Sheila Landis/Rick Matle

Sheila Landis/Rick Matle

 Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA
BandJazzLatin

Sheila Landis, 7-time "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist" Winner, Detroit Music Awards, performs at prestigious jazz concerts and festivals. Sheila's CD's have been released in the UK and Japan. "...when Landis scats, the spirit of Ella lives!" Chuck Berg, Jazz Times Magazine.

Biography

SHEILA LANDIS is a remarkable singer born in Detroit, Michigan in 1953. Raised in Rochester Hills, Landis graduated in 1971 from Adams High School, excelling in choral music and creative writing.  Captivated by the music of Billie Holiday in the 1972 film "Lady Sings the Blues", Landis abruptly changed her career focus from that of an English major at Oakland University to jazz chanteuse. She has been performing her unique amalgam of jazz, Brazilian music and blues since 1973.  Landis absorbed the songs of the 1960's British Invasion; fell hard for the beats and catchy choruses of Motown; embraced 1970's funk and sweet soul harmonies of the Stylistics, later grooving to jazz-pop artists like Steely Dan and Sting.

Thus inspired, Landis pursued private lessons in voice, piano, jazz harmony and Latin percussion.  With her growing collection of original compositions, Landis formed her own record label, SheLan Records, in 1981. She has since released 25 recordings, garnering attention from labels in Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Austria and France, resulting in several noteworthy collaborative projects and licensing arrangements.  

Landis has performed with her 6-piece, drum-driven ensemble Brazilian Love Affair at important Michigan jazz festivals including the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Lansing Jazz Festival and the Concert of Colors, to name a few.  She has also appeared at some of the hippest venues in Detroit including Baker's Keyboard Lounge, the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe and Cliff Bell's. 

Clearly one of the area's most adventurous singers, Sheila has been chosen "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist" by the Detroit Music Awards on seven separate occasions: 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. The Sheila Landis Trio was  recognized by the Detroit Music Awards as "Outstanding Traditional Jazz Group" in 1999.  Landis and Matle together took home the Detroit Music Awards "Outstanding Jazz Composer" trophy in 1999. 

Sheila's long-time collaborator and ultimate muse is guitarist/producer RICK MATLE.  Matle earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Oakland University in 1986.  Matle's formative studies there included jazz and classical guitar, jazz composing as well as performances on guitar, bass, percussion and African drums. The influence of jazz guitarists such as Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery can be heard in Matle's playing. Matle also cites Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix as major influences. Rick plays solid bass and chordal accompaniment on the 7-string guitar, providing a lush carpet for Landis's melodic flights. 

 Whether performing with the intimate Rick Matle/Sheila Landis Duo, Brazilian Love Affair, singing a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald or jamming with the Sheila Landis Trio, Landis's vocal explorations create a musical performance that is one of a kind.  Not content to stay within the conventional boundaries of the "jazz singer", Landis has expanded her vocal palette to include bird calls, uncanny imitations of the harmonica, trumpet, flute, electric guitar, synthesizer, string bass and "beat box" drums.

Sheila Landis also combines music and poetry with often surprising results, including an invitation to perform at the 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival with her quartet featuring Matle and avant-garde jazz bassist John Lindberg.  Landis earned a grant from The Michigan Council for the Arts/ArtServe Michigan in 1999 for "Music and Metaphor", workshops linking music and poetry.  Landis also participated in the National Association of Jazz Educators mentoring program "Sisters in Jazz", which was launched especially to encourage young women to partner  with a music professional to mature their jazz talents. Landis also taught at the University of Toledo in Ohio as Applied Vocal Jazz Instructor in 2008 and continues to offer voice lessons for students truly interested in developing a strong and expressive voice.

Sheila Landis and Rick Matle offer four distinct musical programs including: "Brazilian Love Affair", "Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald", "Blues in the Night" and "Music and Metaphor".

Renowned jazz writer Scott Yanow included a nod to Sheila Landis and Rick Matle in his book "The Jazz Singers, the Ultimate Guide" (published 2008 by Backbeat Books) noting that their CD "Riding the Round Pool" (SL1019) "is an excellent example of her creativity and interplay with Matle". Detroit jazz writer Charles L. Latimer included a full chapter on Landis and Matle in his 2017 book BEHIND THE SWING, A Glimpse Into the Lives of Some of the World's Finest Jazz Musicians, published in 2017. 


Lyrics

I Don't Speak Your Language"

Written By: Sheila Landis and Rick Matle

Poised to move, blue torch held high, to carry my message, my soul's sweet cry...flying in circles, I swoop for the kill, but I don't speak your language and I guess I never will.

Discography

"Jazz Rendezvous" SheLan Records, 1981, vinyl, (reissued in 2001 for sale in Japan).
"Guess I'll Call It Love" ("Penso Que Seja Amor"), SheLan Records, 1981, vinyl, (reissued in 2001 for sale in Japan).
"Bebop Angel" SheLan Records, 1982, vinyl, (reissued in 2001 for sale in Japan).
"Singer/Songwriter" SheLan Records 1983, vinyl, (reissued in 2001 for sale in Japan).
"G-Gosh!" SheLan Records, 1985, vinyl.
"Deja Blue" SheLan Records, 1990, cassette.
"The Greatest Hits of Sheila Landis" SheLan Records, 1992, cassette and CD.
"Are We Home Yet?" Rick Matle on SheLan Records, 1992, cassette.
"JazzScapes" SheLan Records, cassette, 1995.
"Fine and Mellow" SheLan Records, CD, 1996 (reviewed by Chuck Berg for JazzTimes Magazine March 1997).
"The Bird Inside" SheLan Records, CD, 1997.
"Where Jazz Lives" SheLan Records, CD 1999.
"Don't Go To Strangers" SheLan Records, cassette, 1998.
"Winter Wonderland" SheLan Records, CD, 1998.
"Ears Wide Shut" Rick Matle on SheLan Records, CD, 2001.
"Colors of Brazil" SheLan Records, Sheila Landis and Brazilian Love Affair, CD, 2001.
"Riding the Round Pool" SheLan Records, CD, 2002.
Sheila Landis can also be found on the Pat Cronley CD release "Tropicana Tuna"; on CounterPoint Records (United Kingdom) "Jazz BizNiz 2", "Jazz Bizniz 2 remixed"; on Japanese musician/DJ Tatsuo Sunaga's "Organ b. Suite" for Avex of Tokyo, Japan; on "Crouka" scat- singing "satellite beats/it's yours" by the Sunaga t Experience. Landis and Matle also added tracks to the pop-Latin flavored "No Reason, No Rhyme" for Tokyo's Flower Records, in collaboration again with Tatsuo Sunaga. Celeste/Vivid Sound has released four SheLan products on CD, plus bonus tracks and all-new packaging including "Guess I'll Call It Love", "Bebop Angel", "Singer/Songwriter" and "Colors of Brazil".
"Driven" 2004
"Blues in the Night" 2006
"A Little Something for Christmas" with George "Sax" Benson 2007
"Heart Plaza" with Rick Matle, Wendell Harrison and John Lindberg 2010

"Beautiful Things" Sheila Landis and Rick Matle 2016

Set List

The Brazilian Love Affair concert set is generally 60-90 minutes in length.
Our set may include:
On Broadway (Drifters/George Benson)
Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema) (cover tune sung in both English and Portuguese)
Summertime (cover tune, Afro-Cuban version)
Antonio (Landis/Matle original)
What a Difference a Day Made (Latin version)
Feelin' Good (Reggae)
That Ain't No Cadillac (Landis/Matle original)
Rio de Janeiro Blue (Smooth Latin)
Caravan (Samba)
Another Star (Samba/Soca)
Covers include songs from Antonio Carlos Jobim including bossa novas, sambas, and batucadas; classic pop/rhythm and blues hits, Smooth Latin Jazz hits, Santana inspired Latin-Rock and Stevie Wonder songs. Some Landis/Matle originals are interspersed in the show.