out track. [Re. LOVELIGHT] - George Young, Country Club Productions, Australia


Thank You again for sending us a copy of your CD [LOVELIGHT]. I really enjoyed listening to it. The vocals and music intertwined to form a beautifully soothing album for the most part (especially in such songs as You Have Placed a Chill... and I Remember Clifford).

It was nice however, to also have some slightly more lively songs such as Rich Girl, which I also enjoyed as I remember the originally fondly. Overall a wonderful album that I will definitely be encouraging my DJs to add to their appropriate playlists. - Michelle Bork, SFU Radio, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


Discography

Lovelight (2008)
CBC Radio's national Jazz Beat program- Live recording for exclusive broadcast (2005)
Never Do Without You (2003/2004)

Photos

Bio

Combining pop, jazz & funk in fresh new ways, Canadian vocalist Julie Mahendran's sophomore album, LOVELIGHT, provides the perfect showcase for her clear and powerful sound. In addition to four soulful new original tracks, Julie has crafted unique arrangements of songs from artists including Bill Withers, Cyndi Lauper, Sade and Annie Lennox.

Born in Montreal and raised in Edmonton, Julie has lived in London and New York as well as Boston, where she was a scholarship student at Berklee College of Music. Early influences- including classical piano, disco & 80s pop- soon led to a love of jazz and the thrill of studying with Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer.

Her first CD release, NEVER DO WITHOUT YOU, showcased sparse "chordless trio" arrangements of jazz and pop standards- and enjoyed radio airplay as well as rave reviews worldwide. After showcasing on both North American coasts and in Europe, Julie was invited to record for CBC Radio's national Jazzbeat program. She now calls Toronto home and her latest album features local talents Joanna Borromeo (keys), Michael Herring (bass), Brennan Louw (guitar), and Giampaolo Scatozza (drums).