A New Discovery

Kellylee EvansOnce in a while, I have to share my enthusiasm about musicians I discover. Of course, in the case of Norah Jones, she was already a sensation. This time, this artist is just “starting out”, although I can predict she’ll go far, fast. All it will take is a first CD, which will come out this spring.

Last night at the Nepean Sailing Club, we went to listen to a new wonder. I was totally bowled over by Kellylee Evans’s voice, talent, professionalism.

Her music is called urban jazz and, although she was described as “Sade meets Erykah Badu meets Norah Jones,” she reminded me more of a mix between Cassandra Wilson (for her interpretation of the music) and Tracy Chapman (for her intelligent, sensitive lyrics).

Kellylee writes all her songs, music and lyrics. She’s had limited public exposure so far but she placed second (and won $10,000) at the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in September 2004. The judges were Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Flora Purim and Jimmy Scott.

Last night she gave an electrifying performance that included a brand new song as well as one of the best interpretations of Imagine (John Lennon) I’ve ever heard.

She’s definitely an artist to watch and I’ll be one of the first in line to buy her CD, Fight or Flight. You can listen to three of the songs on the CD on her website. Her musicians are Lonnie Plaxico on bass,
George Colligan on piano, keyboards, Marvin Sewell on guitar, Steve Hass on drums, and Kwame Kahlil Bell on percussion.

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