“Too often we heap praise on an artist. In the case of Maureen Kennedy, it is not often enough. Ethereal, soulful and a singular voice that is immediate in its impact and timeless in its breadth. Maureen Kennedy is that rarest of things, a jazz singer.” Ralph Benmergui, Canadian television and radio personality, formerly with the CBC and Jazz FM 91.1
Saturday, September 19, 2015
7:30 PM – $20
PayPal $20 + $1 credit card fee. Your receipt is your ticket plus we will have a record of your purchase at the front desk.
It this option does not work for you just give us a call 613-729-0693 or drop in during Alcorn Music Studios open hours to buy a ticket. Sometimes there are tickets available at the door on concert night – we accept cash only at the door.
Come prepared for an intimate evening of fine standards and rare gems featuring Maureen on vocals with wonderful Ottawa musicians Rob Frayne (saxophone), Steve Boudreau (piano), John Geggie (bass)
“Discerning listeners should find Maureen Kennedy’s warm, round and resonant sound both delightful and refreshing. She sings with understatement while still retaining her jazz identity… What she and her four accomplished accompanists successfully achieve here is the art of good mainstream jazz, the kind listeners find both comforting and enticing.” Ted Ono, producer of Out of the Shadows
Profile: Vocalist Maureen Kennedy developed her love for jazz in her early twenties when she studied for six years with Canadian flugelhorn and trumpet player Fred Stone, renowned for his work with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus in the 1960s. The clarity of her tonality, her restrained use of vibrato, and unaffected vocal style, developed under his tutelage. As a young student, Maureen also received a Canada Council grant to participate in the Jazz Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts, which, at the time, was under the direction of bassist Dave Holland and pianist Don Thompson.
After Banff, Maureen performed regularly in Toronto. During this time, she received a number of very positive reviews from Val Clery, regular jazz columnist for The Toronto Star. In 1987 he named her Most Promising Vocalist for that year.
“The Toronto based jazz vocalist Maureen Kennedy is one of today’s rare jazz vocalists who evokes the purity, simplicity and directness of such great 1950s jazz voices as Teddi King, Lucy Reed, Pinky Winters and Irene Kral.” – World Records
Maureen took time-off from her career to raise a family and seek new experiences, but this break only contributed to her growth as an artist. It gave her time to research the music she loves and cultivate an extensive repertoire of memorable standards and rediscovered gems that compliment her very personal sound and reflect her musical curiosity. This is evident in her debut recording This Is Always, which features a selection of classic standards as well as rarely recorded compositions by Billy Strayhorn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke and Alec Wilder.
This Is Always was produced by Kieran Overs and engineered by Juno Award winner Chad Irschick at Inception Sound studio in Toronto. Accompanying Maureen on the disc are Toronto based musicians Nancy Walker (piano), Kieran Overs (bass) and Anthony Michelli (drums).
Since its Canadian release in 2004, the disc has received airplay on various CBC radio shows includingJazz Beat and After Hours and the new CBC radio jazz program Tonic; Jazz FM 91 in Toronto. It also reached #6 on the National Jazz Chart in Canada for campus and community radio.
In 2005, Ted Ono, a respected jazz historian who runs a Canadian-based jazz label with American distribution called Baldwin Street Music, heard Maureen sing at the Toronto jazz club The Montreal Bistro. He approached Maureen with a request to add the recording to his label and it was released inthe U.S. in January 2006. Mr. Ono has described Maureen’s vocal approach as “straightforward, understated, and sincere.”
Since it’s American release it has been played on a variety of NPR jazz shows, the New Orleans Jazz station WWOZ, and the nationally syndicated, Public Radio International program, Jazz After Hours.
“She has a voice that soothes the soul with a distinct sound that is reminiscent of some of the jazz greats from another era. Her sound is pure, her phrasing precise and her style swings.” – Jazzreview.com
In April 2013, Maureen released her second CD, Out of the Shadows. It was recorded with the assistance of CBC recording engineer Ron Searles and producer Ted Ono. The CD features Reg Schwager (guitar); Steve Wallace (bass); Mike Murley (saxophone); and Andrew Millar (drums.) The recording continues to be played on Toronto’s Jazz FM 91.1 . It has also been played on the CBC radio program Tonic and is on regular rotation on the website CBC Music.
Baldwin Street Music released the recording in the United States in April, 2014. The album reached 110on the JAZZWEEK jazz chart and was on regular rotation on the syndicated PRI program Jazz After Hours and the New Orleans jazz station WWOZ. Her recording received several notable reviews including one in the jazz publication JAZZIZ.
Maureen’s vast musical knowledge has been put to great use in her work as a Media Librarian and visualresearcher for the CBC in Toronto. In her job she catalogues archival arts, music and entertainment programming on television and radio, which has enabled her to expand her knowledge of Canadian jazz history.