Whaling City Sound attends Jazz Congress 2019

Whaling City Sound attends Jazz Congress 2019

Ginny Shea attends

Jazz at Lincoln Center
10 W 60th St
New York, NY, 10023
on behalf of

with NBC10’s Mario Hilario

Your Digital Marketing Priorities

Having a presence digitally means more than just having a website. Molly Garber of digital marketing firm Capacity Interactive, which counts Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center as clients, shares five core priorities and how you can tackle them successfully, even with limited time and money.
Intro: Aaron Bisman (Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Panelists: Molly Garber (Capacity Interactive)

with vocalist Kristen Lee Sergeant from Inside Out WCS087 

Jazz Entrepreneurship: Online Strategies, Offline Results

3 presenters talk about their entrepreneurial ventures: what’s been successful, what’s worked, and what hasn’t. Short individual presentations followed by Q&A.
Moderator: Ashley Kahn
Panelists: Marc Plotkin (Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at NYU), Meghan Stabile (Revive Music), Spike Wilner (Smalls Jazz)

JukeBox Jury Presented by JazzWeek

Many new releases are a slam dunk at jazz radio: down-the-middle post bop, high-profile vocalists, or the latest reissue or “lost” recording. But what about artists and recordings that exist along the fringe or push the envelope? How do radio stations decide what music gets on the air? A panel of radio programmers preview music ranging from the mainstream to the adventurous, and detail why or why not each track would work on jazz radio.
Moderators: Brad Stone and J Hunter (WVCR)
Panelists: Elizabeth A. Farriss (KEWU), Willard Jenkins (WPFW), Michael Valentine (WDNA), Gary Vercelli (KXPR)

Strategic Partnership in Practice: Jazz Night in America

What does an effective strategic partnership look like? How is it created and what does it take to maintain it? What value does each individual partner see in such a relationship and what can the jazz community learn from this unique partnership between NPR Music, WBGO, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Moderator: Neal Shapiro (WNET)
Panelists: Gabrielle Armand (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Anya Grundmann (NPR), Amy Niles (WBGO)

Perfect Pitch: Will This Press Kit Get Me Booked?

Independent artists invited to submit their press kit or EPK to panel of judges for a live review.  Beyond personal feedback, the session leverages these real life examples to highlight best practices and opportunities for artists to best represent themselves through their bios, press releases, photos, videos, press clips, etc.
Moderator: Katie Simon (WBGO/Jazz Night in America)
Panelists: Bobby D. Asher (The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland), Janis Burley Wilson (August Wilson Center/Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival), Georgina Javor (Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Grab and Go food/drink with sponsor tables in Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium

Monica Herzig’s SHEROES WCS106 featured on Antidote musician/promoter Ken Avis’ sponsored table

With pianist-composer Greg Murphy (Summer Breeze WCS081 and the soon released Bright Idea WCS111 and keyboard wiz Jason Miles (To Grover With Love / LIVE IN JAPAN WCS078, Kind of New WCS073)

Greg and Ray Blue

with Danny Bacher’s Still Happy WCS110 producer Jeff Levenson

KEYNOTE: Lundvall Visionary Award & Art Blakey Centennial Celebration

The Jazz Congress is honored to present the 2019 Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award to Darlene Chan, a tireless, behind the scenes advocate for so many artists and the music at large.
Immediately following the presentation of the award, members of the Jazz Messengers will reconvene onstage for a once in a lifetime reunion, hosted by Celine Peterson.
Panelists: Terence Blanchard, Randy Brecker, Cameron Brown, Donald Brown, Steve Davis, Leon Lee Dorsey, Essiet Essiet, Kevin Eubanks, Jon Faddis, Benny Green, Billy Harper, Donald Harrison, Eddie Henderson, Vincent Herring, Harold Mabern, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ralph Peterson Jr., Bill Pierce, Lonnie Plaxico, Wallace Roney, Melissa Slocum, Charles Tolliver, Steve Turre, Bobby Watson

Opening Night Reception sponsored by BOLDEN, opening in theaters spring 2019

Celebrate opening night of Jazz Congress with BOLDEN, inspired by the life of Buddy Bolden. The film reimagines the compelling, powerful and tragic life of an unsung American hero who invented Jazz.


#TBT ’14 Jazz Connect

Kristen Lee Sergeant/WCS

Kristen Lee Sergeant/WCS

Kristen Lee Sergeant

aboutWhaling City Sound Website

Kristen Lee Sergeant Website


You Tube

Everybody Wants To Rule The World


Liner Notes

Press Release


Publicity: Regional Highlights Cadence/PapatumasImprovijazzation NationJazz Weekly, JAZZIZ MagazineDOWNBEAT Editors’ Picks,  DOWNBEATJazzTimes,  Jazz Quad (translated from Russian)

Radio Promotion by New World n Jazz


Mixed Media Client since: 2016

back to client list

Joe Lang Birdland Review

KRISTEN LEE SERGEANT has been gigging around the New York City area for several years, developing her jazz vocal chops. Inside/Out (Whaling City Sound – 087) is her first album, and from the evidence here, she was certainly ready to spread her talent to a wider audience. With backing from David Budway on piano, Chris Berger on piano and Victor Ector on drums, she sings six standards, “Never Will I Marry,” “Old Devil Moon,” “Lullaby of the Leaves,” “So Many Stars” “I Wish I Were in Love Again” and “It Never Entered My Mind.” Like so many younger singers, she grew up listening to the pop music of her generation, and has chosen to include some material from more contemporary sources to her repertoire. In this instance, she selected hits by Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” the Police, “Every Breath You Take,” and Modern English, “I Melt with You,” to fill out her program. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but these songs just do not hold up well next to the older songs, but Sergeant does a fine job of bringing them into a jazz context. The lady can sing, and there should be more fine albums like this one coming from her down the road.


Listen Here

August 12, 2016

Kristen Lee Sergeant Debuts:

“Inside Out”

Some vocalists aspire to be jazz singers. Others claim the mantle but fall short. The lucky few, like Kristen Lee Sergeant, meet the challenge and merit the title.

Inside Out displays Sergeant’s qualifications – her superior intonation and control, an interpretive command that ranges from defiance to gentility, a willingness to take risks with harmony and rhythm, the freshness of her arrangements, synchronicity with her accompanists, and the manner in which all these elements yield a supremely musical package. She has refined these skills over the past decade, and her woodshedding period has yielded an imposing debut album.

Sergeant grew up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, a suburb on Boston’s North Shore that she is quick to point out is the home of Singing Beach. During her high school and college years, she was focused on theater and classical singing, and when she moved to New York after graduating from Brandeis University her intent was to pursue a theatrical career and study opera. Then her roommate suggested that Sergeant check out cabaret legend Marilyn Maye, and a new fascination took hold. “I had listened to cabaret and jazz a bit, but hadn’t really been exposed,” Sergeant recalls. “Seeing Marilyn perform convinced me that there was a more intimate way of reaching an audience.“ Sergeant has become a student of Maye’s. “Marilyn reminds me to celebrate the beauty in my instrument.”

Sergeant also found herself immersed in jazz after the leader of a big band heard her rehearsing bel canto in a practice studio and invited her to sit in. Soon she was a permanent member of the ensemble, which only added to her growing sense of the music. “I was able to observe how the soloists were trying to discover something,” she explains, “which taught me to embrace the process of improvisation. The band played a lot of transcribed solos from Art Blakey records, and just singing along was a great education in itself.”

Hearing Maye and working with the big band led Sergeant to reconsider her musical priorities. “I saw that technique is a double-edged sword,” she says. “Classical training can make you more adept, but it can also be a shield, as if being able to do all of the tricks puts you beyond criticism. And there’s stuff you miss in more traditional vocal study, particularly in the area of rhythm. I began to realize that as a student I had reached a peak, only to discover that I could see a higher summit.”

Another key moment in Sergeant’s development was encountering a Carmen McRae video from the 1960s television series Jazz Casual. “Carmen’s incredible commitment to the lyrics, together with her complete musicality, made me realize that such things were possible. Around that time, a theatrical project I had been involved in for quite a while got a New York tryout on a night that I had a jazz gig. I realized that I had undergone a transition and missed the tryout.”

Studies with vocalist/pianist Tom Lellis put the finishing touches on Sergeant’s jazz apprenticeship. “Tom is a great teacher,” she confirms, “and he was particularly helpful in my approach to rhythm. Hard bop is my favorite listening music, which may seem like an odd choice for a singer, but Tom helped me apply the colors of hard bop to my approach. And he made me realize that, in jazz, vibrato is a choice rather than an essential. Most importantly, I learned that while I may be as deliberate as need be when I practice, what comes out when I perform has to relate more to instinct. When I’m into a song, the chances I take are all instinctual. And the meaning of each tune is my window into improvisation. If what I’m trying to do is not based in a deep well of feeling, it’s not going to happen.”

Sergeant has put her philosophy into practice in this debut program, which places her individual stamp on a half-dozen consensus standards plus three additional hits from the ‘80s. She explains the presence of the latter by noting that “I chose `Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ and `Every Breath You Take’ because these songs are in the back of all of our minds. We hear them at Whole Foods, or in malls, or wherever we find ourselves wandering around; yet they aren’t sacred cows, so they are approachable for rearrangement. I took that freedom,” she jokes, “and abused it.” “I Melt with You,” the Modern English hit, is less familiar than the Tears for Fears and Police tunes, yet provided the kind of open meaning that Sergeant finds inspiring. “Thinking about melting led me to the messy intro,” she explains, “and then thinking more about melting led to the spoken word statement that alludes to both personal attraction and nuclear war.”

The rest of the program is personalized as well, with such memorable touches as her half-time statement against the rhythm section at the start of “Old Devil Moon,” the Monkish setting of “I Wish I Were in Love Again” and the straightforward wonder of “So Many Stars.” As the tracks were being recorded, producer Suzi Reynolds pointed out that Sergeant had created a song cycle, one that began with the power of “Never Will I Marry” and ultimately looped back to another form of never. “All of these songs mean something to me,” Sergeant confirms, “and the musical vocabulary of jazz allowed me to reinvent. `It Never Entered My Mind’ is so personal that I can’t listen to it. It’s the sucker punch at the end of our visit to all of these rapturous places.”

Sergeant is quick to share the credit with her rhythm section, which is comprised of players who, in her words, “can say what they need to say explosively.” She has a history of playing with pianist David Budway and bassist Chris Berger; and while many of her gigs do not allow for drummers, she found Vince Ector “a treat to work with.” She shares this writer’s appreciation of Budway’s contribution, both as a member of the trio and, on the closing two tracks, as the sole accompanist. “I’ve done gigs with David almost as long as I’ve been in New York. He’s such a versatile musician that he’s even done classical things with me. David has an endless imagination. You can work with great accompanists and great soloists, but only a few can do both. David is one of the few.”

What has resulted on Inside Out is nothing less than a confirmation of Kristen Lee Sergeant’s embrace of the jazz aesthetic. “Jazz is about bringing something new to what may be familiar material,” she insists. “The art form doesn’t need you if you’re not seeking a new way. Unlike my work in theater, it’s about what I want to say, what I can bring that no one else can bring. And while my training with a big band was invaluable, your own improvising is limited because this massive machine surrounds you. The trio gave me more opportunity to play off what everyone else is doing, which is another thing that I love about jazz. It allowed me to follow Suzi’s advice to `seize the musical moment.’”

Consider the moment seized.

Bob Blumenthal

Track Listing & Publishing Info

1  Never Will I Marry   3:32
(Frank Loesser, rearranged by Kristen Lee Sergeant) MPL Music Publishing Inc. OBO Frank Music Corp.

2  Everybody Wants to Rule the World  4:06
(Orzabal, Stanley, Hughes, rearranged by Kristen Lee Sergeant) Platinum Songs OBO Amusements LTD, Rights Management Rosetta VM PKA Virgin Songs, BMG

3 Old Devil Moon  4:28
(Burton Lane & E.Y. Harburg) Chappell & Co. Shapiro Bernstein OBO Glocca MorraMusic

4  Lullaby of the Leaves  3:38
(Joe Young & Bernice Petkere) Bourne Co. Cherio Corp. OBO Warock Corp. ©1932

5  I Melt With You  5:44
(Richard Ian Brown, Stephen James Walker, Robert James Grey, Michael Frances Conroy, Gary Frances Mcdowell, Dalton Dieh, rearranged by Kristen Lee Sergeant) Universal – Songs of Polyg OBO Universal/Momentum Music 3 LTD

6  So Many Stars  4:02
(Sergio Mendez, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman) WB Music Corp Spirit Two Music OBO Spirit Services Holdings, SARL

7  Every Breath You Take  3:16
(Sting, rearranged by Kristen Lee Sergeant) EMI Blackwood Music Inc. OBO Magnetic Publishing LTD.

8  I Wish I Were In Love Again  2:06
(Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers) Chappell & Co., Williamson Music Co. – A Div. of Rodgers & Hammerstein ©1937

9  It Never Entered My Mind  2:45
(Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers) Chappell & Co. Williamson Music Co.-A Div. of Rodgers & Hammerstein ©1940


Show Dates:

10.27: Kristen Lee Sergeant, Birdland Jazz Club, 315 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

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