Keri Johnsrud

Keri Johnsrud

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
BandJazzAdult Contemporary

Keri Johnsrud and her group celebrate the universal nature and freedom of jazz by saluting well-known standards, re-imagining classic country and modern classical works, as well as creating original music that's sure to be enjoyed for years to come.

Biography

"Keri Johnsrud is largely about finding the unexpected in the familiar. The bright shimmer of her voice, a crystalline instrument of deceptive simple beauty, defies the depth of her artistry."JazzTimes
"Johnsrud never sells any line short, and her commitment wins you over—as does the sheer suppleness and sweetness of her singing. She remains self-confidently sangfroid—there’s no tail-wagging appeal for your approval—which is probably why she secures it."New City

A highly appealing jazz singer with a quietly expressive voice and a deep understanding of the lyrics that she interprets, Keri Johnsrud has been an important part of the Chicago jazz scene for the past 15 years. With headlining appearances at Chicago's top venues including the historic Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Jazz Showcase, and a monthly residency at Southport & Irving, Keri has built a strong reputation and following among peers and fans, alike. While having a solid regional presence, she continues to perform across the country (including regular appearances in Atlanta and New York City) and has enjoyed singing in Iowa before a hometown audience of fans and friends. In addition to finding success with her own group, Johnsrud also lends her voice to the critically acclaimed jazz ensemble Shawn Maxwell's Alliance.

Now with the recording of her second CD, "This Side of Morning", she is making a major step forward not only as a singer, but as a lyricist and songwriter. With her collaborator and GRAMMY nominated pianist Kevin Bales leading a strong rhythm section behind her (including members of Prairie Home Companion, Patricia Barber, and Grazyna Auguscik), Keri sounds in top form performing her originals on this latest album. Since its release in April 2015, "This Side of Morning" has garnered rave reviews from respected industry publications such as All About Jazz (5 out of 5 stars) and Jazz Weekly and has been spinning regularly on national and international radio stations. 'When Morning Dawns', a song from the new album, is even featured in the Matt Muir directed independent film "Thank You a Lot", which premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival and stars Ameripolitan Music Award winner James Hand.

As Neil Tesser (2014 GRAMMY Award winner for Best Album Notes) has indicated, "She writes her own lyrics, which have character and intrigue, and sings them in a voice warm and pure, precisely suited to the stories she tells. Some of those tales are mysterious, some hip, and others as guileless as a saint. But in every case, they slice through the jokey irony of pop culture to frame modern insights in fresh new music. She has done her homework; she's thought things through. Johnsrud's voice is an instrument of tempered silver." 

Singing since she was seven years old and born and raised in Iowa alongside professional vocalists, Keri's plans for the future are as direct and as logical as her music; "I plan to keep singing, writing, teaching and performing as much as possible and want to take the music wherever it needs to go."

PUBLICITY 
Novo Management & Publicity
August Forte
august@novo.net

PUBLICITY - NATIONAL 

Jazz Promo Services
Jim Eigo
jim@jazzpromoservices.com

Lyrics

Everything's Okay

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Everything’s OK, it’s alright, it seems
Everything’s sunshine, rainbows, moonbeams

Is what you try to believe
Each and every day
Although, you hide from view
Then fade away, but

Everything’s OK, it’s alright, it seems
Everything’s sunshine, rainbows, moonbeams

No funeral was held today
For a life that could have been
Just sit, be still, and wait
‘til the days start to mend

Bridge:
Go, let it go
With the joy that you borrow
You still have tomorrow
So, tell yourself that

Everything’s ok, it’s alright it seems
Everything’s sunshine, rainbows, moonbeams

No matter how this story ends
Know you’re not alone
Release the fear that binds
You can face the unknown

A Thousand Tears

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

V1:
Sweet is your word
Tender is your touch
You’re the one everyone wants
But nobody gets

“Better days ahead”
Is what they always say
But who, who are they?

Bridge:
While your eyes cry a Thousand Weary Tears
Leaving trails of a million broken years behind

V2:
Fleeting moments pass
Catch me if you can
Here I go
There you go

Time has come and gone
Return is not in sight
Lest the pain too strong to bear

While your eyes cry a Thousand Weary Tears
Letting go of a million doubts and fears, at last

V3:
Betrayed by his words
His actions did not speak
Now, alone
A barren heart, indeed

“Seek and ye shall find”
Is what they always say
But who, who are they?

While your eyes cry a Thousand Weary Tears
Making sounds that only silence hears

Fly Away

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

V1:
Gone, gone are the days
Of make-believe
And careless time

No, no fool am I
To fall again
No where to climb

Bridge:
Fly away, away
To a home where love waits
To feed hope, again

V2:
Out, out of the blue
You disappeared
Need I remind?

Breathe, now I can breathe
I’m standing tall
New strength I find

Bridge

From Here

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Looking away
My fear cannot play
Into my abandoned world
Of love’s delay

Then you came along
And proved my heart wrong, again

Again, again I plead
Please leave me here
With my faith to bleed

Lost in my mind
Are the words I cannot find
That tell of the loneliness
Of the life I left behind

Then you came my way
As my soul begged to stay, with me

With me you stand
As I turn, turn away
From your hand

Peace be with you
Let me go, you can’t undo
The pain and the consequence
Of a love that won’t ring true

Then the clouds parted ways
And the sun cleared the haze, away
From here…

Here I Am

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

V1:
Here I am
Standing before you
As the storm rolls in
Do I seek shelter
In your arms, or break away?
Tell me now do I stay
Come what may?

V2:
Here I am
Standing before you
While the raindrops fall
Blinding my sorrow
Briefly how I ignore
What’s to come, what’s in store?
Evermore.

Bridge:
Like the wind that blows
Changing moods he shows
In time my heart will break

V3:
Oh, Here I am
Standing before you
As the tempest calms
Hope comes to light.
Waiting now, not of fear
But of spring to appear
Draw us near.

If and When

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Chorus:
Fall away
From the deep and blue
Fear not the path ahead
Let me lead, I’ll guide you

V1:
If and when
Fate steals the show
Now and then
Truth escapes the glow
Come again
To the home you know
Say Amen
It’s ok, let it go

Chorus

V2:
If and when
You find the thrill is gone
Now and then
It’s darkest before the dawn
Come again
Here’s a heart to rest upon
Say Amen
Strength to carry on

If and when
Now and then
Come again
Say Amen

Little Dream

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Bye, bye little dream
I’ll wait for you
Come Home
Come Home
Come Home

The Chameleon

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

V1:
Long, long ago now
Far, far away
Lived a chameleon
Of gray

No one he minded
Kept them at bay
Backed in a corner
He’d say

SCAT

V2:
Give him no reason
He’d give you a rhyme
Turning the tables
On a dime

Truth was the weapon
Love was the crime
Calmly he’d say,
“Dear, in time..”

SCAT

When Morning Dawns

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Vs.1:
Endless Wonder
As the breaks in my heart heal
Losing you to impatience
Oh, what time doesn’t steal

Vs. 2:
As twilight arrives
Shadows fall on my senses
Blindly, I search for you
Oh, what foolish game this is

Chorus:
When morning dawns
A new day assumes
Life must go on
I pray my soul is in tune

Your Way

Written By: Keri Johnsrud

Where is my mind?
Don’t look back.
Now, is the time
To love all you lack
Don’t ever look back

Lost in the fray
It now makes sense.
I never wanted
That white picket fence
It all makes sense

But hold fast,
For dreams may go astray
Just stay the course
And you’ll find your way
Your way…

Carry the load
You’ll find it’s light
When all is forgiven
With your inner fight
Try as you might
The burden is light

Discography

Keri Johnsrud - This Side of Morning (April 2015 release)

Keri Johnsrud - All Blue (debut album released Dec. 2009)

Featured Vocals:
Shawn Maxwell - Bridge (EP)

Shawn Maxwell - Shawn Maxwell's Alliance

Guy King - Livin' It

Gary Filip - Pure and Simple

Phil Fernandez - pH Factor

Set List

No permanent set list as I perform a catalogue of over 250 jazz standards, as well as originals, which include the following tunes:
From Here
If and When
When Morning Dawns
Everything's Okay
Here I Am
Little Dream
Your Way
A Thousand Tears
Fly Away
The Chameleon
Lullaby
Price to Pay
Nakupenda